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Mandera police fail to link 3 suspects to terrorism

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Police in Mandera County have failed to link three people, who have been in custody since January, to terrorism.

Ali Ibrahim Ibrahim, Abdikarim Maalim Hassan and Edin Ibrein Dalacha were apprehended during a security operation to weed out Al-Shabaab militants in Banisa and Takaba.

On January 21, the Mandera Law Courts allowed police to hold the three terror suspects in order to complete investigations.

Police had alleged that the three were linked to the terror group following incidents in Banisa and Takaba.

Mr Ibrahim was charged with giving false information to a State officer before Mandera Senior Resident Magistrate Kimani Mukabi.

Mr Dalacha, an Ethiopian, pleaded guilty to two charges – being in Kenya illegally and entering the country through an illegal point.

On Thursday, however, State counsel Charles Mogaka failed to prefer terrorism charges against the three.

Mr Mogaka asked the court to release Mr Hassan, saying investigations by a multi-agency security team failed to link him to terrorism and that it was found that he had not committed any other crime.

He preferred lesser charges against the other two suspects.

The case was earlier delayed after the prosecutor informed the court that he was awaiting formal communication on the course of action.

Police reports

When police first produced the three in court on January 21, officer Boaz Kurga of the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) said they were suspected members of a terror group.

The police officer asked the court to grant police 20 days to continue holding them for investigations but the court gave 14 days.

The officer told the court that Mr Ibrahim was arrested on January 17 at Shimbir Fatuma township upon arrival from Banisa.

He claimed in a sworn affidavit that a tip-off from reliable sources indicated that he was involved in an Al-Shabaab attack on January 11, where the occupants of a personal car were kidnapped in Banisa.

But on Thursday, the prosecutor said the suspect was being charged with giving false information to a police officer during investigations.

He was accused of giving a false name and ID number for his mother.

Mr Mogaka said Ibrahim’s mother was not Saada Maalim Issack, but Hawa Farah Mohamed, as confirmed by the office of the registrar of persons in Nairobi.

Both Mr Ibrahim and Mr Dalacha will be sentenced on Monday after a probation officer presents a report on them, with details of a motorcycle that the latter was found with.

Police claimed that Mr Dalacha used the motorcycle to supply the militants with food and water in their hideouts within Banisa.

He was found with a red Bajaj motorcycle, registration KMEJ 099J, but could not produce any document to prove ownership.

Police said intelligence reports showed the three were in constant communication with unknown persons in Somalia and that they needed to analyse their phones, but the prosecution did not produce a report on this.

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