Four men were charged at a Kenyan court on Monday over recruitment of youths to join the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab.
The four men named as Abdulrahman Aboud Lali, Abubakar Famau, Sultwan Aboud Mzamil, and Abdillahi Mohamed Islam, were charged in a court in Lamu after they were arrested by Kenyan counter-terrorism police and military officers over the weekend at a roadblock.
The four men were responsible for training the youths to become al Shabaab militants that have been carrying out frequent attacks in the Kenyan region.
The al Shabaab militants killed 148 people last month when they attacked Garissa University.
A Kenyan investigative officer told the court that the four men have been recruiting youths from Hindi and Mokowe to join al Shabaab, adding that the charged men hold crucial leads that will enable investigators to arrest more terror suspects in Lamu.
He was referring to villages that were among the worst hit during last year’s attacks in the area, claimed by al Shabaab, in which at least 60 people were killed.
The four men, who were also accused of being al Shabaab sympathizers, denied all the charges.
Kenyan counter-terrorism officers had confiscated literature and other material that linked the four to acts of terrorism and alliances with the al shabaab.
The court ordered the four men detained until Tuesday when it rules on their request for release on bond.
Abdulrahman Aboud Lali is a local politician who had vied for the Lamu senate seat during Kenya’s last general elections but lost.