Family members of a terror suspect who was arrested in Kenya’s northern region over terrorism links have denied any association with Somali militants, Al- Shabaab.
The family said, Said Swaleh Said Awadh, who was arrested on Sunday by the anti-terror police officers in Mandera near the border with Somalia, is a law-abiding citizen.
“My brother is a law-abiding citizen. He is a businessman who has never been arrested by police or convicted in any court of law, ” Awadh’s sister Hanan Swaleh told journalists in Mombasa Tuesday. “We don’t know where my brother is since our last communication with him on Monday.”
Swaleh said her 20-year-old brother was innocent and had no links with Al-Shabaab terror group as well as the murder of prominent Islamic preacher Sheikh Mohamed Idris in Mombasa in June 2014.
The denial by Awadh’s family comes as police are looking for Awadh’s colleague believed to be contact man for Al-Shabaab in Mandera who escaped during the arrest.
The police believe Awadh is among radical youth behind forceful takeover of Mosques in Mombasa. The suspect is also accused of murdering chairman of Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Idris in Mombasa.
Mombasa, the country’s second largest city and a major tourist spot, is one of various cities targeted by a series of grenade attacks and abduction of foreigners in recent months, which has prompted Western countries to warn their citizens to be “extremely vigilant” in the city.
Police said security has been beefed up across the country, especially in the coastal city of Mombasa ahead of Easter holiday.