US citizen charged over Al-Shabaab attack on KDF camp in Lamu

KDF soldiers display a cache of weapons outside Mpeketoni Hospital on June 15, 2015 after killing 11 Al-Shabaab terrorists who had attacked a military camp in Lamu. PHOTO | ATHMAN OMAR | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mr Jones travelled to Kenya in July 2011 before crossing to Somalia where he trained, worked and fought with Al-Shabaab.
  • If convicted, Maalik faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on the charges.

An American wanted for a raid on a Kenyan military camp and the Mpeketoni attack has been charged with terrorism in the United States.

Maalik Alim Jones is believed to have fought alongside other Al-Shabaab members since 2011, when he joined the terrorist group in Somalia.


The US Justice Department posted a document detailing his links to numerous terrorist activities, including his appearance in Al-Shabaab propaganda videos.

The document was presented in a court in New York by Ms Mary Boese, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

“Based on my communications with other law enforcement agents, I have learned that in June 2015, the FBI obtained seven video files recovered from electronic media seized from the body of a Shabaab fighter who participated in the Lamu (military camp) attack,” said Ms Boese.

In one of the videos, Mr Jones possessed a firearm and is seen with several Al-Shabaab fighters who, on June 14, 2015, participated in an attack on a Kenyan Defence Force base in Lamu during which two soldiers were killed.

Maalik travelled to Kenya in July 2011 before crossing to Somalia, where he trained, worked and fought with Al-Shabaab.

He was arrested at Baarawe, Somalia, on December 7, 2015, as he attempted to board a boat and travel to Yemen.

The report also says: “Based on, among other things, my review of passport and customs  photographs of Maalik Alim Jones, the defendant, I believe he is one of the individuals in the Shirwa Sermon video.”

Shirwa was a Shabaab commander killed during the raid on the Baure military camp in Lamu last year.

It is believed Maalik is among foreign fighters fleeing Somalia after a fallout in Al-Shabaab.

While some want to remain affiliated to the global terror network Al-Qaeda, others are keen to join the Islamic State.

Maalik was charged with five counts, including conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terror organisation, as well as possessing, carrying and using firearms to commit a crime.


He faces life in jail if convicted.

The FBI said he left Maryland, where he lived, and boarded a plane from New York and travelled to Morocco.

He took another flight to the United Arab Emirates from where he connected to Nairobi.

Once in Kenya, he used a bus and a taxi to travel to Somalia, where he joined Jayshi Ayman, a fighting unit of Al-Shabaab.


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