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Man arrested after asking for directions to Somalia

Be careful of what you ask

Backstone Agaro during his court hearing at a Mandera court (Nation)

A man identified as Backstone Agaro was on Friday arrested in Mandera County over asking for directions to Somalia.

Reports stated that officers apprehended Agaro over the suspicion he was an Al Shabaab spy inquiring for directions.

An officer attached to the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) Elijah Nakeel through a sworn affidavit, stated that the 53-year-old was nabbed at a bus stage in Mandera town on March 6 after travelling from Garissa.


“The suspect came into Mandera from Garissa aboard a Tawakal company bus and immediately after alighting he inquired for directions to Somalia,” read a part of the affidavit.

The suspect was arraigned before Mandera Resident Magistrate Dancun Mtai who ruled that he would be detained for seven days to facilitate investigations on whether he is linked to the terror group.

Agaro had however denied the claims and pointed out that he was a carpenter and had been asking for a place to stay and not as claimed by the police.

“I was asking for a place to sleep and not the direction to Somalia because we arrived in town at night and I was new here,” stated Agaro.

Man suspected to be doing surveillance for Al-Shabaab


Nakeel had pointed out that the man had been found in possession of a notebook that had a recording of other towns he had been to and did not have a mobile phone.

“He did not have a mobile phone which we suspected he hid or in order to hide his movements from security agencies,” explained Nakeel.

The officer reiterated that the old man was a suspected Al-Shabaab spy who had been doing surveillance in the region and the country at large to aid the terror organisation in carrying out attacks.


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