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KENYA: Militant groups lure youth into terrorism, sex slavery

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Sunday April 23, 2017

Muslim scholars hold a forum on counter-radicalisation on October 10, 2015 in Mombasa. University students are being recruited into terrorist groups. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

A significant number of youth who have been pursuing degrees in Kenyan universities have ended up in ruin, after they fell into the trap of terrorists, Sunday Nation can reveal.

The young men have been killed in battles in Libya while the young women were sold off as sex slaves to terrorist militants and are now struggling to return home.

The Nation has learnt that security agencies – Kenya Police Service, Immigration department, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, National Intelligence Service, Probation Department and Kenya Prisons – are grappling with the calls for youngsters who have survived the terror network and are willing to return home.

A confidential dispatch shared among security agencies in Kenya and seen by the Sunday Nation paints a grim picture of the youngsters’ life in the hands of terrorists.

The most prominent are Farah Dagane Hassan, 26, and Hiish Ahmed Ali, 25, who were medical interns at Kitale hospital, and were killed in Libya during a sting operation against Islamic State terrorists.

Months before, they were labelled wanted terrorists and a Sh4 million bounty placed on their heads after they were linked to planned biological terror attacks in Kenya.

Ashur Mahfoudh Ashur and Abdi Sharif Makbul have also died in battle after they were recruited by terrorists.

Deputy secretary for Internal security Thomas Sakah last Tuesday said universities had become centres of radicalisation and recruitment by terrorists in Somalia and Syria.

Security agencies in Kenya are more concerned about others still at large.

They include Anthony Kiprop Rotich aka Abdul Hakim Kiprotich, Hassan Ahmed Waqo Bonaya and Mahmoaud Mohamed Abubakar Mbarak who all studied at Moi University.

Kiprotich was a fourth year entrepreneurship student.

The security dispatch describes him as “the humble young man from Kaptembwa, Nakuru, who converted to Islam while at the university at the behest of Isis recruiters.

It is believed that these recruiters brainwashed him into accepting to travel to Libya to join the group.

The 23-year-old was last seen on June 8, 2015. He called his mother while in Sudan informing her he was en route to a better place.”

The government has given priority to six youngsters whom it believes are at behest of terrorists.

“The world is grappling with a rise in radicalisation and movement of youth to terrorist theatres of Syria, Libya and Somalia.

"Members of the public must be on the lookout for radical elements who are seeking to mislead Kenyan youth and send them to terrorist arenas.

"While this trend is not rampant in Kenya as has been observed in other countries, some Kenyan youth have left the country to fight alongside Isis terrorists,” the dispatch reads.

According to the police, Samiha Swaleh Awadh Noor alias Sameer, Shindeys Abey Noor aka Osman Shindey Noor, Khalida Dahir Adan aka Twafiga Dahir and her friend Salwa Abdalla made a trip to join Isis in Syria.

Currently, a number of parents have approached the government after they received phone calls from cartels in Libya demanding money in exchange for their children.

Most of the victims are young women whose “supposed husbands” died in battle.

The dispatch names Firthoza Ali Ahmed aka Firdaus, a Kenyan who underwent harrowing experiences in her travel to Syria.

“After being brainwashed and promised a better life, she decided to travel in March 2015. In the company of Zeitun Ali Ahmed, Firthoza began her journey to join Isis in Syria via Turkey.

"Aisha Saleh, who also travelled to Syria, shares the same distressing experience.

"The former student at Abu Hureira Secondary School in Mombasa was married off to an Isis fighter,” the dispatch says.

The report also reveals a terror link to human trafficking and human organs harvesting criminal networks.

It says: “For those who are weak and whose organs cannot be harvested nor be sold to Isis, ransom is demanded from their families.”

The reports identifies the Magafe network, a human trafficking cartel that Isis depends on for the transportation of recruits.

So far, investigations have established 10 routes used by the Magafe network to transports terror recruits from Kenya to Syria and Libya.

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