Al-Shabaab pilot may be planning attack in Kenya, police warn

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Kenyan security agencies appealed to members of the public to volunteer information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of Rashid Mwalimu who is wanted by the Anti-terrorism police.

According to a statement sent out to media houses, Mwalimu who is currently in Somalia should be considered armed and dangerous; he is a trained pilot who is on a mission to carry an aviation attack on behalf of the terror group al-Shabaab.

Security agencies handling the matter believe he will be attempting to sneak back into the country.

Probe into his alleged involvement with the terror group uncovered that he trained as a pilot in the Philippines alongside an accomplice Cholo Abdi Abdulla who is currently in lawful custody.

Security sources say that Cholo and Mwalimu were close friends and joined Al-Shabaab in 2015.

The duo trained and conducted attacks in Somalia before being sent to the Boni forest where they were selected for an aviation course based on their impressive academic credentials.

They are also said to have been close friends with the leader of the DusitD2 attack- Salim Gichunge (Faruq) and Osman Gedi (a Dusit attacker).

While Gichunge and Gedi were hand-picked for the Kenyan attack, the other pair was picked to train as pilots to subsequently be deployed to hijack airplanes.

Cholo was arrested in July 2019 in the Philippines where he had been studying aviation at the All-Ais aviation academy.

US intelligence believes Cholo who is facing six (6) counts of terrorism-related offenses arising from his activities as an al Shabaab member, had been planning to hijack a plane and carry out a 9/11 style attack in the US.

Further, reports indicate that Cholo led security agencies to his hideout partly due to his own recklessness.

A known womanizer, Cholo accidentally let the cat out of the bag, telling his harem of his pursuits and future plans and inadvertently inviting police officers to his hideout.

Upon his arrest, his colleague Mwalimu escaped back to Somalia and according to Kenyan security agencies ‘cunningly lied about what foiled their plan’.

Members have been urged to continue cooperating with the security agencies to report incidences and potentially foil any planned terror activities.

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