Three Tanzanians have been handed a 15-year jail term each after being charged with terrorism in Kenya.
The trio from Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, were arrested last year in the border Wajir County, in northeastern Kenya attempting to cross into Somalia. They were found in possession of items used in terrorism acts.
Mbarouk Ali Adibu (34), Idarous Abdirahman (32) and Islahi Juma (22) appeared before Wajir Senior Resident Magistrate Amos Makoros for sentencing on Wednesday following convictions on Tuesday.
They will now serve their sentences at Wajir Prison.
The judgement comes as the Kenyan government intensifies its fight against terrorism following the attack on a Nairobi hotel-office complex that left 21 people dead.
Wajir County has borne the brunt of terror attacks and is often used as a transit route for recruits joining the Somali-based Al Shabaab militants.
Its proximity to Somalia also makes it a favourite staging and recruitment ground by the terror group.
According to a source who spoke to Nation, more than 50 terror suspects have been detained at the Wajir Prison raising fears that petty offenders at the facility may be radicalised.
“In the past two years, the government has been carrying out massive crackdowns on terror suspects and most of them have at one time passed through the Wajir Prison. We are worried that such a group of suspects could even recruit more prisoners,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenya's Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said Tuesday that 12 terror suspects, among nationals from New Zealand and Ethiopia, were arrested in border northeastern Garissa County.
The foreigners, Mr Boinnet said, were arrested near the Kenya-Somalia border.
“The two were heading to Garissa from Dajabula in a white Toyota Hilux Double Cabin,” Mr Boinnet said.
The New Zealander was identified as Sulub Warfaa, 36. He had two passports bearing different names, the other being Ramadhan Yusuf, the police said.
The other suspect had an Ethiopian passport identified as Sakawawedin Abdullahi Mohammed, 33.
The other ten suspects were arrested during a security crackdown at the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Garissa.