The government has rescued five youth who were moving into Somalia to join terrorist group Al Shabaab.
5 teenagers rescued as government dismantles Alshabaab recruitment syndicate
The youth who had lured to join Al-Shabaab were intercepted after state agencies dismantled a youth radicalization network in Siaya County where the operation has been taking place.
Siaya County Commissioner Michael ole Tialal told The Standard that the recruitment cell was formed one year ago and tried to smuggle the five youth (all from Nyadorera in Siaya) into Somalia. They were intercepted at Oyugis market in Homa Bay County.
“We used our intelligence information to scuttle their plans through government machinery and blocked them from leaving the country,” Said Mr Tialal.
He further revealed the youth had also received information that the police were looking for them, so when they reached Oyugis and realized they had been cornered, they returned to Nyadorera.
He added that the five were under police surveillance and that they were among the youths set to benefit from a Sh19 million youth and women empowerment programme for Kisumu and Siaya counties.
The programe is being funded by the European Union through the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and Lake Basin Development Authority.
The programme is targeting youth and women vulnerable and easy targets as recruits into terrorist groups.
“They are still in Nyadorera and are being profiled. We have their individual profiles and we know who they are. They have already reformed and must be kept busy by ensuring they receive the equipment being donated by the empowerment programme,” said the administrator.
Tialal said Nyadorera, a small but busy market, was now on the government radar because of the recruitment cells.
“The person recruiting was once taken to Somalia from Nyadorera and was trained years ago before he came back as a converted Muslim,” he said.
Mr Tialal said the government’s security agencies were closely monitoring two individuals, including a self-styled Muslim preacher said to be behind the radicalisation network.
One of the suspects being investigated is based in Busia town while the other is said to be operating from Nyadorera market on the border of Siaya and Busia counties.
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