Four women accused of being Al-Shabaab members have links with jihadists

By: BRIAN OCHARO

New police reports indicate that four women accused of being members of Al-Shabaab have international links with jihadists across the continent.

State Counsel Daniel Wamotsa told High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony in Mombasa that intelligence retrieved from the laptop recovered from the accused has the contacts of a wanted criminal, Mr Shwaib Mubarak, who is linked to the militia group.

Ms Ummulkheir Sadri Abdalla, Ms Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ms Maryam Said Aboud and Ms Halima Adan were arrested at the El-Wak border point in Mandera County on March 27 this year while trying to sneak into Somalia to allegedly join Al-Shabaab.

“The new evidence we have received from the Cyber Crime (Unit) shows that the suspects have contacts from Sri Lanka, Canada, United States, United Arab Emirate, Qatar, Turkey, Sudan ,Tanzania and Rwanda. The laptop appears to have been used by a man who claims to be Rogo Junior, who is also wanted by the police in relation to terrorism activities,” Mr Wamotsa said.

KILLING OF NON-BELIEVERS

The state counsel said that pictures retrieved from the laptop contained materials promoting jihadism and the killing of non-believers.

Mr Wamotsa argued that the mobile phones of the accused are still undergoing forensic analysis in connection with the Westgate Mall and Garissa University College attacks, which left 67 and 147 people dead respectively.

“Investigations in connection (with) the two deadly attacks to track more suspects who might be within the country, Somalia and other countries are still on course, in addition, we cannot rule out the involvement of the respondents in the same attack,” he said

While urging the court to cancel the bond earlier given to the accused, Mr Wamotsa requested more time to complete investigations.

Assistant Deputy Director of Prosecutions Alexander Muteti asked the court to review its earlier ruling that granted the accused bail on the grounds that terrorism is a threat to the country.

Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo had earlier released the accused on a bond of Sh500,000 each with two sureties of similar amounts.

Mr Muteti argued that the intelligence contained in the accused’s laptop is a clear indication that when released on bond, there are possibilities that they might escape.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION