Terror suspects in the country’s Northeastern region after seizing
Bomb explosive materials. Northeastern police boss Leo
Nyongesa said they are questioning a Sudanese and his two Kenyan accomplices for possessing materials which can be used to make bomb. "We arrested the three on Friday because they were found carrying materials which if assembled can make a bomb," Nyongesa told Xinhua by telephone.
Sources said the Sudanese who was arrested in Liboi border near the Kenya-Somalia frontier was found in possession of wires, gun powder and other accessories used in making hard grenades.
The authorities said the suspect, whose arrest came two days after the police issued a terror alert warning that Al Shabaab terrorists have threatened to bomb public places particularly during the Easter holiday, had a Sudanese passport which had not been stamped at the border through which he is believed to have entered the country.
The arrest came after Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said there was a potential threat by the Al Shabaab militants and urged members of the public to be vigilant, especially when visiting congested places.
Iteere said police headquarters had received credible intelligence reports that the terrorists were planning possible violent attacks at shopping malls, places of worship, recreational areas and even government buildings.
Twice hit by al Qaeda attacks, Kenya is wary of its lawless neighbor Somalia and is among countries in the region supporting the fight against the al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.
Kenya has in the recent past admitted that the threat of terror attacks targeting the country remains real but has moved to assure that security personnel are on high alert.
The militia group has said before that it would attack Kenya but so far has never done so.
Last year, suspected Al Shabaab members bombed Uganda in twin attacks that killed nearly 80 people. It said it was in retaliation for Kampala providing peacekeeping troops that have helped Somalia’s government stay in power.
The last few weeks have seen Kenya suffer incursions by the Al Shabaab militia from neighboring Somalia with heavy fighting reported near the border town of Mandera.
Kenya’s border with Somalia has been officially closed since January 2007, but civilians fleeing the upsurge in fighting between Somalia’s transitional government and the Al Shabaab militia in south-central Somalia have been arriving in Kenya in rising numbers.
Somalia is in the throes of one of the worst upsurges in violence in recent years, with fierce fightings between Al Shabaab militias and the African Union-backed government forces.
The majority of Somalis fleeing violence are housed in Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya. Dadaab was originally built to house 90,000 refugees, but it now has about 330,000.
The camp facilities are under huge strain, and UNHCR, donors, and the Kenyan government has been locked in negotiations for nearly two years over the need for more land to expand the camps.
Somali refugees registering in Dadaab with UNHCR are automatically granted refugee status in Kenya on a prima facie basis. But failure to register within 30 days may lead to prosecution for unlawful presence in Kenya.
by Daniel Ooko and Stephen Ingati