Woman held in Mombasa over Al-Shabaab recruitment

By: BRIAN OCHARO

Police in Mombasa have been allowed to hold a woman accused of recruiting five youth to join the Al-Shaabab militant group pending investigations.

Mombasa Senior Principle Magistrate Richard Odenyo on Friday allowed the application by investigating officer in the case Mr Charles Mwai to have Ms Hassan Sarah Hussein and the five recruits remanded at Port Police Station for seven days.

According to an affidavit filed in court, the suspects were arrested on July 30 at Bondeni in Mombasa County.

The affidavit further indicates that Ms Hussein recruited Mr Abdifath Hassan, Mr Ali Abdulahi Ismael Sheik, Mr Muhamed Isack Muhume Ibrahim ,Mr Ali Hassan Abubakar and Mr Aweys Mohammed Shee to be members of Al-Shabaab.

The police told the court that the suspects are linked to the Al-Shabaab sympathisers, who have been aiding in youth recruitment in the region.

“I do believe that the six suspects, who are Somali citizens, are connected with the offence or have information which may assist me in my investigations” Mr Mwai told the court

He added that preliminary investigations indicates that there is sufficient evidence linking the suspects to the terror group.

However, the suspects opposed the application to have them remanded claiming they are innocent.

Ms Hassan admitted to have travelled to Somalia.

“I have been to Somalia numerous times. I came back about two weeks ago but that doesn’t mean I am a citizen of that country, and also it doesn’t mean I am linked to Al-Shabaab,” she said

“I object to the application. I was arrested at my mother’s kiosk when I was helping her do some chores. Holding me for seven days will waste my time” Mr Abdifath told the court.

Mr Abdifath told the court that he is a Kenyan citizen and has passport and identification card to support his claims.

The case will be mentioned on August 7.