Last Updated: Thu Sep 20, 2012 19:23 pm (KSA) 16:23 pm (GMT)

Kenya jails Islamist insurgent for 59 years

Kenya soldiers are seen during clashes in Mombasa. Troops are now battling for control of Kismayo. (AFP)
Kenya soldiers are seen during clashes in Mombasa. Troops are now battling for control of Kismayo. (AFP)

A Kenyan court on Thursday jailed a man for 59 years after he pleaded guilty to possessing explosives and being a member of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab insurgents.

Kenyan national Abdimajid Yassin Mohammed, 26, was arrested two weeks ago in possession of explosives -- including four suicide vests and a dozen hand grenades -- in the capital’s largely ethnic Somali Eastleigh neighborhood.

“I have considered the interest of the country and national security,” magistrate Lucy Nyambura said. “The accused is not remorseful and I convict him on his own plea of guilty.

“One would shudder at the mass destruction the weapons would have caused.” Kenya’s extremist and outlawed Muslim Youth Centre, accused by the United Nations and United States of links to the al-Shabab, posted a message of support for the convict, praising “the audacity of modern jihad”.

Kenyan troops with the African Union force in Somalia are currently battling al-Shabab fighters for control of the port city of Kismayo, the last the major city the insurgents hold.

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