Man­dera lo­cals hide Shabaab spies – Shisia

‘Those who plot­ted at­tack live within the com­mu­nity, ex­ecu­tors came from So­ma­lia’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

Al Shabaab in­for­mants op­er­ate freely in Man­dera with res­i­dents’ knowledge and ben­e­fit from their shel­ter, county com­mis­sioner Fredrick Shisia has said.

“Even in the most re­cent at­tack in Bishaare Lodge, those who plot­ted and iden­ti­fied the ar­eas of at­tack re­side within the com­mu­nity. Only the ex­ecu­tors came from So­ma­lia. Sus­pects are be­ing in­ter­ro­gated,” he said.

Shisia said res­i­dents con­cealed this in­for­ma­tion. “A Shabaab uses in­tim­i­da­tion and pro­pa­ganda, thus res­i­dents are scared of giv­ing any in­for­ma­tion, even when they get knowledge of their where­abouts,” he told the Star.

Shisia said he has re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that Man­dera traders pay an “op­er­a­tional fee” to the mili­tia. He warned the traders against fa­cil­i­tat­ing the group’s eco­nomic sur­vival.

“We are gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion on those traders paying a fee to the mili­tia ... if we ar­rest you, then you will have to face the law,” Shisia said.

Res­i­dents who spoke to the Star con­firmed the pos­si­bil­ity of the group’s in­for­mants liv­ing among them. They said, how­ever, that they would not dare give in­for­ma­tion to se­cu­rity per­son­nel as al Shabaab is well or­gan­ised and has spies liv­ing within the com­mu­nity.

“... if you dare open your mouth on their where­abouts, they come af­ter you and your fam­ily. Thus, most peo­ple pre­fer to re­main silent,” one res­i­dent said.

/ FILE

Res­i­dents look at the de­struc­tion fol­low­ing the at­tack on Oc­to­ber 25 on the Bishaare lodg­ing by Is­lamist ex­trem­ists in Man­dera

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