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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Scotland Yard to Work With Kenya Investigating Al Shabaab Terror Network

London — A team from the Scotland Yard has been sent to help Kenyan authorities investigate a terror network after a British national was arrested on allegations that he is an explosives expert for the Somali militant group al-Shabaab.

Kenyan police arrested the suspect, who has not been named, in the coastal city of Mombasa, last week. Seven other suspects were also arrested and accused of plotting to carry out attacks in Kenya during the holiday season, a peak time for tourism in the country.

Kenya's anti-terrorism police reportedly raided the suspect's house and seized material and chemicals used for making explosives, including dynamite, detonators and timers, according to the Daily Nation, which first reported the involvement of Scotland Yard.

Police officers also questioned the suspect's wife, a Kenyan of Somali origin.

A Kenyan police spokesman told The Daily Telegraph the name of the suspect was being withheld until Kenyan and British investigators synchronise the case.

Foreign Office sources told The Telegraph that a Briton was "involved" with a group of individuals found with bomb-making equipment in Mombassa. They could not confirm whether the individual was in Kenyan custody.

Scotland Yard sources said a team from the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command had already arrived in Kenya to help the local police.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "British counter-terrorism officials have offered assistance to the Kenyans in this case and a team from the Metropolitan Police is deploying to Kenya to assist in the investigation."

MI5 and MI6 have become aware of an increasing number of young British men arriving in the East African country in order to cross the porous land border into Somalia.

In Somalia they have been joining up with the al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab and there have been concerns that they could return to Britain to launch suicide attacks.

Three suspected British al-Shabaab members who had arrived in Kenya through Mombasa were arrested in Garissa County in the North East of the country in May.

The three men were of Bangladeshi origin but holding British passports, according to reports.

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