Court has detained for 30 days a Muslim cleric from Marsabit arrested over his alleged involvement with the Somali terror group Al-shabaab.
Senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku issued the order to detain Sheikh Guyo Gorsa for a month to enable Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) complete the investigation.
While making the application, state counsel Duncan Ondimu told the court that the suspect was arrested on 13th January 2018 at Madarassa Toba in Marsabit County pursuant to credible intelligence information that he was involved in terrorism related activities within the country.
The court heard that the Sheikh is alleged to be involved in radicalization of youths in Marsabit and its environs.
The state counsel said the intelligence report so far received show that the religious leader has been in constant communication with a number of well-known terrorists based in Somalia and some within the country
“The police at the time of his arrest seized his mobile phone which was fitted with a SIM card and SD card and are yet to be fully subjected for forensic examination and a report on the same obtained,” Ondimu added.
The court heard that the Muslim cleric and his associates have been planning attacks within the country and were further planning more attacks in the country and there is a need to carry out detailed interviews with him in a view to arrest his co- conspirators.
Shiekh is being investigated on conspiracy to commit a terrorist Act, radicalization, recruitment of members to a terrorist group and membership of a terrorist group.
Ondimu told the court the above offences attract a sentence of a term not exceeding 30 years each.
He added the evidence and intelligence information so far received by police showed that the violent riots that occurred in Marsabit town, were instigated by the close associates of the suspect who are currently being sought by security agencies and the release of Shiekh on bail will jeopardize their arrest and investigations.
He said that at the time of the arrest of the suspect, riots were reported at Marsabit town by about 400 youths who attacked police officers, the group also tried to attack Marsabit police station but were successfully repulsed by police officers.
The court heard that the same youth who were acting on the suspect’s instructions damaged a local Catholic Cathedral, several businesses, vehicles belonging to National Police Service were damaged extensively and one of the vehicle was burnt to ashes.
Ondimu also told the court that several police officers sustained serious injuries and some are currently admitted in the hospital following the same riots. He said that National Police Service firearm was stolen by the group of riot youths.
The court heard that pursuant to the violent riots that occurred there was death of one individual and the circumstances of the death are currently being investigated.
“That the activities of the suspect who is an influential person in Marsabit and his associates pose a great risk to the National Security and security of the entire peace loving human race in the world and his action must be fully investigated,” said Ondimu.
Responding to the application, Shiekh, through his lawyers led by Chacha Muita strongly opposed the application, saying that prosecution had not tabled compelling reasons to warrant the 30 days detention.
They said allegation made by prosecution lack enough evidence as they are just mere hearsay based on intelligence information. They asked the court to released the suspect on bond since he is not a flight risk.
He also dismissed the allegation that Sheikh gave instructions to the youths to riot and damage to property, saying that the youths may have rioted because of the love they accorded him and it may also have instigated by police insisting on arresting him