Mandera locals hide Shabaab spies – Shisia
‘Those who plotted attack live within the community, executors came from Somalia’
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.
Residents look at the destruction following the attack on October 25 on the Bishaare lodging by Islamist extremists in Mandera