Police in Kenya have arrested a terrorist linked to the Islamic State terror group, whom they described as a key link in its financing as well as human trafficking cartel.
Ali Hussein Ali, alias “The Trusted One” was arrested on March 27 together with his accomplices Ibrahim Abasheikh Mukhtar and Abdi Mohamed Yusuf (aka Dader) in Malindi during a joint operation by Kenyan and other security agencies.
“He played a key role in the Magafe network in facilitating the travel of recruits from Kenya to Somalia to join ISIS in Libya as well as facilitating illegal immigrants to entre Europe via Libya,” a statement by the National Police Service Spokesman George Kinoti said.
He went on: “He (Ali) facilitates the transfer of money linked to an IS network and traversed several countries including South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Dubai and Libya. The money is transferred through various countries before reaching Libya, in order to conceal the transaction trail.”
The terrorist, Mr Kinoti said, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and entered Kenya in 2010 as a tourist, before moving to South Africa, Sudan and finally Tripoli, Libya where he joined IS.
He then came back to Kenya in November 2016, becoming a key agent for the terrorist organisation and the Magafe human trafficking network in Libya.
“Ali and Mukthtar (his accomplice) houses illegal immigrants in lodges within Eastleigh, Malindi and other areas facilitating their travel to Syria and Europe. The immigrants travel through Kampala via Busia and thereafter to Juba, and finally into Libya,” Mr Kinoti said.
Mr Kinoti described Mukhtar as a businessman who landed in Watamu.
“He uses his houses to accommodate the terrorists and recruits who are waiting to be smuggled to Libya to join IS,” the statement said.
Yusuf, the other accomplice, also known as Dader, is said to be a long distance driver and a personal driver to Ali.
“He is involved in ferrying of recruits from one destination to another and has links with ISIS and Al-Shabaab agents in Libya and Somalia,” Mr Kinoti said.
The group, the police said, has formed an elaborate ransom seeking cartel where recruits’ and illegal immigrants’ families are asked to send as much as between Sh250,000 and Sh700,000.
“Security agencies have established about 10 families in Kenya are currently being extorted to raise money to pay for ransom. Some of the recruits, whose parents paid ransom, perished at the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross over to Europe,” said Mr Kinoti.