NAIROBI, 31 March 2021 – Kenyan police say they seek information on a Kenyan pilot who reportedly fled to neighboring Somalia over a terror plot.
Rashid Mwalimu, who is a trained pilot, is being presented by police as a threat to national security.
“He is wanted by the Anti-Terrorism Police. He is a trained pilot on mission to carry out aviation attack,” Kenyan police said in an alert.
“Currently he is in Somalia and is planning on how to sneak back into Kenya. If seen report to any nearest security agency,” the police alert added.
The Islamist militants of al-Shabaab in neighboring Somalia have suffered major setbacks following persistent airstrikes which, according to Kenyan authorities, have killed commanders and middle-level operatives.
According to police, as a way of avenging themselves over the airstrikes, al-Shabaab embarked on training pilots for an international aviation attack.
Two Kenyans – Cholo Abdi Abdulla and Mwalimu, who are friends and have been members of al-Shabab since 2015 – were among two of the foreign fighters who reportedly benefited from this specialized training.
The allegations are that the two conducted attacks in Somalia before being sent to Boni forest.
A security source has revealed that between 2015 and 2016 both Rashid and Cholo were involved in IED attacks in the Boni area of Lamu County.
The fear is that the two are plotting to hijack aircraft which they would use to crash into undisclosed targets.
Cholo was arrested on 1 July 2019 in the Philippines where he had been studying aviation and is being held in the United States on six counts of terrorism-related offenses.
They include conspiring to hijack an aircraft to conduct a 9/11 style attack in the United States.
Rashid escaped arrest and sneaked back to Somalia.
Police have released a photo of Rashid and have urged the public to be vigilant and give information if he is sighted anywhere.