Three Kenyan-born US citizens have been arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Michigan for attempting to travel and facilitate the travel of one of them to Somalia to join the Islamic State in Somalia locally referred to as Abnaa Ul Calipha. The three arrested were arraigned in court and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The three are naturalized US-citizens born in Kenya
First to be arrested was Muse Abdikadir Muse alias Muse Muse 23 years old which led to the arrest of his co-conspirators Mohamud Abdikadir Muse (Mohamud Muse) 20, and Mohamed Salat Haji (Haji) 26. It was revealed that Muse Muse was arrested at Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan as he attempted to travel to Mogadishu, Somali by rerouting to several other destinations. On the other hand, the other two were arrested as at the same airport terminal shortly after dropping their comrade at the airport.
Videos of the three suspects pledging allegiance to ISIS especially the branch active in Somalia were uncovered in what is seen as evidence of premeditation to be members of a terror organization. It is important to note that other than facilitating the travel to Somalia, a country with ISIS and Al Qaeda presence, material recovered from their houses revealed a plot of martyrdom by the three in the US.
Additional material recovered by the JTTF revealed that the three had worked a plot to use car bombs and ram into ‘non-believers’ in the event the initial plan to travel to Somalia failed or was botched. The charges brought against them carry a heavy sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The arrests come as Kenya intensifies her fight against jihadist regardless of allegiances (al Qaeda or ISIS). Moreover, in recent months, ISIS in Somalia has been making headway in taking control of territories and poaching fighters from rival al Shabaab. The arrests are anticipated to headlight intelligence mainly the terrorism financiers, recruiting rings and networks as well as likely cells in the diaspora community. Speculation has surrounded the extent of involvement and radicalization of Kenyan and Somali-born ‘Muslims’ and Somalis in facilitating and providing material, manpower and or material support to both al Shabaab and ISIS operations in Somalia as well as cells across the Horn of Africa region.
The arrests are evidence of multi-national cooperation and joint effort in eradicating and dealing with global terrorism. The FBI has on numerous occasions relied on intelligence from the East African region especially Kenya to track down and dismantle terror cells in their homeland. Kenya has been active in addressing the issue of terrorism both within and outside her borders seeing as she has troops under AMISOM in Somalia fighting al Shabaab.