[SIZE=7]I always believed my son was long-dead – father of terror suspect says[/SIZE]
The father of suspected terrorist Salim Rashid Mohamed who was arrested in the DR Congo a few days ago now claims that he was not aware his son was alive.
Mohamed Rashid said that he always thought that Salim had been kidnapped or had been killed after he last saw him on December 4, 2020.
“For some time, I had believed my son had either been killed or hijacked by unknown people,” Rashid told The Standard.
Rashid said that it was through the arrest that he knew his son was still alive. He said that he was happy to learn from the news that his son was alive even though he was under police custody.
The father has now challenged the authorities to offer a fair hearing for his son who is facing terror-related charges.
“I’m praying for a fair trial in court when he is brought back to the country,” Rashid said.
Rashid said that he doesn’t understand how his son ended up being a terror suspect since he was a bright and disciplined student while he was still in school. He revealed that Salim scored an A- in his KCSE exams at Aga Khan Secondary School in 2014.
Though he believed that Salim was either killed or kidnapped, a police report shows that the son had a pending terror-related case before a magistrate’s court in Kwale in 2020 – the same year he disappeared from their home.
Salim was arrested at Kombani in Kwale in 2017 in a raid over suspicions that he had been recruited by the Al-Shabaab. He was later released on a cash bail of Ksh1.5 million.
Before his escape in 2020, Salim flew to Turkey, where he had travelled to purportedly study an undergraduate course. He would later be deported by Turkish authorities after he was arrested while attempting to cross over to Syria.
“He was placed behind bars and charged with various terror offences, related to the explosives materials discovered during the raid in Kwale, in 2017. The court granted him bail and he continued attending court sessions until his disappearance in 2020,” a statement by DCI stated.
During interrogation, the terror suspect told detectives that he had been looking forward to fulfilling Jihad before going to paradise, where 72 virgins waited to surprise him.