Suspected Al-Shabaab terrorist arrested in Lodwar
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL
Tension was high at a college in Lodwar town following the arrest of a man suspected of having links with the Al-Shabaab terror gang.
Moses Cheruiyot, the County Criminal Investigation Officer said the suspect identified as Evans (Osman) Kipkosgei Chemelei was arrested following a tip from a citizen.
Cheruiyot said that the citizen overheard the suspect as he spoke to a Muslim student near the institution.
“The suspect was said to have been speaking to a student near KMTC. He is reported to have asked about the number of Muslims in the school. Apparently he wanted the information as they were organizing some funds for the Ramadhan period. Somebody overheard the two speaking and was suspicious of the motive.
He reported the matter to our officers at Lodwar Police station,” said Mr. Cheruiyot.
He added that the lady who had talked to County Criminal Investigation Officer the suspect gave out his phone number and was later called in for questioning.
Andrew Omanga, the Deputy Administrator of Kenya Medical Training College in Lodwar, said he heard the matter and was forced to call back the student who had talked to the suspect.
“I called the girl who had talked to the suspect. She told me that the suspect had asked her about the number of Muslims in the school. I quickly rushed to college where I booked in the incident in the occurrence book because I saw it as a security threat,” said the administrator.
The Principal at KMTC, Mrs. Rachel Lomechu said that she was alerted on the issue by the administrator.
She quickly came to school to calm the situation as the students were scared and were not ready to spend the night there.
She added that she called the County AP Commander who sent four policemen to patrol the school.
“I was alerted at 7.30pm about the incident. I quickly rushed to school where I found a few students. The rest had panicked and had left the school to go and spend the night in town. I talked to them and assured them that they will be safe,” said the Principal.
The suspect according to Mr. Cheruiyot hails from Koisagat Village in Trans Nzoia County. He was born on 29th December, 1979. He is married and has three children. However, he is not registered as a Kenyan Citizen.
According to the suspect, he cannot register as a citizen until when he can be allowed to register as Osman. “The man claimed that when he was about to register for his ID, the registrar refused to register him as Osman as his birth certificate read Evans. He has vowed not to register until when he is allowed to register as Osman,” said The County Criminal Investigation Officer.
According to Mr. Cheruiyot the suspect was arrested and after interrogation, he was charged under no registration, as terrorism activities were not clear.
“Charges on terrorism were not clear and that is why we had to charge him with lacking proper registration. We are still conducting further investigations,” said Mr. Cheruiyot.
He has called on all people to be vigilant and to report suspicious persons to the authority.
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