Al Shabaab suspect charged with planning attack in Nairobi

Al Shabaab suspect charged with planning attack in Nairobi

A suspect believed to be a key Al Shabaab facilitator was Tuesday arraigned in court and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and giving support to a terrorist group.

Appearing before Nairobi Senior Resident Magistrate Helen Onkwani, Francis Macharia Karishu denied the charges and was detained pending determination of his bond terms on Thursday.

The accused is alleged to have conspired to stage a terror attack in Nairobi using a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that was nabbed in Merti, Isiolo County on February 15 this year.

The court heard that Karishu supported the Al-Shabaab militia group by making a forged Kenya National Identity card bearing the name an Al Shabaab member, Jirma Huka Galgalo, who is now deceased. He was also charged with forging the same ID.

Karishu, who was arrested in Kayole area, is alleged to have committed the offence on or before February 15, 2018 in Nairobi Central Business District.

The prosecution opposed Karishu’s release on grounds that he is facing serious offences and is therefore likely to abscond trial.

His lawyer objected the application opposing bond, but requested the court to grant him more time to go through the affidavit in order to make a proper response.

The court further heard that Karishu’s three associates Abdimajit Hassan Adan, Mohammed Osman Nane and Anthony Kitila Makau have already been arrested and charged.

The said vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was nabbed by police officers who were on patrol in Merti, Isiolo.

On approaching the vehicle, the occupants started firing at the police who returned fire killing one of the occupants.

During the shootout, some of the other occupants attempted to escape but police managed to arrest Adan and Nane (mentioned above) at the scene.

Upon searching the said vehicle, 5 AK47 riffles with 36 fully loaded magazines, 36 unprimed hand grenades, 7 projectile bombs-84mm, 40Kgs pipe bomb and a hotel room key for a hotel in Ngara area, Nairobi were recovered.

The case will be mentioned on May 24, 2018 for bond argument and consolidation with the other files.

The police had put a Ksh.1 million bounty on Karishu’s head.