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Family of Kenya Terror Suspect Arrested in Malawi Seeks Government Help - 2003-07-22

The family of a Kenyan terrorist suspect arrested in Malawi last month is calling on the Kenyan government to locate him and bring him back to Kenya.

The suspected terrorist, Khalif Abdi Hussein, is a 32-year-old Islamic studies teacher. He was apprehended early in the morning of June 24 from his home in Blantyre, the capital of Malawi.

Mr. Hussein, a Kenyan citizen, had been teaching in Malawi for the past two years as a missionary. His wife, Fauzia Sheikh Mohamud, met with reporters Tuesday in Nairobi.

Ms. Mohamud says she does not know who took her husband away or where he is being held now, despite repeatedly asking Malawian and Kenyan authorities about his whereabouts.

He was one of five suspects arrested by Malawian and American officials on suspicion of being associated with al-Qaida. The others are nationals of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Speaking on behalf of the family, an official of the National Muslim Council, Nazlin Omar Rajpul, condemned Malawian authorities for not sending Mr. Hussein back to Kenya, and called on the Kenyan government to find and return Mr. Hussein and fully investigate his case. She says the Kenyan government should not relinquish control to the U.S. and other foreign governments during terrorism investigations.

"Are you saying that, as Kenyans, our intelligence agencies are not comparable, or do not have the intelligence to be able to conduct these investigations on their own?" asked Mr. Rajpul.

Ms. Rajpul says the Kenyan government has made no move to assist or even communicate with Ms. Mohamud or any other members of Mr. Hussein's family.

Repeated attempts by VOA to contact an official in the Kenyan foreign ministry about the case were unsuccessful.

A Kenyan newspaper, The Daily Nation, reported on July 10 that an assistant minister for foreign affairs, Moses Wetangula, told parliament July 9 that the government was using diplomatic channels to find out where Mr. Hussein is.

According to The Daily Nation, Mr. Wetangula read a ministerial statement that said Mr. Hussein and the other four suspects were said to be involved in activities that posed a high security risk.