Mother, daughter arrested with cache of arms and bullets

 A mother and her daughter were on Wednesday afternoon arrested in Nairobi's Dagoretti area with a cache of arms and bullets. 

Police said they arrested Joyce Muthoni Mwihia and her mother Goretti Mwihia who hold dual US citizenship and live in Racecourse, Dagoretti Corner.

The weapons, which included an M4 sniper rifle with an effective range of 500 meters, four pistols, a close-quarter Uzi automatic submachine gun capable of firing 600 rounds per minute and 3,700 bullets of different calibre were seized in the afternoon operation.

Police said they are yet to know their motive.

The women claimed they planned to sell them to the government but police say they don’t buy weapons from such individuals.

They were taken for interrogation by officers from Anti-Terror Police Unit.

Head of ATPU John Gachomo said they had taken the weapons to experts for ballistic examination.

He said the weapons seem to have been illegally imported into the country.

“We are yet to know their motive but we are investigating the issue,” he said.

This comes in the wake of police revelations that they have been thwarting efforts by al Shabaab militants to attack critical installations and learning institutions.

Last month, three men were arrested and a cache of weapons recovered from them in a police operation in Lagdera, Garissa county.

The three were transporting eight AK7 rifles, 2,104 bullets and 20 litres of petrol along Baraki- Maalmin Road in Lagdera area when they were intercepted after a four-hour chase.

There were also eight empty magazines.

Police termed the recovery a win in the war on terrorism and argued the weapons were to be used in an undisclosed terror mission.

In February this year, two people were arrested and an AK47 rifle with 128 bullets and two hand grenades recovered in Isiolo.

The area is seen as a hotbed of radicalism and terrorism and has since prompted heavy police deployments.

Many young men leave there to join al Shabaab in Somalia after being cheated they would get jobs.

Government officials say they have been focusing on the region to deescalate the situation.

Isiolo, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Nairobi have also been affected by radicalism and violent extremism. 

Cholo Abdi Abdullahi from Isiolo was arrested in July 2019 in the Philippines for plotting to attack the USA.

He was among the few remaining in the cell that planned and attacked the DusitD2 complex in Nairobi in 2019.

He is believed to have later vanished from his home in 2016 to Somalia then to the Philippines.

His parents reported to the police.

Abdullahi went to the Philippines and enrolled at the All-Asia Aviation Academy, where he trained as a commercial pilot between 2017 and 2018. 

It is not clear who was financing his studies, but officials suspect al Shabaab did. 

In 2018, police intercepted a car that had a total of 110kg of Trinitrotoluene explosives, five AK-47 rifles, 36 gun magazines, three modified Nokia phones, 36 unprimed hand grenades, 18 pairs of grenade primers, five military-grade projectiles, and three military knives.

Police investigations then revealed the five suspects targeted the Supreme Court as the epicentre of the bomb attack.

This would have been followed by successive explosions at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre and Parliament Buildings.

They would also attack County Hall, Technical University of Kenya, Central Bus Station, Jeevanjee Gardens, Serena Hotel, the University of Nairobi, and Milimani Law Courts.



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