Police name Mombasa radical sheikh
Police yesterday named Sheikh Iman Ali as one of three clerics engaging in recruitment and radicalisation of Muslim youths in Majengo area of Mombasa.
Mombasa county commander Robert Kitur said Sheikh Ali who hails from Kikambala area has in the past conducted prayers at the Masjid Shuhadaa former known as Masjid Musa and and Masjid Mujahedeen formerly known as Masjid Sakina in Majengo area.
The three clerics are described as “fiery” and command huge followers from majority of radical youths in Mombasa county.
Kitur said detectives have obtained their Jihad sermons preaching violence and recorded in a CD delivered at various mosques.
“Our officers have finished profiling him and are awaiting more witnesses to build their case before he is apprehended and charged in court of law,” said Kitur.
He said the imam has been positively identified and several key witnesses are lined up to testify against him in court including undercover police officers and moderate Muslim clerics.
According to police, Sheikh Ali delivered sermons at Masjid Shuhadaa where he vowed to revenge the killing of controversial cleric Sheikh Abubakar Sharif Makaburi by beheading Kufar (non muslims).
Multiple police sources confirmed Sheikh Ali, a madrasa teacher, is believed to have been installed to take over the mantle from late Makaburi who was killed by unknown assailants.
Addressing a security meeting on Sunday, Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa said police are still monitoring activities at Masjid Shuhadaa believed to be the hotbed for radicalization and are trailing more radical preachers.
He said police are concerned with illegal secret meetings being held regularly at the mosque by at least six suspected radical youths from Majengo.
“Our intelligence has gathered crucial information on the youth who spend most of the times at the mosque where they even spent a night. We are questioning their motive,” Marwa said.
He urged Muslim clerics to assist in establishing responsible committees to run mosques.
The development comes after an alleged al Shabaab video showed uniformed and equipped fighters from Kenya warning of impending terror attack in the country. The video produced by Al-Kataib Foundation labeled Mujahideen Movement Three, promoted the September 2013 raid on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi and warns of additional attacks in Kenya.
The video recording in Swahili language attempts to woo more Kenyans youths to join the militants and fight the incursion of Kenyan troops in Somalia.
Senior police officers believe the masked youths captured in the 11 minutes and 40 seconds video are Kenyans and mostly from Majengo area in Mombasa.
“We had previously warned that Nairobi will be targeted. So we entered and made you taste death and destruction and here you are crying whilst we are full of joy,” said one of the armed youths in fluent kiswahili as he brandished deadly arsenal.
Sources within police circles confirmed that a Kenyan identified as Faud Abubakar from Mombasa is likely to be leading the Kenyan youth wing in Somalia.
Abubakar was arrested with British terror suspect Jermaine Grant with explosive as they plotted terror attack in Mombasa 2012 before he jumped bail and sneaked into Somalia..
Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi yesterday said security agencies will analyse the footage released recently before commenting.
At the same time, at least 660 people were arrested during Easter holiday in renewed counter terrorism efforts in Mombasa county.
Kitur said 472 will be charged today with various offences including being in the country illegal. He said 188 people were released after they were screened and profiled by a special unit established to coordinate the operation.