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Kenya Drops Charges Against Somali Islamist Financier


Kenyan prosecutors have dropped illegal immigration charges against a wealthy Somali businessman accused of financing Somalia's Islamist movement.

Kenyan authorities had arrested Abukar Omar Aden and his son on the border between Kenya and Somalia last month.

The 72-year-old Aden pled guilty to being in Kenya illegally but argued that he should be given protection because he was fleeing for his life.

Prosecutor Vincent Wohoro did not give a reason why the charges against Aden were dropped. Reuters news agency quotes him as saying the decision was made by Kenya's attorney general.

The wheelchair-bound Aden is believed to have been a major source of funding for Somalia's now-defeated Islamic Courts Union.

The Islamic courts held power over much of Somalia last year before their forces were defeated in a December offensive by Somali government and Ethiopian troops.

Kenya has arrested a number of individuals suspected of aiding the Islamists. Some remain in custody, while others have been deported back to Somalia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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