Police foil plan by interns to use anthrax in terror attack

Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery (centre) with his Health counterpart Dr Cleopa Mailu addressing journalists after visiting Kenya Medical Research Institute on April 15, 2016. Police said they have foiled a planned biological attack using anthrax and arrested three suspects. FILE PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

What you need to know:

  • Police revealed that Mr Ali’s terror network within Kenya spread as far as the Coast region, North Rift, western as well as other countries that include Somalia, Libya and Syria.
  • Detectives from the Anti-terrorism Police Unit also arrested Mr Ali’s wife, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji, who is a student at Kampala International University.

Security agencies last week foiled a planned biological attack using anthrax and arrested three suspects, police said Tuesday.

The Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said a medical intern at Wote Hospital, Mohammed Abdi Ali, was one of the suspects arrested after police foiled the planned attack on April 29.

Two other suspects, said to be Mr Ali’s accomplices who have gone into hiding since he was arrested, have been identified as Mr Ahmed Hish and Mr Farah Dagane, both medical interns in Kitale, and police have put a Sh2 million bounty on them.

“The suspects were planning a large scale attack akin to that of Westgate Mall with the intention of killing innocent Kenyans. His network also included medical experts with whom they planned to unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax,” Mr Boinett said.

The police boss's statement comes just two weeks after both Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and his Health counterpart Cleopa Mailu visited the Kenya Medical Research Institute to survey the security measures put in place.

Police revealed that Mr Ali’s terror network within Kenya spread as far as the Coast region, North Rift, western as well as other countries that include Somalia, Libya and Syria.

“He belongs to an East African terror group network that has links to the ISIL,” Mr Boinnet said.

KAMPALA

Detectives from the Anti-terrorism Police Unit also arrested Mr Ali’s wife, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji, who is a student at Kampala International University.

She was arrested in Uganda while attempting to evade the authorities. Also arrested in Uganda is her alleged accomplice, Fatuma Mohammed Hanshi.

The main suspect, Mr Ali, studied at Kampala International University in Uganda before returning to Kenya.

His terror network, police said, has been engaged in the active radicalisation and recruitment of university students and other Kenyan youth into terror networks.

“The same network has been facilitating Kenyan youth to secretly leave the country to join terror groups in Libya and Syria,” Mr Boinnet said.

He was presented in court, where custodial orders for an additional 30 days of investigations were granted.

Police say the arrests of Mr Ali and his accomplices are a major breakthrough in the fight against terrorism in Kenya.

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