A terror suspect who was on a reconnaissance mission was on Saturday nabbed by Lang’ata-based detectives when he attempted to bribe a police officer for information.
The suspect was arrested within Langata Shopping Center at around 2am when he approached a police officer who was on a routine patrol and sought information about the attendance of revelers on a popular joint along Lang’ata road.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the suspect, a Somali national, wanted to know which day of the week the club hosts the largest number of patrons, a question which raised suspicions.
“Langata-based crime busters early today morning arrested a terror suspect, within Langata shopping center. The suspect who is a Somali national had at around 2am approached a police officer on patrol and cunningly sought information from him that he found suspicious,” the agency said.
The agency said that the suspect offered a reward of Sh180,000 in exchange for the information when the officer hesitated to respond prompting him to alert other officers who moved in to arrest the suspect.
“The officer was puzzled by the questions from the suspect, who posed as an ordinary civilian seeking general information,” the DCI added.
The DCI stated USD1,396 was recovered from the suspect who is currently being interrogated by anti-terror detectives.
Security agencies have been on high alert with the threat of terrorist attacks in the country tending to increase during the festive season.
Kenya borders Somalia, the operating base of the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al-Shabaab which has staged a series of attacks since the Kenyan military launched a military offensive against the group in 2011.
The arrest on Saturday came a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered security agencies to “heighten vigilance and surveillance across the country” in light of ongoing conflicts in the region.
President Kenyatta gave the mandate following a National Security Council meeting at State House in Nairobi.
State House Press Office dispatched a brief statement saying the decision was anchored on “the country following the unfolding security situation in the region.”
President Kenyatta has been on the forefront in seeking cessation of hostilities between parties in the Tigray conflict in the neighboring Ethiopia where rebels have vowed to overthrow Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
While meeting Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen who paid him a courtesy visit in November 2020, President Kenyatta urged parties to conflict in Ethiopia to find peaceful means to end the crisis.