NAIROBI, Kenyan police said they were interrogating 48 foreign terror suspects arrested in northeast region as security agencies step up war against terror and other security challenges in the country.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett said 33 suspects were arrested in Garissa, 10 in Mandera and five in Wajir counties, all of which are close to the Somali border.
“The 48 aliens are still assisting with investigations to establish the reasons for their presence in the country,” Boinett said in a statement released in Nairobi on Friday.
The police chief said increased partnership between the police and the public has so far led to the arrest of the 48 foreigners, most of them suspected to be linked to the Al-Shabaab.
He said one of the arrested is a suspected survivor of the attack on the foiled attack at the militant camp in Lamu in the coastal region on June 14. Boinett said the police arrested Abdulhakim AbdulSamad, who claimed to be a Briton, born of Somalia/ Arab ancestry in Lamu.
The arrests come as Kenya raised alarm on Thursday over the flow of foreign jihadists fueling violent extremism in the Horn of Africa region, saying they have complicated the fight against terrorism.
Deputy President William Ruto said Thursday the radicalization of the youth has been supported by the ease in transferring money across the world and the use of social media to spread hate.
“This is the most pressing threat of our time. Violent extremism is significant beyond itself. It is a truly global issue, ” Ruto said at the start of a regional conference on countering violent extremism, attended by over 300 diplomats, security experts and civil society representatives from some 40 countries around the world.
The apparent rise in the number of the foreign jihadist fighters in the rank of the Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups in the region became clearer when British national Thomas Evans was killed in a gun battle with the military when he led the attack on the Buare military camp in Lamu. And German national Andreas Martin Muller, alias Abu Nusaibah, escaped with wounds.
Ruto named groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) , Al-Qaida, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, continue to spread attacks on innocent victims. He said these groups are growing in numbers, and becoming sophisticated in operation, calling on the international community to speak with one voice to disrupt and degrade the terrorist infrastructure.