By ANTHONY KITIMO firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted Tuesday, January 25 2011 at 21:00
- They were quizzed in connection with alleged recruitment of Kenyan youths for al-Shabaab
Two men were held by the anti-terrorism police in Mombasa and interrogated in connection with alleged recruitment of local youth for the al-Shabaab insurgents in neighbouring Somalia.
Sheikh Ali Bahero and Sheikh Binluli Abudlrazak were picked up on Monday night and questioned before being released on Tuesday morning.
The officers pounced on Sheikh Bahero at Bakarani Mosque shortly after evening prayers and took him to the Coast provincial police headquarters.
Sheikh Abulrazak was arrested shortly after he and other Muslim leaders visited Sheikh Bahero at the police headquarters.
A number of sheikhs and preachers were barred from entering the station where the two were being questioned before being transferred to two different police stations.
Sheikh Bahero was moved to Port Police Station for further questioning while Sheikh Abdulrazak was taken to Railway Police Station.
Sheikh Bahero, who was being held for the second time for the same charges, is alleged to have recorded a CD urging local youths to support their counterparts in Somalia.
In an interview shortly after he was released, he denied he was urging youths to support al-Shabaab.
“On my CD, I only urge youths to support Somalia since it is a Muslim country,” said Sheikh Bahero, adding that Islam advocates togetherness regardless of boundaries.
Sheikh Bahero complained of harassment by the police during the interrogation.
“I urge the police to conduct their investigation and have evidence before arresting anybody over serious claims such as terrorism instead of forcing people to accept the allegations.”
In 2008, Sheikh Bahero was held and interrogated for allegedly having weapons but was released after he was found innocent.
Commenting on the incident on Monday, Sheikh Abdulrazak said police discriminated against Muslims and urged them to distinguish between religion and terrorism.
“We are asking the police not to interfere with Muslims and arrest those who are terrorists,” he said.
Sheikh Omar Hassan, a Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya official, asked Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere to direct the anti-terrorism officers to act professionally and stop arresting people without gathering adequate evidence.
“We do not what harassment of our leaders on false allegations,” he said.Coast provincial police boss Aggrey Adoli declined to give details until investigations were concluded Nation
US warns of possible February attacks by al-Qaida-linked Somali extremists in Burundi, Uganda
WASHINGTON — The United States is warning Americans of the potential for terrorist attacks in the east African nations of Burundi and Uganda next month, possibly by Somali extremists with links to al-Qaida.
The U.S. embassies in Bujumbura, in Burundi, and Kampala, in Uganda, issued near identical alerts to Americans on Tuesday. The warnings say that regional terror groups remain actively interested in attacking U.S. interests in Burundi and Uganda.
The notices name the Somalia-based al-Shabab as a threat during February. Neither alert was more specific.
Burundi and Uganda are the main troop contributors to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. The peacekeepers are trying to support the weak Somali government in its fight against al-Shabab.
Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in Somalia and co-ordinated bombings in Uganda.