Five youths from Isiolo County who were en-route to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab have been intercepted by the Anti Terror Police Unit (ATPU). The suspects all aged below 20 years are from Tulloroba and Chechelesi areas of Isiolo, neighbourhoods where several youth were reported missing last year. According to Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya, the suspects were in two groups at the time of their arrest.
Three were arrested Tuesday shortly after they cancelled their mission at Sericho, along the Garba Tulla-Isiolo road some kilometers to Garissa and returned home while two others were intercepted last week at Bute, Wajir County while travelling to Somalia. He said those arrested at Bute have confirmed that they were on a mission to cross over to Somalia for recruitment but the three who returned voluntarily were under close surveillance. “The three young people admitted that they were on transit to Somalia but changed their minds along the way,” added the Commissioner.
The suspects currently in custody have been subjected to the multi-agency team for interrogation. Detectives are presently investigating suspected recruiters believed to be recruiting young people in Isiolo and smuggling them to Somalia as Al-Shabaab fighters. “We were celebrating that cases of violent extremism and radicalization had declined but we suspect that recruiters are taking advantage of Ramadhan to lure and mislead young people into joining the terror group,” he added.