Kenyan police have launched a manhunt for three al-Shabab recruiters who are behind a syndicate luring youths to join the terror gang in Somalia.
Malindi divisional police commander Matawa Muchangi said on Tuesday evening alleged the three coordinated a plan to recruit the recently rescued 13 youths unknowingly to join the al-Shabab in Somalia.
Muchangi said the returnees aged between 18 to 38 years who were rescued by Kenya Defense Force (KDF) on Monday were reportedly lured by a resident in the Coastal county of Malindi.
“They were on Tuesday flown from Kiunga in a KDF chopper and brought to Malindi and are currently being held at the Malindi Police station pending to be reunited with their families,” Muchangi said by phone.
Two among the 13 are reportedly from Bargoni in Hindi area in Lamu County while the remaining 11 are from Malindi.
Kilifi County Commissioner Magu Mutindika said the youth had been recruited into the militant group where they are said to have been tortured and subjected to different extremist activities.
The police said the returnees were recruited on March 26 and KDF managed to rescue them on April 29 after some reported to their families and the matter brought to the attention of security personnel.
The East African nation has warned that attacks as threatened by the Somalia-based terrorist group could affect the country’s risk profile, limiting the number of new investments being made especially by foreign investors.
The authorities have also warned that the attacks could further reduce the number of tourism visitors, affecting the planned attraction of more than 2 million tourists targeted in the next five years. Enditem