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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

NAMES OF COAST TYCOONS LINKED TO TERRORISM




The transport tycoon whose buses set the standards on East African roads was shot dead at Changamwe in the evening as he was driving from Moi International Airport in his white high-end SUV. Over 10 bullets were sprayed on the car just a distance from Changwamwe Police Station. From the bullet holes pattern on the car that are concentrated on the driver’s seat, the gunman was almost touching distance to the car
For a long time, it is said, anti-terrorism police have been monitoring 20 suspected financiers of terrorism in the coast region. Among them are 14 prominent businessmen and six politicians. They are said to hold dozens of foreign and local bank accounts. The said accounts are believed to receive money and support terrorism activities in Kenya and outside.
Police have been pursuing the tycoons’ networks in the country.
We have information, among those on the list is a son of prominent coast politician during the Moi era and who has shifted base to Dubai. He is said to be wealthy with investments in flour milling industry and the glass sector. Five years ago, the said son was arrested by  anti-terror police for questioning but was later released at the intervention of a section of Muslim clerics.  The politician was said to be an ally of the slain Muslim cleric Abubakar Sharrif alias Makaburi.
Word has it, he gave Sh150,000 to widows and families of Muslim youths killed at Masjid Musa during the February 2 bloodletting fight. On radar also are suspect bank accounts opened for the widows of Masjid Shuhadaa.
Back to Bhutt, he was last year, together with his business partner arrested and charged in court. Police later dropped the case on unknown grounds. The transport magnate had been complaining of being trailed now and then. Anti-terror police had been linking him to violent activities at Masjid Sakina, changed to Masjid Mujahideen, and  Masjid Shuhadaa, then Masjid Musa mosques.
The two mosques were taken over by rebel  youths said to be bankrolled by busineessmen and politicians.
Bhutt family runs the buses that ply Mombasa-Nairobi route. He is a Kenyan of Pakistan origin. However, his  business partner is said to be a shrewd operative with underground dangerous link to the outside world.
Also under the spotlight is a businessman who runs motor-vehicle spareparts shops at the coast. He has also invested heavily in a real estate development in Nairobi and Mombasa.  Reports say, the said tycoon is related to a one Saleh Nabhan, who was behind  the 1998 and 2002 terrorist bombing in Kenya and Tanzania. Nabhan was later to be killed in Somali in September 2009 in a United States Navy Seals raid. Saleh’s  young brother, Omar Nabhan, is linked to the Westgate shopping mall terrorist attack. The tycoon is said to have been in touch with Muslim clerics, Sheikh Aboud Rogo and Makaburi. The two were killed in controversial circumstances.
Also marked is a close  business associate of the late Makaburi. He is said to be rich with investments in a fleet of cargo-transport linking East Africa countries. He and Makaburi  owned a number of properties in the coastal town of Mombasa. The businessman is said to have provided free food to worshippers at Masjid Shuhadaa during  Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha.
He was in talks with felled radical clerics, Rogo and Makaburi. A scrap metal dealer in based in Mombasa is also featuring. The scrap dealer has links to Yemeni-based terrorist networks so it is claimed.
Two coast politicians suspected to have links with terror are also mentioned. Already Lamu Governor Issa Timmany of UDF has been arrested and charged in court in connection to the violence that rocked Mpeketoni adjacent to the archipelago. Not spared is Ali Bujra, a  businessman who is also facing criminal proceedings. Police say Bujra is part of the criminal gang that has been attacking residents in Mpeketoni, Kaisari, Hindi, Gamba Police Station and Pndanguo in Lamu and Tana River counties. Others are Lamu businessmen Dyna Suleiman and Mahadi Swaleh who have been charged with 60 counts of murder at Mpeketoni and Kaisari.
Ten other businessmen in Mombasa and Malindi are also being investigated. A bank account operated by a one-time preacher at Masjid Shuhadaa is under scrutiny. He was at one time  arrested with others at the mosque during a two- day skimirshes.
It is said those linked to terror financing live well, drive powerful vehicles and operate businesses that are used to channel money.
Terror groups blacklisted are the Al Hijra of Majengo, Ansaar Muslim Youth Centre (AMYC) of Tanzania, and the Mombasa Muslim Youth associated with Samir Khan. Khan was killed in mysterious circumstances and his body dumped in a forest in Taita Taveta county.  Two Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) are also linked to terror networks based in Pakistan, Yemen, US, Britain, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.