Sheikh Mahat Omar, alleged university terror financier held

Sheikh Hassan Mahat Omar in Nairobi court on April 20, 2015. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU |

What you need to know:

  • Police say he has "close links" with Mohammed Kuno alias Sheikh Mahammad alias Dulydin alias Garmadhere, the Al Shabaab leader of Juba region is Somalia and the mastermind of the recent terror attack at the learning institution.
  • "They are high profile personalities and are believed to be key terrorism financiers in the country," a prosecutor said.
  • While Gure's name appears in a government blacklist published in the Kenya Gazette notice number 2326 " as one of the entities associated with the terror group, Mahat Omar's does not, although there is an Ali Hassan Mahat.

A Muslim cleric alleged to have been involved in financing the Garissa University College terror attack in which Al-Shabaab terrorists killed 148 people has been detained in Nairobi to help police with investigations.

The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) on Monday got a 30-day extended detention order by a court against Sheikh Hassan Mahat Omar, who was arrested on Friday.

Police say he has "close links" with Mohammed Kuno, alias Sheikh Mahammad, alias Dulydin, alias Garmadhere, Al-Shabaab's leader in the Juba region of Somalia and the alleged mastermind of the recent terrorist attack at the learning institution.

Mr Omar and a Mr Ali Hassan Gure, who is yet to be presented in court, are involved in the financing of terrorism, the prosecution alleged in court on Monday.

"They are high-profile personalities and are believed to be key terrorism financiers in the country," a prosecutor said.

An affidavit presented before the court states that Mr Omar was arrested at his residence in Eastleigh on April 17, while Mr Gure was arrested around the Thika Road Mall on April 19 but he is yet to appear before police detectives investigating 85 people suspected to be associated with Al-Shabaab.

MOBILE PHONE SERVICE PROVIDER

The court heard that the ATPU believes that Mr Omar and Mr Gure are in constant communication with known Al-Shabaab adherents in the country.

The unit sought time to contact a mobile phone service provider and the financial crimes unit at Central Bank to shed light on their communication and financial transactions.

The court was told that Mr Omar is believed to be involved in "radicalisation" of youth and facilitating their "exodus" to Somalia.

The respondent is also believed to have obtained his identification documents fraudulently and his presence during investigations is crucial.

While Mr Gure's name appears in a government blacklist published in the Kenya Gazette notice number 2326 as one of the entities associated with the terror group, Mr Omar does not, although there is an Ali Hassan Mahat.

Mr Omar is facing a separate pending case in which he is accused being found in possession of two hand grenades alongside his wife, Fordosa Mohammed.

He has been ordered detained at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison until May 20.

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