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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Craig Benedict Baxam, Ex US Soldier, Arrested in Kenya While trying to Join al Shabaab

Seven foreigners including a former US soldier have been arrested in Kenya in the last two weeks over links to Al-Shabaab on December 23rd, 2011..

  • Kenyan soldiers also killed six of the militants in Somalia on Tuesday.
  • The seven were arrested as they tried to enter Somalia to join the militant group for training.
  • Other suspects were from other European countries, said police spokesman Eric Kiraithe.
  • Mr Craig Benedict Baxam, the ex-US soldier was charged in an American court on Monday with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, CNN reported.
  • The TV station said he was arrested by Kenyan authorities on December 23.

A British national, Mr Jermaine Grant was also charged at a Mombasa court for being in illegal possession of explosive materials.

Mr Kiraithe said that police were on the trail of 10 Shabaab members who they believed were planning deadly attacks in Kenya.

"There are so many people who have had contact with Al-Shabaab in the past and changed. But the 10 are dangerous."

The spokesman spoke amid reports of an impending terror attack that was spread through SMS. Mr Kiraithe said the SMS is neither from the UN or the police and termed it as fake. Meanwhile, Kenyan troops yesterday killed six Al-Shabaab fighters as they intensified the military operation to dismantle the militant group.One Kenyan soldier was killed in the operation and two others sustained injuries.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) reported that they encountered the militants as they conducted routine patrols between Tabda and Beles Qooqani, two towns which used to be Al-Shabaab bases but have since been captured by the Kenyan troops.

"Other militants escaped with injuries and are likely to seek medical attention at nearby refugee camps," says a statement signed by the military spokesman, Major Emmanuel Chirchir.

Al-Shabaab however boasted that they had killed seven Kenyan soldiers and destroyed two armoured personnel carriers belonging to KDF.

Peter Leftie, Patrick Mayoyo and Fred Mukinda

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