What you need to know:
- Police reports indicate that the six had erected a Somalia flag at the beach and were holding a celebration that appeared suspicious.
Six people arrested over suspicious activities at a public beach in Mombasa County will remain in police custody for 15 days to allow investigations into an alleged terror link.
Ridhman Issack, Jamal Abdi, Mohammed Bare, Abdimalik Noor, Abdiraffi Sheikh and Saad Ibrahim Salat were arrested at Nyali Sun Africa public beach on Saturday.
Police reports indicate that the six, who are in the custody of Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) officers, had erected a Somalia flag at the beach and were holding a celebration that appeared suspicious.
Their nationalities are yet to be established.
“The suspects had erected the Somalia flag and were singing Somali jubilation songs,” Corporal Gideon Wambua said when the group was arraigned before Senior Resident Magistrate Rita Amwayi on Monday.
In an affidavit, Mr Wambua informed the court that he was investigating the six for the offence of being members of a terrorist group.
The detective also wants to establish the group’s reason for erecting a foreign flag in the country and why the six chose to take their celebrations to a public beach on a weekend.
Mr Wambua informed the court that the ATPU wrote to the National Registration Bureau for authentication of the identification documents the suspects were found with.
According to the police report, only four of the six people had identification documents.
“We have also forwarded mobile phones that were recovered from the suspects to the ATPU headquarters for analysis,” said the officer
What police found
The suspects were also found with a camera, which they used to take pictures at the time of the arrest.
The camera, Mr Wambua said, will also be forwarded to Nairobi for analysis.
“The suspects’ place of abode is yet to be established. We are yet to record statements from crucial witnesses,” he added, also noting that the suspects’ relatives were yet to be found.
“We are following intelligence to make more arrest and establish if there is any link with other terror groups,” he also said.
The magistrate ordered the suspects detained at Port Police Station.
The arrest of the six arrest came about five days after a terror suspect was gunned down in Kwale County.
According to the police, the suspected Al-Shabaab fighter and his accomplices were planning to attack a security establishment within the county to acquire firearms.
During the raid in Bombo, by an elite team of officers, other suspected terrorists suffered gunshot wounds.
The police recovered weapons including an AK47, bullets, a laptop, a flash drive, nine mobile phones. They also found materials used for making explosives such as magnesium metal powder, rubber water bottles and three electric bulbs, and a note listing targeted areas.
Detectives have mounted a search for the suspects who escaped with gunshot wounds.