Varsity student denies terror claims as police circulate his photo among wanted terrorists

A university student wanted over terror links has taken to the social media to deny the links.

Police had said they among others want Salad Tari Gufu for grilling over terrorists’ plans to attack Boni Forest following pressure they are facing in Somalia.

Police and intelligence officials said the terrorists are trooping to Lakta belt near Boni Forest in Lamu with an aim of attacking locals.

The terrorists have reportedly dispatched five militants to lead the planned attacks and police believe some of their relatives are involved in helping them sneak and hide in the country.

And to tame the plans police have circulated photographs of five men they claim are part of those planning the attacks. Authorities want the public to help them in tracing the whereabouts of the wanted men with a bounty of Sh2 million on each of them.

Those wanted include Abdikadir Mohamed aka Ikrima, Mohammed Tajir Ali, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi as well as brothers Salad Tari Gufu and Gufu Tari Gufu.

But a man claiming to be Salad Tari Gufu went to the social media denying he is a terrorist as claimed by police. He claimed he is a fourth year student at Moi University pursuing bachelor’s degree in the faculty of education.

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“As a citizen and a student, am being suspected for a crime that I am not even capable of. My friends know me and attest to my innocence. I therefore encourage you all to spread this message of truth).. SALAD WASN’T, ISN’T AND WON’T BE A TERRORIST,” he said in a Facebook post.

According to police, Salad had operated a studio in Marsabit and sold DVDs containing sermons of radical Muslim preachers.

Salad did not respond to our queries online.

He was also linked to a terror cell at Moi University, Eldoret, before it was dismantled in 2016.

The university cell was led by Mohammed Abdi Ali aka Abu Fidaa, an ISIS recruiter and who was arrested as he prepared a group of students to launch anthrax attacks in Kenya.

Gufu Tari Gufu, a brother to Salad ran to Somalia in 2013 from Marsabit County is also wanted as well as his cousin Hassan Jarso Kartola.

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According to police, Suleiman has other aliases including Habib, Maalim Zakariya and Jureij and is he is enlisted in Amniyaat, the terror group’s intelligence wing.

Police said Mohammed Tajir uses the names like Wahome and Abu Jaffar and has been in Somalia since 2009.

“Security agencies have intensified operations within the Lakta belt and overflowing into Boni enclave. They are looking for key Al-Shabaab operators, key amongst them Salad Tari Gufu,” a government report says.

The report added Kenyan relatives could be trying to aid the return of their brothers fighting alongside Al-Shabaab in Somalia so that they can join the war in Boni forest.

It also says their relatives in Kenya are sympathetic to their cause.

Mohammed Abubakar who also calls himself Bokoboko, Maulana Ipere, Mselem Bajinaf and Said Jamal Mwangi aka Jamalo are also wanted.

Meanwhile, Kenya Defence Forces say they have killed a senior Al-Shabaab commander in Somalia.

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Hassan Issack Ibrahim alas Beila who was in charge of Gelef area, was killed alongside two of his bodyguards in a joint operation with Juba Land Security Forces, officials said.

According to police, he was the force behind the hijacking of miraa vehicles on the Kenya-Somalia border especially at Diff, Hamey and Dhobley. He also reportedly led a number of attacks in Kenya.

An Ak-47 rijfle, a grenade and a mobile phone were found on the commander’s body, which was displayed to the public in Dhobley town on Wednesday.

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