Kenya to Probe Al-Jazeera Death Squad Documentary

FILE - The Al-Jazeera logo is seen through a window at the offices of the Arabic news channel in Ramallah, West Bank, July 15, 2009.

The Kenyan government says it may prosecute the makers of a documentary alleging that Kenya uses death squads against radical Islamists. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television aired the program Monday. In a series of Twitter messages and official statements Tuesday, Kenyan officials vehemently denied using death squads.

The government also ordered an investigation “with a view to bringing charges against those involved in the documentary.”

The Al-Jazeera program presented interviews with men who said they were members of Kenyan death squads and had carried out extrajudicial killings. The men, whose faces were obscured to hide their identity, said they did so at the direction of a group of high-ranking Kenyan officials that included President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Kenyan government said the documentary purposely skewed information to generate empathy for Islamist militants. It also said the makers of the program gave no thought to the many innocent Kenyans who have been killed by terrorists. Somali militant group al-Shabab has launched several major attacks in Kenya since the government sent troops to Somalia to fight the militants three years ago. In the biggest attack, al-Shabab fighters assaulted Nairobi’s Westgate mall in 2013, an attack that resulted in more than 70 deaths.