By: FRED MUKINDA
Police have discovered a new Al-Shabaab cell in northeastern Kenya that is planning mass evictions in the region.
A photograph of its leader, Mohamed Kunow Yussuf, also known as Abu Ali, has been circulated with an appeal to the public to report his whereabouts to the police.
Detectives say he was sent by Al-Shabaab leaders in Somalia to strengthen the cell, called Mustapha Atto Network.
Police believe the cell operates from Wajir and spreads terror to other towns. It is also recruiting youths from the region.
“In an effort to increase its activities in Kenya, particularly (in the northeastern region), Al-Shabaab has named Mohamed Kunow Yussuf as the head of a new cell whose operations will mainly focus on Wajir, though other northeastern towns are not ruled out. The main role of the cell will be to sow discord between locals and non-locals in the area akin to what the group attempted to achieve in Mandera and Garissa,” says a government report seen by the Nation.
Security agencies in the region have also been placed on high alert, with orders to forestall recruitment for the new cell.
Yussuf surfaced on police radar after he was arrested for robbery in Wajir in 2012, but he defied court orders to report to police every week. He then fled to Somalia.
“In 2012, he was one of the main suspects over grenade attacks that targeted businesses owned by non-locals. Police established (Yussuf) was involved in trafficking of arms from Somalia that fuelled inter-clan violence in the area,” says the report.
At one time, he was an imam at the Al Rahma mosque and also a madrassa teacher.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION