Kenya anti-terrorism police said Tuesday they were interrogating a terror suspect, who was arrested on Sunday in Mandera along the border with Somalia over terrorism links.
Senior police officers said they believe the suspect, Said Saleh Said Awadh, is involved in the killing of moderate Muslim clerics in the coastal city of Mombasa, which has witnessed several incidents of terror attacks in the recent past.
Sources said Awadh, whose picture has been circulated to the media, is being interrogated over, among others, the killing of Sheikh Mohamed Idris in Mombasa in June 2014.
Idris was also the chairman of Sakina Mosque in Mombasa that had then been taken over by radical youths.
He was killed after gunmen opened fire close to a mosque near his home at dawn.
“Awadh had been on our watch list,” said a security officer who is close to the investigation and asked not to be named.
He said the suspect may have been planning more attacks in the East African nation and was en route to Somali to get intelligence briefing from the militants’ commanders.
Police sources also said Awadh is suspected to be coordinating the terror activities in the country by funding and training youth to launch attacks in Kenya.
Since Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in 2011, northern and parts of eastern Kenya have been hit by a series of blasts, many targeting local security forces and humanitarian workers.
Several attacks believed to have been carried out by ‘al-Shabaab’ have occurred in Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa and Dadaab districts of northern Kenya even as the military reports gains against ‘al-Shabaab’ by capturing their military bases and killing scores of them.