Makueni doctor Mohamed Ali jailed for 12 years for plotting anthrax terror attack

Dr Mohamed Abdu Ali

Dr Mohamed Ali who has been jailed for 12 years for being a member of the ISIS terrorist group.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

A Kenyan doctor has been jailed for 12 years for being a member of a terrorist group.

Mohamed Abdu Ali, who was based at Makueni Level 4 Hospital, was on Monday jailed by Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku. Ali's sentence will run from the date of his arrest on April 29, 2016.

He was convicted of being a leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and of planning to carry out a terrorist attack in Kenya using a biologically produced anthrax bacteria.

The effect of the biological attack, which Dr Ali and his accomplices planned to use, attacks human cells and may cause instant death.

In the judgement delivered by Ms Mutuku on Monday, Ali was found guilty of being a member of a terrorist group, organising a meeting to support its activities, recruiting its members, collecting information to commit a terrorist act and being in possession of articles linked to the commission of a terrorist act.

"I find that the prosecution has proved its case against Ali in respect to counts 1,2,4,7 and 8 and l convict him for these counts under section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). I grant him the benefit of the doubt in counts 3,5 and 6 and acquit him under 215 of the CPC," ruled the magistrate.

However, the court acquitted Ali's wife, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji Osman alias Umm Fidda, who had been charged with her husband on all counts of planning a terrorist act and being a member of a terrorist group, due to a lack of evidence. 

While convicting Ali, who was a medical doctor in Wote before his arrest on April 29, 2016, Ms Mutuku said there was overwhelming evidence that he was in constant communication with other terrorists outside the country through his social media accounts namely Twitter, Gmail and WhatsApp, KIK, Threema and Telegram among others.

"From the evidence of the 26 witnesses, the court concludes that the first accused person was linked to al-Shabaab as he would disseminate the information on his various social media platforms by offering logistical assistance to ISIS, a known terrorist group. On his Twitter (now X) account, even when the accounts were closed, he would open other accounts and share al-Shabaab material with his followers," the magistrate ruled.

The magistrate also found that Ali, being a member of the ISIS terrorist group, organised meetings in support of terrorists and at one point gave a directive to one Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, alias Miski, a known terrorist, and other unidentified persons to plan the establishment of an ISIS cell in Kenya with the help of ISIS returnees from Libya.

Ali was also convicted of being in possession of videos and images in his three mobile phones and laptops, for use in instigating terrorist acts.

During the hearing, State Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told the court that the terrorist network linked to Ali was actively involved in radicalising and recruiting university students and other Kenyan youth into terrorist networks.

Join terrorist groups

The prosecution said Ali's network was helping Kenyan youths secretly leave Kenya to join terrorist groups in Libya and Syria.

Ali's terror network within Kenya extends to the Coast, North Rift and Western regions as well as other countries including Somalia, Libya and Syria.

It is alleged that ISIS recruiters target medical students around the world.

The prosecution also said the network included medical professionals, with whom they planned to carry out a biological attack in Kenya in 2016 using anthrax.

Two other ISIS terror suspects, Kiguzo Mwangolo Mgutu and Abubakar Jillo Mohammed, who were linked to plans to carry out retaliatory attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa, disappeared after Ali and his wife were arrested.

Following the conviction, the prosecutor urged the court to impose the maximum penalties provided for in the law for the five offences of which Ali was found guilty.