German terrorism suspect arrested in Kenya and deported

Eva Krafczyk, Helen Maguire

Nairobi/Berlin (dpa) – A German terrorism suspect has been arrested in Kenya and deported home, the German Foreign Office confirmed on Tuesday.

Kenyan media reported that police sources thought the Muslim convert, Sascha Bottcher, was attempting to join radical Islamic fighters in Somalia.

Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper reported that Bottcher had flown into the port city of Mombasa on September 22.

They wrote that the German authorities tipped off their Kenyan counterparts after finding a farewell note addressed to the suspect’s mother, in which he said he would “never return alive.”

Mombasa is around 120 kilometres south of the coastal town of Malindi, where al-Qaeda members and sympathisers have gathered in recent years, often seeking medical treatment after fighting in Somalia.

The borders between the two countries are officially closed, but the semi-desert region is difficult to monitor and patrol.

Somalia’s radical Islamic al-Shabaab militia includes hundreds of foreigners – many of whom are ethnic Somalis from the US and Britain or Islamists from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al-Shabaab (“The Youth”) also has links to al-Qaeda.