Al-Shabaab kidnaps chief's brother in Kenya

Reuters Photo: Civilians approach security officers to be questioned at a roadblock near the site where gunmen abducted two Cuban doctors as they were on their way to work, in Mandera county, Kenya, April 12, 2019.

NAIROBI, Kenya - Suspected Al-Shabaab militants have kidnapped a brother to a senior administrator in Garissa, authorities reported, with Kenya increasing surveillance along the porous border with Somalia which the fighters have been using to intensify their radical agenda.

According to officials, the militants raided the home of Mr. Yakub Kussow, the chief of Yumbis in the Fafi constituency, and abducted Abdirashid Hassan Hanshi alias Juma, his brother who was at the scene during the incident. The militants were pursuing the chief.

“They were targeting the administrator but failed to get him, and instead abducted his brother whom they later killed at the outskirts of the Trading Centre,” the report read in part.

Sources within security teams say the incident happened at least five days after intelligence reports indicated that the militants would attack the area. It is not clear why the security teams within the region did not respond to the alert, despite having prior information.

The militants have been threatening members of the National Police Service, National Police Reservists, and the local administrators, locals confirmed. Equally, locals have made reports that they recently sighted five Al Shabaab militants who were armed with AK47 rifles within Sabuli Trading Center.

This comes at a time when a memo was sent to all senior officers within Wajir County to be vigilant as Al Shabaab might attack an area known as Habaswein. The militants have been carrying sporadic attacks within Kenya as they face pressure from Somalia due to ongoing operations.

The memo sent to administrators in the area asked the officers to ensure that they conduct patrols within the area where the militants are believed to be planning to make attacks. Officers were also asked to always escort Public Service Vehicles and activate the Nyumba Kumi initiative.

Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki recently announced that Kenya will be deploying elite Special Forces along the border with Somalia, particularly in Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, and Lamu counties. The Al-Shabaab have lost significant territories in recent weeks according to authorities in Somalia.


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