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Terror suspect arrested in Nairobi, resurfaces in Somalia

By Nyaboga Kiage October 12th, 2023 4 min read

On September 2, 2023, Mr Mohamed Sufyaan Ahmed alias Sufyaan Sheikh Ahmed aka Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed was inside his house door number G6 located within Salgaa Building along First Avenue in Eastleigh, Nairobi County when he was nabbed by officers attached to the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU).

Friends and relatives say that the men who arrested him on that Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. did not miss his door and never took a lot of time with him at the scene but instead, they left after combing the house.

That was the last time the neighbors saw him and since then everyone within the area has been tight-lipped and never wanted to talk about the matter.

“He was picked here as we watched, it was during the day and since then we have never seen him,” a man who witnessed as he was being bundled into a waiting motor vehicle told the Nairobi News.

Yesterday, the Somali intelligence wing known as the Nairobi Newsal Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) announced that it had arrested Mr Sufyaan ending the anxiety that had hit his friends and members of the family who have been trying to know his whereabouts in vain.

NISA accused Mr Sufyaan of spreading extremist arguments against the peace, stability, and governance of Somalia and also supporting Al Shabaab. It is worth noting that the Somali government recently stopped using the name Al Shabaab and replaced it with Khawaarij.

Those who are members of Khawarij are known as Khajirites and they believed that it was wrong to live among those who did not share their views.

“NISA has started investigations against Mr Sufyaan a Somali Nairobi Newsal who resides in Nairobi, Kenya, and will grill him regarding the conflicts between the government and the Al Shabaab militants. NISA is determined to get hold of all those who interact with the militant group either directly or indirectly,” Somalia’s intelligence wing said in a statement.

Mohamed Sufyaan Ahmed alias Sufyaan Sheikh Ahmed aka Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed. PHOTO| COURTESY

For weeks, the 56-year-old was held incommunicado by the officers who questioned him on a number of issues which included; how he arrived in the country, the number of countries he has visited, whether he was in communication with militia group Al Shabaab and also checking his bank accounts.

It also emerged that when he was in possession of an expired passport and his Visa had not yet been renewed raising more questions than answers.

What even shocked the team that was tasked with investigating him was that Mr Sufyaan who lived life in the first lane had registered himself as a refugee in Dadaab within Garissa County and what remained a mystery is how he ended up in the city.

Documents in our possession show that Mr Sufyaan was born in Adado in Central Somalia.

He also introduced himself as a politician and businessman running a number of businesses locally and inter-Nairobi Newsally.

According to Mr Sufyaan who the officers described as non-cooperative, he first travelled to Kenya between 1991 and 1994.

While in the country he managed to get asylum in Canada and left Kenya through the Jomo Kenyatta InterNairobi Newsal Airport (JKIA). He passed through the Netherlands before finally landing in Canada.

While in Canada, Mr Sufyaan worked as a butcher as he studied in a Western commercial high school for a period of three years.

In 1999, the suspect sought asylum in the United States of America (USA) which was approved. While in the USA Mr Sufyaan married twice and he studied in a community college in Minnesota.

It is worth noting that the suspect who also worked as a banker in the US studied at the University of California.

“It is the US government that was funding my education after I won a scholarship. I went through an aptitude test and passed,” Mr Sufyaan had told the Kenyan authorities.

He also said that while at the same university, he rose to the position of Assistant Professor. But could later be deported back to his home country in Somalia.

The suspect also told officers in Kenya that he has never believed in a government where the constitution was supreme and that he “prefers Al Shabaab ideologies rather than the democratic system of government.”

Mr Sufyaan also said that he has ambitions of being the President of Somalia and once he wins the elections the first thing he will do is to change its flag.

“During the interview period the suspect was uncooperative and he was radical in nature making it hard for the ATPU officers to understand him,” an officer privy to the ongoing investigations told this reporter.

It is worth noting that in his lifetime he has also visited seven different countries which include; Kenya, Canada, USA, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.

The Nairobi News has also established that his close associates whom he worked with after his arrest have been cautious and have even put their businesses on sale.

On Sunday, the Nairobi News attempted to reach out to Mr Sufyaan whom the ATPU officers claim to have set free but his phone was off.

Our police source later said that his phone had been handed over for more forensics to be conducted on it.

“He is still being investigated on a number of issues and for that reason, his phone was handed over for more investigations to be conducted,” said the police source.

The Nairobi News has also established that a number of civilians have been investigated by ATPU in the recent past over their involvement in matters of terror.

One of them is Mr Zakariya Kamal Sufi Abba-Sheikh, 28, a businessman who was abducted by unknown men in early September and has an ongoing case where he is accused of importing weapons for Al Shabaab in Somalia.

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