Al-Shabaab executes ‘Kenyan spy’
A man said to be a Kenyan fighting for the Al-Shabaab has been executed by the Somali militant group for alleged espionage.
The Kenya Defence Forces confirmed that the non-Somali Kenyan was stoned to death by the militants in Kismayu on Tuesday after he was convicted of aiding Kenyan troops identify their targets in Somalia.
“It is true, he was stoned to death. One of our people filmed the incident and sent us the pictures which are grisly,” military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir told the Nation.
According to reports in the Somali press, an Al-Shabaab court found the Kenyan fighter guilty of spying for the Kenyan troops fighting the militants in the war-torn nation.
The militants are said to have rounded up hundreds of Kismayu residents to come and witness the execution, a tactic they normally use to instil fear in the civilian population.
The victim is said to be one of the Kenyans secretly recruited from Nairobi’s Majengo area and smuggled into Somalia to fight alongside Al-Shabaab.
The Al-Shabaab jury accused him of leading Kenyan warplanes in bombarding their bases in Jilib, one of the numerous towns captured by Kenyans last year.
The insurgents had turned against three of their Kenyan fighters and placed them in custody for allegedly spying for Kenyan forces.
A report released in July last year by the United Nations monitoring group for Somalia and Eritrea reported that hundreds of impoverished Kenyan youths had been recruited into the militant group in recent years.
The report identified the Muslim Youth Centre based in Nairobi’s Pumwani estate as the coordinator of the recruitment.
“In the past, Al-Shabaab’s presence in Kenya has been concentrated primarily within the ethnic Somali community. But since 2009, the group has rapidly expanded its influence and membership to non-Somali Kenyan nationals,” it says.
Some of the non-Somali Kenyans said to be fighting inside Somalia include Juma Ayub Otit Were, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi “Karongo” also known as Habib, Mohamed Murithi and Ramadan Osao.
Last October, a non-Somali Kenyan, Elgiva Bwire, was jailed for life after confessing to carrying out two grenade attacks in Nairobi