MOGADISHU, March 27 (Reuters) - A British man was arrested in the Somali capital on Tuesday for suspected links to the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab, the African Union’s force and police said.
The suspect was apprehended at the Mogadishu airport before heading to Kismayu, a southern port city held by al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-aligned group battling Somalia’s transitional federal government and the AU’s troops.
“A British man linked to al Shabaab is in our hands,” police spokesman Abdullahi Barise said. “He is under investigation.”
Paddy Ankunda, a spokesman for the AU’s force AMISOM, said the suspect had been arrested by an AMISOM intelligence official before being handed over to Somali police.
Ankunda identified the suspect as Cleve Everton Dennis and said he had previously travelled to Ethiopia in 2010. “This time, he travelled from the UK via Nairobi to Mogadishu today. He was born in 1966,” he added.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office told Reuters in Nairobi they were looking into reports of the arrest. (Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)