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Mother, daughter arrested with sniper rifle, machine gun in Dagoretti

Detectives from the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) on Wednesday arrested two women and recovered a cache of firearms in a city house.

The two suspects, mother and daughter were arrested by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officers at Racecourse in Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi where they live.

The weapons, according to DCI, are suspected to have been sneaked into the country for terror activities by the two who hold dual citizenship.

The recovered cache of arms and ammunition included an M4 sniper rifle, four pistols, a close-quarter Uzi automatic submachine gun and an assortment of over 3,700 rounds of ammunition of different caliber.

“Also recovered in the operation were four pistols and a close quarter Uzi automatic submachine gun, capable of firing over 600 rounds per minute,” DCI said.

The two are currently in custody as police seek more time to conduct investigations and allow for a ballistic examination of the cache.

An M4 sniper rifle is used by the NATO forces battling Taliban in Afghanistan and the American origin rifle has a 14.5 in (370 mm) barrel and a telescoping stock. It is essentially a lighter and shorter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle.

The Uzi submachine gun, compact automatic weapon, is used throughout the world as a police and special-forces firearm and is named after its designer Uziel Gal, an Israeli army officer who developed it after the Arab-Israeli war of 1948.

The weapon was phased out by the Israeli army in 2003.

The arrests come two weeks after the police issued a terror attack warning and asked Kenyans to look out for a Rashid Mwalimu, whom they suspect will use his expertise as a pilot to carry out an aviation-linked attack on Kenya.

Mr Rashid, security authorities said, is currently in Somalia planning an attack on Kenya and the public has been urged to help police with any information regarding his whereabouts should they see him for his immediate arrest.

“He is wanted by the Anti-Terrorism Police. He is a trained pilot on a mission to carry out aviation attacks. Currently, he is in Somalia and is planning on how to sneak back into Kenya. If seen, report to any nearest security agency,” police said in an alert last week.

Al-Shaabab, the terror group based in Somalia, has been on the receiving end of continuous airstrikes on its bases that have left several commanders dead.

Kenyan security agencies now believe that the militant group is planning airstrikes to avenge the deaths of their colleagues, adding that it has trained pilots to carry this out.