Police boost security in Mandera town after terror suspect arrest

Kenyan police on Friday vowed to enhance fight against global terrorism as a terror suspect believed to have masterminded last year’s attacks on a commuter bus and a quarry in northern Kenya was taken to Nairobi.

Acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi said the police have been directed to be on watch out for criminals out to destabilize the East African nation.

“Our efforts to combat crime and particularly terrorism will continue.

“As law enforcement officers, we will endeavour at all times to ensure that the safety of our citizens remains our number one priority,” Arachi said in a statement read on his behalf by police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi in Nairobi.

He called on Kenyans to cultivate a healthy relationship with security forces and report suspicious characters so that action is taken against them.

“I am reminding our citizenry that in our small and different ways, we can make contributions in making our country safer.

“Citizens should report anything out of the ordinary for indecision can have far-reaching negative ramifications,” Arachi said.

Arachi’s remarks come after a terror suspect, Salim Abubakar Kitonga, was handed over to anti-terrorism police officers in Nairobi who are now holding him at an undisclosed location for further interrogation after being arrested in Mandera on Thursday.

Mandera Police Commander Job Boronjo said the suspect, who was arrested alongside two other suspects, were cooperating well with the police and that other wanted ‘al-Shabaab’ sympathisers and sponsors would soon be arrested in the area.

“He has been recruiting terror suspects from this area and regional countries to join ‘al-Shabaab’,” said Boronjo, adding that Kitonga had been facilitating the movement of new non-Somali recruits into Somalia.

The Somali militants in late 2014 ambushed a Nairobi-bound commuter bus and a quarry, killing 64 non-Muslims in Mandera, northern Kenya. Boronjo said “there is enough information that Kitonga planned the two attacks”.

A number of young men from different states within East Africa have been arrested by the security agencies along the Kenya-Somalia border as they try to cross over into Somalia, with most admitting of being on a mission to join the militant group.

Police sources told Xinhua the suspect will undergo through interrogation over the weekend and will be arraigned in court on Monday next week.

Security was beefed up in Mandera Town following the arrest, amid fears of attacks.

The town has borne the brunt of many terror attacks in the past.