Cardiff teenagers held by anti-terror police in Kenya re-arrested on return to UK

October 20, 2011 No Comments »

TWO teenagers from Cardiff suspected of having links with Islamist group Al Sha-baab have been re-arrested on their return to the UK after being deported from Kenya.

They have been detained by Metropolitan Police Officers under the Terrorism Act.

Mohamed Abdirahman Mohamed, 18, and his friend Khuram Shazad Iqbal, also 18, are now expected to be closely questioned by South Wales Police.

Mr Mohamed, who is of Somali descent, and Mr Iqbal, of Pakistani descent, were arrested on Sunday, 5km from the border with Somalia.

They were yesterday escorted on to a plane in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, at 9am local time.

Police have now revealed that both were under surveillance from the moment they arrived in Kenya.

Their movements were closely followed by Kenyan security forces as they travelled around the country.

Charles Owino, deputy spokesman for the Kenyan police, said: “They left for Britain this morning after being escorted on to a plane. They were not released but deported.”

He said Kenya was concerned about potentially radicalised Islamists using the country as a “gateway” into Somalia. The problem was a “severe concern” for the country and something which it takes very seriously.

As a result both teenagers were identified from their arrival in the country as a potential threat.

“They were under surveillance from the moment they got into the country,” Mr Owino said. “We had a lot of surveillance and intelligence on them but this sort of security is routine in the fight against terrorism.”

He added that police in Britain may well wish to monitor the movements of the teenagers now they are back in the UK. “That is something that will be up to Britain if it feels it should investigate this matter further – if it feels they pose a threat to Britain.”

Mr Mohamed’s father, Abdirhman Haji Abdallah, will return to the UK tomorrow after travelling to the African country in an effort to help authorities track down his son.

Mr Abdallah told the BBC Somali Service Kenyan authorities had arrested his son near the Somali-Kenya border at Lamu.

He said he was later allowed to meet his son, who “seemed very happy”.

He added: “He was not handcuffed. He was walking with the Kenyan officers.

“However, I noticed that he was wearing dusty clothes.”

The alarm was raised last week when the teenagers’ families reported them missing to police. It was then discovered the pair had bought tickets for a flight from Heathrow to Nairobi in Kenya.

Community leaders learned about their arrest on Sunday, minutes before a meeting held in Grangetown to discuss their disappearance.

A joint statement from the Muslim community in Cardiff said the families of the two youths were, “thankful to God that they are both safe and well”, adding: “We are grateful that the authorities in collaboration with the communities were able to establish the whereabouts of the youths.”

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