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How Shabaab is recruiting in Kenya

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Three Kenyans and two Somalis linked to the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Garissa County carried out the January attack claimed by Al-Shabaab on the DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi, according to United Nations experts.

A fourth Kenyan citizen based in Mandera County served as “a key financing link between al-Shabaab in Somalia and the attacking cell in Kenya,” adds a report by the UN experts released on November 12.

The findings lend some substance to Shabaab’s claim in June that it has recruited “an army of fighters from the Kenyan population itself.”

The Dusit attack also highlights what the UN experts describe as “a newly observed dimension of al-Shabaab’s recruitment strategy.”

“The possession of criminal skills, including knowledge of evading law enforcement, are privileged over ideology or affiliation with certain mosques or religious networks,” report says.

Ali Salim Gichunge, born in Isiolo in 1995, is named as the organiser and coordinator of the Dusit attack which left 26 people dead, including a suicide bomber and four gunmen.

“Unusually for a Kenyan operative within al-Shabaab,” the report notes, “Gichunge was given wide discretion and autonomy over the particulars of the plot — including the selection of the target — rather than being directly overseen from within Somalia.”

Gichunge and his wife, Violet Wanjiru, established a safe house in the Guango Estate, Muchatha, on the outskirts of Nairobi about nine months prior to the attack, the report finds.

Another Kenyan national, Osman Ibrahim Gedi, served as Gichunge’s lieutenant, the experts say.

The assault on the Dusit complex began at 3.28pm East African time on January 15 when a third Kenyan, Mombasa-born Mahir Khalid Riziki, detonated a suicide bomb, the report recounts.

Siyat Omar Abdi, a Somali born in the Dadaab refugee complex in 1992, was among the gunmen who stormed the hotel.

The UN experts say they obtained a Dadaab identification and ration card number attributed to Abdi through his fingerprint. But officials with the UN refugee programme in Dadaab say there is no record of Abdi in their databases, the report notes.

A fifth member of Shabaab’s Dusit attack unit has not been identified but is presumed to be of Somali origin, the report adds. This individual activated a new Kenyan mobile phone in Dadaab’s Dagahaley camp on December 15, 2018, according to the UN panel of experts.

Also implicated in the Dusit attack is Abdi Ali Mohamed, a Kenyan national based in Mandera. He used three phone numbers to transmit almost Sh70,000 to Shabaab cell leader Gichunge via M-Pesa, the report states.

“A conservative estimate of the total cost of the DusitD2 operation was between $45,000 and $50,000 (Sh4 million and Sh5 million),” the experts suggest.

Riziki, the suicide bomber, was recruited in 2014 by Ramadhan Hamisi Kufungwa, described in the report as “a well-known Kenyan Al-Shabaab recruiter now located in Somalia.”

The recruitment was centred on the Musa Mosque in Mombasa, which the experts say “has long been associated with radicalisation, recruitment for al-Shabaab, and religious violence.”

by nation.co.ke

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Man was ‘victim of domestic abuse’

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The family of a man who died after he drove his vehicle into the Indian Ocean last weekend, claims he had endured years of domestic abuse by his wife.

On Tuesday, the victim’s mother, Musangi Mutinda, accused her son’s wife of misrepresenting issues and being economical with the truth.

In an interview with the Nation newspaper at her Kyanika village home in Kitui County, the grieving mother said her son had been recovering from severe burns inflicted when his wife scalded him with hot water in November.

“My son died out of depression and despair because of the domestic violence and marital anguish he endured at home.

“It is, therefore, wrong for his wife to insinuate he had gone mad,” said Mrs Mutinda.

Mrs Musangi Mutinda, John Mutinda’s mother, during the interview on December 10, 2019. PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Saturday, the man stormed out of his house in Vanga Estate, Mombasa, at around 4 am, got into his vehicle, sped off towards the Likoni crossing, and drove into the ocean.

According to his relative, Bernard Kieti, he told his wife that he had ”received a call from his late father” before leaving the house in a huff.

“He was saying things that his wife could not comprehend when he left. The wife tried in vain to stop him,” Mr Kieti, who spoke on behalf of the family, said during an interview at the crossing.

But a visibly angry mother said the woman was the reason her son decided to take his own life. She said that life with her was unbearable.

