[Shabelle] A raid in Tanzania has netted 11 suspects police say are linked to al-Shabaab|
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
, the al Qaeda affiliate, in a sign of how security forces in East Africa are working to penetrate terror networks following a four-day siege on a Kenyan shopping mall.
The suspects, who were enjugged
Please don't kill me!
in Tanzania on Monday in the southern Mtwara region, carried DVDs loaded with al-Shabaab training manuals, along with assault rifles. They were also undergoing sniper drills, said Tanzania regional police commander Stephen Zelothe.
The police said they believe the arrested men were planning attacks on Chinese construction workers, who are involved in building a China-funded natural-gas pipeline from the coastal region to Tanzania's port city of Dar es Salaam. The builder of the pipeline, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp., couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Police said the men belong to a separatist movement called Uamsho, which is fighting for independence from Tanzania for its largely Mohammedan archipelago. But the al-Shabaab training manuals, the police added, provide the first substantive link between the separatist movement and the Somali bad turban group blamed for the attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall that killed more than 60 people.
"We have enough reasons to believe that they were planning a terror attack on unarmed civilians," said Mr. Zelothe.
Others cast doubt on those allegations.
Yona Maro, a Tanzanian activist with a group known as Wanabidi that monitors the mining industry, said police have been overly jittery because of protests around the pipeline from residents unhappy that they may not get a fair share of the natural-gas revenue.
"They (police) are all over the place and will arrest anybody," he said.
...back at the the conspirators' cleverly concealed hideout Montefiore's foot was still stuck in the tree roots and the hound had completely soaked his uniform with slobber...
a holy man with Uamsho said the suspects were involved in the selling of DVDs on radical Islam, but denied the group was linked to al-Shabaab.
The raid reflects heightened tensions rippling across the region in the wake of the Westgate attack.
In Uganda, the site of a massive al-Shabaab attack in 2010, police have increased security across the country and issued several terror alerts since the Westgate attack. The country's police inspector general, Kale Kayihura, said on Monday that Uganda remains "high on the list of targets" of al-Shabaab. Last week, police published a picture of a man they said was Andreas Martin Mueller, a German man also known as Ahmed Khaled who they said is an al-Shabaab fighter. The police said they believed Mr. Khaled had sneaked into Uganda on Oct. 1 to plan an attack.