Owner of city blast car seized in terror probe
The owner of a car which exploded at the Pangani police station, killing four people, two of them police officers, was taken to court on Friday but was not charged with any offence.
Police said they would keep Mr Ahmed Dugal Ali in custody until they complete investigations in about 10 days. Mr Ali is being held alongside relatives Abdiaziz Bulle Ali and Mohammed Abdullahi Falir.
Anti-terrorism police are treating the three as Al-Shabaab suspects, Mr Cyrus Ikade, who is from the unit told a resident magistrate court in Nairobi.
He said the three were arrested on Thursday following the explosion. “The first respondent is the owner of the vehicle which exploded killing two policemen and two terrorists.”
He said he believed Mr Bulle and Mr Falir were close associates of the terrorists who died in the explosion.
Mr Ikade said he arrested the car owner shortly after he had presented himself to the police after he saw the car on television. He said the police had information that the men were all relatives and that Mr Abdullahi had spent the day with one of the terrorists on the Wednesday of the explosion.
Mr Dugal denied terrorism links, saying he was willing to help police with whatever information they were looking for. “ Let it be on record that I am opposed to what happened at Pangani…I am here and willing to help in any way possible,” he said.
But Mr Ikade said the men, who he said were from Mandera, should be investigated further to establish their true identities and motives.
“They are all dangerous and a threat to the security of the State and the public…their accomplices are still at large and are being sought by security agencies,” the officer said and requested for 10 days to conclude investigations.
The officer said he suspected the men could be involved in terrorism in and outside the country.
Senior resident magistrate Edda Agade said the matter was sensitive and that time was required to conclude the investigations. She directed that the men be held at Muthaiga police station for 10 days.
Separately, a couple arrested two weeks ago in Eastleigh and charged with possession of two hand grenades has been linked to the Al-Shabaab terror group.
Police said Islamic preacher Mahat Omar of Ushirika Bilal mosque and his wife Fordosa Mohammed were part of Muslim leaders who received 20 grenades smuggled from Somalia for terrorism-related attacks in the country.
A police officer swearing an affidavit in objection to their release on bond said the couple posed a security threat to the country and could access the rest of the 18 grenades to further the cause of Al-Shabaab supporters in the country.
A ruling will be given on May 2.
Meanwhile, police sources indicated that details of the Pangani blast vehicle’s ownership were obtained from the registrar of motor vehicles at Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters and that police were already looking for Mr Ali when he handed himself in.
The vehicle was registered in his name in 2000. Moments after his arrest, Mr Ali was handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and detained overnight, giving information that led to the arrest of the other two.
The Nation learnt that the police were working with the help of mobile phone service providers to trace the mobile phone numbers used by the terrorists in the days before the explosion.
The vehicle carrying the explosives was intercepted after the driver committed a traffic offence. Two police officers entered the car — a Toyota NZE — while their colleagues followed in a patrol car. On reaching the gates of the police station, the car with the suspects exploded, killing all on board.
The dead officers were identified as Constables Francis Murage and Samwel Cheptuk (a driver).
Meanwhile, a Mombasa court has given police 10 days to hold a Saudi arrested two days ago on the Kenya-Somalia border on suspicion of terrorism.
Principal magistrate Abraham Gachie allowed anti-terrorism police to hold Mr Alamri Ali Hanash Atif (below) for their investigations.
The fourth year surgery student at the Maastricht University in the Netherlands was arrested in Kiunga on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old from Riyadh entered Kenyan on April 18 from Tanzania through Lunga Lunga border without any valid document.
He was arrested with a Kenyan whom the police are questioning.
Mr Atif, who the police suspect to have been on his way to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, was reported to have also visited Lesotho, South Africa, Zanzibar and Tanzania before his arrival in the country.
Separately in Kwale, Police shot dead a suspected Al-Shabaab member and recovered a Berretta pistol and three rounds of ammunition.
Msambweni police boss Joseph Ombijah said they linked the suspect identified only as Tumbo to Ali Delawa, another terrorism suspect, who was killed by anti-terrorist police officers in Malindi last year.
Police stormed the suspects’ house in the wee hours of the morning and shot him dead.
Mr Ombijah said the suspect refused to open the door when ordered to at 4am.-nation.co.ke