While displaying photographs of her son, with burn wounds all over his chest, Mrs Mutinda said the wife’s misrepresentation of facts aggravated the pain of losing the father of three children.

“After she scalded him with hot water, she rushed to lodge a complaint at Central Police Station in Mombasa, prompting police to lock up my son for four days,” the mother said, adding that he was released without charges.

Mrs Mutinda urged police in Mombasa to investigate her daughter-in-law over the alleged domestic abuse and release the findings of the post-mortem for the truth to be known.

Her story was corroborated by the victim’s siblings, who rejected the narrative of mental disturbance but regretted not intervening earlier to keep him from giving up on his life.

Ruth Mueni breaks down after her husband’s body was retrieved from the ocean at the Likoni Channel on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Contacted for comment, Ms Mueni acknowledged they had marital issues but insisted the media should let her mourn her husband in peace.

She declined to discuss why she scalded her late husband with hot water, only saying she needed time to explain the circumstances to her mother-in-law and other family members who complained about her.

“Who has given you those photos? This is a private family issue. I cannot talk at the moment because I am at a police station organising the postmortem,” she said, adding the media should not bother her as she mourns her husband.

According to the Kenya Ferry Services, Mr Mutinda, 46, drove straight into the sea at around 4.20 am Saturday without paying for the ticket.

Soon after the incident, officers from the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police Marine swung into action.

The victim’s body was retrieved shortly after 9 am and taken to Jocham Hospital mortuary.

By nation

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Justin Muturi’s encounter with Uganda’s famous kneeling culture

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Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, was recently treated to a famous Ugandan culture when a male adult knelt before him.

Muturi is currently leading the Kenya contingent that is competing at the East Africa Assembly Games in Kampala.

While on a tour of the Vipers Stadium, alongside his Ugandan counterpart Rebecca Kadaga, Muturi sat and watched as a smiling chap knelt before Kadaga in a bid to help her sign the guest book at the venue.

Kneeling before adults, especially prominent personalities, is a common occurrence in Uganda.

As part of the practice, women are encouraged to kneel before their husbands while exchanging greetings and when serving them food.

By NN

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Jowie to spend Christmas and New Year at Manyani Prison

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The family of murder suspect Joseph Irungu alias Jowie, has cried foul after he was moved from Kamiti Maximum Prison to Manyani.

Manyani Prison is in Taita Taveta County.

Jowie has been at Kamiti Maximu Prison since 2018 after he was arrested in connection to the murder of Monicah Kimani.

Jowie

He was arrested as police could not corroborate his claim of being shot in the shoulder at Langata which he reported at Lang’ata Police Station.

Joseph Irungu alias Jowie’s family members broke down in court on Tuesday as he is was denied bail.

Jowie has remained behind bars during the trial period.

Justice James Wakiaga said he agreed with the prosecutor that Jowie is a man with access to guns and therefore witnesses would be afraid to testify against such a person.

Below are reasons why Jowie was denied bail.

1 He might interfere with the case.

2. He is a threat to himself.

“THE FIRST ACCUSED IS NURSING A GUNSHOT WOUND WHICH ACCORDING TO THE PROSECUTION IS  SELF INFLICTED IN AN ATTEMPT TO COMMIT SUICIDE.

BUT ACCORDING TO THE ACCUSED IT IS AS A RESULT OF AN UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT AFTER HE WAS SHOT AT.

Jowie in court
Jowie in court

Wakiaga added,

WHICHEVER WAY YOU LOOK AT IT THE ACCUSED PERSON IS UNDER THREAT OF DANGER AND SHOULD BE UNDER CLOSE SUPERVISION AND THAT CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED UNDER PROTECTIVE CUSTODY WHERE EFFECTIVE POLICING IS POSSIBLE.”

3. He has no permanent residence given the fact that Jacque Maribe’s house is now a crime scene so the court fears he might be a flight risk in layman’s language anaweza potea.

4. He is a dangerous person for the fact that he owns a gun and some potential witnesses might feel intimidated.

5. There was no tabled evidence to show that Jowie could not be able to access specialized medical attention.

He had submitted that he was in need of specialized medical attention thus he be granted bail.

By Mpasho

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