State drops terror accusations against three suspects, hands them lesser charges

Mr Nusab Abdulnasir Kassim (left), Mr Mistwah Abdulnasir Kassim and Ms Aisha Abdalla Musa before Mombasa court on January 11, 2023. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation Media Group

The state has dropped terror accusations against three people whom they had earlier indicated were linked to some unknown terror operatives in Diani, Kwale County.

The three have instead been charged with a much lesser offence of being in possession of a firearm, ammunition and narcotics, and conspiring to commit a felony.

Mr Musab Abdulnasir Kassim has been charged with being in possession of an Austrian-made Glock pistol and 15 rounds of ammunition.

The charge sheet indicates that the suspect was found with the weapon serial number THE187 without a firearm certificate.

Mr Mistwah Abdulnasir Kassim was on the other hand charged with being in possession of one sachet of cannabis sativa with a street value of Sh9,000 and three tablets of amphemine worth Sh600.

Mr Musab, Mr Mistwah and Ms Aisha Abdalla were jointly charged with conspiracy to commit a felony after they were found with a firearm.

The charge sheet indicates that the suspects were found together, carrying the gun and bullets, that were reasonably suspected would be used to commit a felony.

They are accused of committing the offences on December 31, 2022 at Likoni Ferry Mainland.

The three denied committing the offences when they appeared before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Rita Orora.

While seeking to convince the court to allow them more time to investigate the suspects, the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) said they suspect the three were plotting a terror attack at an undisclosed social joint in Diani.

ATPU officer Japheth Yagan told the court that their investigations revealed that the firearm had been used to commit a serious crime in Kisauni.

The investigator also told the court that at the time the suspects were arrested, the same firearm was going to be used to commit a crime in Mombasa during the holiday season.

The officer had also informed the court that the three were being investigated to determine whether they are members of a terrorism group with operations in Somalia and ISIS.

The court was also informed that investigations had been shifted to the suspects’’ M-Pesa and bank accounts to determine any financial ties to terrorism.

The police had earlier told the court that Mr Musab and Mr Mistwah were connected to unknown terror operatives in Kwale, who were waiting for them when they were arrested.

The detectives had also told the court that the suspects are linked to a string of robberies in Mombasa Island.

They were alleged to be impersonating motorcycle delivery riders in Mombasa town in order to further their criminal activities.

The three were granted a Sh200,000 bond despite protest from the prosecution, who had opposed bond saying it has not been established why the suspects had the weapons.

But this argument was dismissed by the court, as the prosecution did not file a formal affidavit to oppose bond.