A Moi University student whom police had named as one of six suspects planning to stage terrorist attacks was on Thursday arrested by anti-terror officers moments after he turned himself in.
Mr Salad Tari Gufu, 25, went to Huruma Police Station in the company of his two brothers, a nephew and two sisters early in the morning and officers of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit arrested him.
Before going to the station, Mr Gufu had told the Nation that he was innocent and that he wished to set the record straight with the police regarding the allegations.
“I am not involved in any terror activities and I am not armed like the police are saying. I am a student at Moi University and I have just completed my attachment waiting to resume my studies in September after the elections,” Mr Gufu said.
Police had placed a Sh2 million bounty on the student in the statement released on Wednesday and described him as a recruiter and a facilitator of a terror network. They had also said that he was out of the country and that his brother was trying to help him sneak back, an allegation he denied.
Mr Gufu said he had been in Nairobi and that he stayed indoors after police released a photo of him and five others linked to terrorism, for fear that he may be killed by police or victimised.
“I am a fourth year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the faculty of education at Moi University (main campus). I am being suspected of a crime that I am not even capable of … Salad wasn’t, isn’t and won’t be a terrorist,” he said in a post on Facebook.
In their statement, police had said that Mr Gufu opened a studio at Marsait market, secretly selling VCDs and DVDs of radical sheikhs who propagate jihad.
“He is also affiliated to Mohammed Abdi Ali aka Abu Fidaa, an online ISIL/ISIS recruiter. Abu Fidaa was arrested before he could launch an anthrax attack in Kenya in 2016,” the statement sent to newsrooms indicated.
On social media posts circulated on Facebook, the 25-year-old said he could not recall when and who made them, saying his account was once open and accessible to many people.
“The posts were made in 2013, when I had just cleared Form Four. I am ready to explain this to the police and I hope they’ll listen to me. I will provide all the information they need because I am sure I am innocent,” Mr Gufu said.
His half-brother Mohammed Suleiman suspected the police were linking Salad to terrorism because of his elder brother Gufu Tari Gufu, who is in Somalia.
“His brother went to Somalia years back. We had tried to look for him for a long time and we later learnt that he may have joined al-Shabaab. When Salad knew that, he dissociated with him and has not been communicating with him,” he said.