Four men, among them a politician were on Monday arraigned before a court in Lamu to answer charges of recruiting youth to join the Somalia Islamist militant group, al shabaab.
Abdulrahman Aboud Lali, 43, Abubakar Famau, 40, Sultwan Aboud Mzamil, 25, and Abdillahi Mohamed Islam, 29, were arrested by a combination of Anti Terrorism Police Officers (ATPU) and military officers on April 30 at a roadblock as they headed to Mombasa from Lamu.
Among them was a local politician, Abdulrahman Aboud Lali, who vied for the senate in the last general elections but lost to the current Lamu senator Abubakar Chiaba.
The four, who had been held at the Mpeketoni police station before they were arraigned on Monday, also faced charges of being al shabaab sympathisers.
Al shabaab militants killed at least 100 people in Mpeketoni in June and July last year, in attacks which government said bore the marks of local political coordination.
“We strongly believe they have been recruiting youth from Hindi and Mokowe to join al shabaab. We also believe they hold crucial leads that will enable us to arrest more terror suspects in Lamu,” Kennedy Chikola, the investigating officer, said in court.
Chikola said they had confiscated material that linked the four to acts of terrorism and alliances with the terrorist group, and asked the court to detain the suspects for seven more days as they concluded investigations.
The four denied the charges and magistrate David Ireri directed that they be held at the Lamu police station until Tuesday when the court will decide on their request for bond.