Government publishes image of wanted Al-Shabaab pilot targeting Kenyan planes

Rashid Mwalimu
Rashid Mwalimu, a wanted terror suspect. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Kenyan government has issued an alert asking Kenyans to share information on a wanted terror suspect, Rashid Mwalimu.

Kenya’s anti-terror unit said that any information that will lead to his arrest will be of great help.

Anti-terror police said that Mwalimu poses great danger to Kenya having been trained as a pilot with knowledge on how to operate an aircraft. He has been flagged as a threat to Kenyan aviation industry.

Mwalimu is reportedly said to be in Somalia and aligned to Al-Shabaab and is planning on returning to Kenya to conduct a terror operation targeting Kenya’s aviation.

According to police reports, Mwalimu was trained on aircraft operations in the Philippines. He was a colleague to Cholo Abdi Abdulla who was arrested before he attempted a 911 style terror attack in the US.

They both joined Al-Shabaab in 2015. Their first operation was in Somalia where they carried out a bloody massacre and disappeared to the Boni Forest.

It is then that they were picked for an aviation course in the Philippines due to their good academic grades.

In February, America’s Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) asked Kenyan civilian airlines to be cautious as Al-Shabaab is in possession of deadly arsenal that can destroy an aircraft flying at low altitudes of up to 25,000 feet.

FAA stated that some of the heavy weapons in Al-Shabaab’s possession include rockets, mortars and man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

FAA extended the warning to major airlines with connecting flights in Nairobi plying China, Dubai and other countries in the East.

In addition, planes flying over terror-prone areas such as Garissa have also been asked to be cautious.

FAA warned that besides Al-Shabaab targeting Kenyan security forces and civilians; the Somali-based militant group is also targeting people with western interests in Kenya.