Here is Al-Shabaab commander suspected of running businesses in Nairobi
A prominent Kenyan al-Shabaab commander is suspected to be running multimillion-shilling businesses in Nairobi from his hideout in Somalia to finance the terrorist group, the Nation can reveal.
Security sources say Ahmed Iman Ali, also known as Abu Zinira – the fugitive who graduated with an Engineering degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology before joining al-Shabaab – has been operating the businesses through proxies.
The businesses include boutiques, go-downs, and makeshift stalls dealing in second-hand clothes and shoes, as well as a nursery school.
MAJENGO AND GIKOMBA
For a while now, security agents have been surveilling the various businesses situated at a shopping complex in Nairobi’s Majengo and stalls at Gikomba market.
The businesses attracted the attention of the agents after Musa Mutevi aka Bame, whose activities were being monitored on suspicion he fundraises for al-Shabaab, was spotted co-ordinating collection of money.
In a security brief seen by the Nation, Bame is named as the leader of a group recruited by Iman to co-ordinate secret fundraising for the suspected terrorists in Nairobi.
In Somalia, other beneficiaries of the businesses in Nairobi include known fugitives who are on the most-wanted list.
They include Ramadhan Kioko aka Pinji, Eric Achayo Ogada, Mohamed Tajir Ali aka Wahome, Ramadhan Shuaib aka Giggs and Juma Ayub who is also known as Otit Were and KB.
While the local group’s mainstay is to collect rent from Iman’s businesses, some of its members are actively involved in selling merchandise.
But there was another hint that ostensibly stuck out like a sore thumb, causing security agents to direct their radar at the premises.
The group expanded its enterprise to a nearby road, on a stretch that connects Pumwani and Gikomba market, and erected some 30 stalls which have been rented out to second-hand clothes and shoe sellers.
These makeshift stalls have encroached on a lane of the road, effectively curtailing motorists moving in and out of the market.
The Nation has visited the area and established that the group has stationed marshals to block and allow vehicular traffic in intervals on either end.
SH150K PER MONTH
It is estimated that from these new structures, Iman’s gang collects at least Sh150,000 every month. The funds are remitted to Somalia through informal money transfer systems, mobile money transfers, and couriers.
The security brief also opens old wounds because it says there are fears that Pumwani Riyadha Mosque, which six years ago was linked to al-Shabaab operations, has been penetrated afresh by Iman’s network that has taken up positions in the committee managing the facility.
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