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Police arrest key Al Shabaab recruiter, financier

15 October 2013, 09:10

Garissa - Police said Monday they have arrested the mastermind of Al Shabaab recruitment and financier in the country as the government steps up war against terrorism.

Security officers drawn from the Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) working on high placed intelligence reports arrested the suspect on Monday in Garissa town in northern Kenya.

Garissa County police commander, Benjamin Ongo'ombe, said the suspect had planned to sneak two newly recruits to join the Al Shabaab terror group in Somalia through the Kenya-Somalia border in the northeastern region.

The two, Juma Kitsau, 16, and Osman, 19, were arrested at a road block as they approached Garissa town from Mombasa two weeks ago.

"After their arrest, they led anti terrorism police officers to the suspect hideouts within Garissa town where he arrested in major operation," Ongo'mbe told Xinhua on Monday.

"He had booked a hotel for them and facilitated their transportation to Somalia," said Ongo'mbe. He said the suspect is part of wide network operating terror cells in various parts of the Country.

The network targets youths especially schools going and new converts who are easily indoctrinated to fight for Jihad.

Authorities have introduced tough security measures including tighten telecommunications in the wake of terrorism attacks targeting key cities and towns, particularly in the northern region, where Al Shabaab have carried out grenade attacks and kidnapped foreigners.

Security officials say they are questioning over 40 people in connection with the deadly attack on Westgate shopping mall in September. Police are holding two high school students in connection with the attack.

- Xinhua

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