Briton in Kenya planned 'bomb attack'

2012-08-16 20:23
Briton Jermaine Grant Briton sits in court in. (Flora Bagenal, AFP)

Briton Jermaine Grant Briton sits in court in. (Flora Bagenal, AFP)

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Mombasa - Kenyan police arrested a Briton accused of links to Somalia's Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents after a tip-off that he and accomplices had planned a " bomb attack", a court heard on Thursday.

Jermaine Grant and two other suspects were arrested in December in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa after they were found with chemicals, batteries and switches that prosecutors said they planned to use to make explosives.

"We moved in after getting vital information that some people were planning to unleash a bomb attack," Kenyan anti-terrorism police officer Peter Muli told the court in Mombasa.

"Sources had told us that the suspects were planning to hold a meeting... to lay down strategies on how to carry out the bomb attack," he added.

Grant has denied the charges.

However, he has pleaded guilty to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced in December last year to two jail terms of two years, to run concurrently.

The trial will resume on 10 December. Grant is charged along with his Kenyan wife, Warda Breik Islam, and two other Kenyans.

British anti-terrorism detectives were expected to give evidence later in the trial, said defence lawyer Chacha Mwita, who complained that the prosecution had withheld information from the defence team.

Radicalised youth

"The prosecution is not supplying us with documents at the right speed," Mwita said. "They keep telling us that they are bringing in experts from the UK as prosecution witnesses, but we have not been given any more details."

Prosecutors have accused Grant of working with fellow Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, fugitive widow of British suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay who attacked the London Underground in 2005.

Lewthwaite, a 28-year-old mother of three and daughter of a British soldier, is wanted by Kenyan police over terror plot allegations.

Grant is believed to have become radicalised as a teenager in the same British prison where "shoe bomber" Richard Reid first turned to Islam.

Reid, who claimed he was an Qaeda recruit, is serving a life sentence in the United States for trying to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001 using bombs hidden in his shoes.

Read more on:    shabaab  |  kenya  |  east africa

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