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German arrested in Tanzania over Shebab links

13th June 2012, Comments0 comments

A German national of Turkish origin wanted by Kenya for suspected links to Somalia's Islamist rebel group Shebab has been arrested in Tanzania, police in both countries said Wednesday.

"Yes, we have arrested him. He is now in Dar es Salaam where we are interrogating him," a senior Tanzanian police officer said, asking not to be identified.

"We have received information from Tanzanian authorities over the arrest of Emrah Erdogan," Kenya's deputy police spokesman Charles Owino told AFP, without saying when or where the arrest took place.

The arrested German is thought to have close links with Swiss national Magd Najjar who was earlier in the month charged by a Kenyan court with being a Shebab member, Owino said.

"Erdogan is someone we have been looking for and we have sent our officers to Tanzania to be part of the on going investigation," he added.

The German embassy in the Tanzanian commercial capital declined to comment.

At the end of last month Kenyan police issued a picture of Erdogan, saying he was thought to have entered Kenya from Somalia through the northern town of Garissa on May 3 and that he was believed to still be in the country.

"We have every reason to link him to the Shebab," Kenyan police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said at the time.

Several foreigners are wanted by Kenyan police on suspicion of planning bomb attacks or ties to the Shebab, including a another German national Andreas Martin Mueller and a British woman Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers in the London July 2005 underground attacks.

© 2012 AFP

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