3 Tanzanians given 15-year jail terms over terrorism

The three Tanzanians from Zanzibar who were on January 29, 2019 found guilty of being in possession with items used in terrorism acts by a Wajir court. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Police said the three planned to cross into Somalia.
  • The three will serve their jail terms in Wajir Prison.
  • A source said more than 50 terror suspects have passed through the prison recently and there is fear prison may become a recruiting ground.

Three terror suspects from Zanzibar, Tanzania who were arrested in Wajir last year have been jailed for 15 years each for being in possession of items used in terrorism acts.

Mbarouk Ali Adibu (34), Idarous Abdirahman (32) and Islahi Juma (22) appeared before Wajir Senior Resident Magistrate Amos Makoros for sentencing on Wednesday following convictions on Tuesday.

They were arrested by security officers at Kutulo while planning to cross into Somalia. 

After their arrest, they were remanded in Wajir Prison on October 19, 2018 following their not guilty pleas pending completion of police investigations.

The three will now serve their sentences at Wajir Prison. According to a source who sought anonymity, more than 50 terror suspects have passed through the Wajir prison putting petty offenders at risk of radicalisation. 

This judgement comes as the government intensifies its fight against terrorism following the attack on Dusit hotel complex. 

RADICALISATION FEARS

“In the past two years, the government has been carrying out massive crackdowns on terror suspects and most of them have at one time passed through the Wajir prison. We are worried that such a group of suspects could even recruit more prisoners,” he said.

Wajir County has borne the brunt of terrorism attacks and is often used as transit route to Somalia by terror recruits.

Its proximity to the border also makes it a favourite staging and recruitment ground by terror groups.

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