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Parents of Imam held for recruiting terrorists record statements

25 June 2015, 11:44 David Wekesa

Bungoma - The parents of Imam held by police in Mombasa for allegedly recruiting boys into the Al Shabaab terrorist group have recorded statements with the police in Bungoma.

The parents of Salim Mohammed Wabwile recorded statements at the Bungoma Criminal Investigation Department on Tuesday after they saw media reports on his whereabouts.

The parents, Oscar Wabwile and Ruth Wabwile who hail from Khalaba ward in Bungoma told police that Salim went missing in January 2011.

The man was previously communicating to the mother and even sent them cash but went quiet in 2012, with his parents getting worried that he had joined the terror group after travelling to Mombasa.

His mother did not however report the disappearance to the police.

Speaking to the press Wednesday in his office, Bungoma County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim warned parents who failed to report the disappearance of their children that they risk arrest.

“We are surprised that this parents knew that the young man had joined the outlawed group but never reported to any authority,” said Maalim.

Read Also: Watch out for Al Shabaab Ramadhan threat, Boinett tells Kenyans

Maalim called on all parents from Bungoma County whose children had disappeared in the name of going to learn Islam to immediately report to police.

He said he was worried that recent incidents had shown that Bungoma had become a breeding ground for Al Shabaab recruits.

“One of the terrorists killed in Garrisa attacks hailed from the neigbouring Mjini area in Bungoma County,” said Maalim.

A magistrate's court in Mombasa on monday allowed police to detain Salim Mohammed Wambwile, who is an Imam at Liwatoni Mosque in Ganjoni to allow investigations.

He is accused of recruiting seven boys from Gadini Primary School in Kaloleni into Al Shabaab.

Chief Magistrate Julius Nang'ea directed that the accused be detained at Port Police Station in Mombasa pending investigation.

"The accused has not been charged yet but from the application by the State, the accused faces serious allegations," said Nang'ea.

According to police reports, Wambwile was arrested by the Kaloleni OCS in Kilifi after a report by officials from the school on June 19.

ATPU has eight days to complete the probe.

A sworn affidavit by Corporal Philip Tuwei seeking 30 days to hold the suspect on grounds that the nature of the investigation is wide and complex.

Police said they confiscated items including a phone that should be forwarded to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit in Nairobi for analysis.

The State intends to find the suspect's contacts outside Kenya, which requires a lot of time before the charges can be made against him.

According to police, Wambwile had gone into hiding since 2012, accused of the same offence of recruiting youths into Al Shabaab.

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