6 July 2012

Kenya Investigating Suspects On U.S. Terror List

Nairobi — Kenya said Friday it was compiling evidence against three nationals slapped with US sanctions over alleged terrorism links, with intention of charging them in court.

Defence Minister who is also acting in the Internal Security docket Yussuf Haji said the three, particularly Aboud Rogo Mohammed were on a terror watch-list, and have been "wanting to see me dead."

"As you know I am one of the victims of those people, there is this (Rogo) clergy in Mombasa who has been telling people that I am kafir (non-believer) and I should be killed simply because I am doing my job," the Minister told journalists when asked to comment about the sanctions on the three suspected terrorists.

"God is great, before they catch me, they are going to be dealt with by the UN as reported. So it is true (sanctions have been placed) and we are very happy that they are going to be dealt with accordingly," he added.

Haji could not state how soon the government intended to act on them, only saying: "Details will come later, as you know cases have to be built until there is enough evidence and action will be taken accordingly."

The United States placed sanctions Thursday on Rogo, Abubaker Sharif Ahmed and Omar Awadh Omar for allegedly aiding Al-Shabaab.

Other backers of Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels in Somalia also consist of two Eritrean government officials and a Sudanese national.

Rogo Mohammed, an Islamic cleric; Omar and Ahmed are named as important facilitators and recruiters for Shabaab.

capital fmOmar is jailed in Uganda awaiting trial for his alleged role in the attack on World Cup fans watching a match in Kampala on July 11, 2010. Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which left 74 dead.

The US Treasury said the sanctions, freezing any US-located assets of the six and forbidding any US business or individual from having dealings with them, were aimed at helping halt the conflict in Somalia and efforts to dismantle Al Shabaab.

"The United States is determined to target those who are responsible for the ongoing bloodshed and instability in Somalia," said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The Treasury also named Eritrean colonel Tewolde Habte Negash as an intelligence officer who "funnels money to" groups opposed to Somalia's struggling transitional federal government.

"Col. Negash was the principal architect of the government of Eritrea's relationship with al-Shabaab in Mogadishu in 2006, and he has been the principal coordinator of financial and logistical support to a number of armed groups, including al-Shabaab, since 2004."

The other Eritrean is Col. Taeme Abraham Goitom, named as a key player in the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, which is also fighting the transitional federal government.

A third figure is Suhayl Salim Abd-El-Rahman, also called Abu Faris, whom the Treasury said was a "Somalia-based Sudanese extremist" who aids foreign fighters that want to join up with the Shabaab.

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