NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Somali man in Kenyan police custody has admitted that he is Hassan Hanafi, who is wanted in Somalia for the killing of journalists, a senior Kenya police official said Friday.
The man was arrested in early August and after weeks of interrogation admitted that he is Hanafi. He had originally identified himself as Yusuf Hassan Abdisalam Yusuf.
The official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said authorities plan to seek Hanafi’s deportation orders from the courts following the Somali government’s requested that he be extradited back to Somalia for prosecution.
It was difficult to establish Hanafi’s identity because he had authentic Kenyan identification documents, the official said. Finger print identification was not possible because Somalia has few records, as a result of decades of conflict, he said.
Hanafi later admitted that he fraudulently acquired Kenyan identification documents, the official said.
Hanafi came into the country on March 14 to seek treatment for old wounds he got from a bombing of an airstrip in 2011 which left him badly scarred and with shrapnel in his body, said the official.
Hanafi is a senior member of the Somali-based terror group al-Shabab, who is wanted for the killing of journalists and other citizens. The Somali government said it provided the intelligence that led to Hanafi’s arrest.
Targeted attacks against Somali journalists were common in 2012 and 2013.
Yusuf Keynan was the first journalist to be killed this year when a bomb exploded as he started his car to travel to work in Mogadishu in June.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries to work as a journalist, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Associated Press writer Abdi Guled contributed to this report from Mogadishu Somalia.
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