• The area is seen as a hotbed of radicalism and terrorism at large and has since prompted heavy police deployments there.
• Officers drawn from various special units are deployed in the entire northern region including Isiolo and Marsabit to tame the rising trend of radicalisation.
Police in Isiolo on Sunday night arrested two people and seized an AK47 rifle with 128 rounds of ammunition and two hand grenades from them in Merti area.
The two suspects are being interrogated by officials from Bomb Disposal Unit and Anti-Terror Police Unit.
On Sunday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said their officers were patrolling the Duma-Yamicha road when they intercepted a Toyota Probox occupied by the two suspects and another vehicle.
The joint team of officers from DCI Merti and Yamicha police post signalled them to stop, but they sped off.
The team followed them before two occupants in one of the cars opened fire at the officers. The officers returned fire.
The suspects surrendered after being cornered and were arrested as the other car managed to drive off with an unknown number of occupants. Police said they suspect the car had more weapons.
Police said they recovered five magazines and nine magazine pouches, a military jungle belt, two mobile phones and several pen knives.
The area is considered a hotbed of radicalisation and terrorism and has a heavy deployment of police.
Government officials say they have been focusing on the region in an effort to de-escalate the situation.
More funding is being channelled to the counties to mitigate the situation.
Apart from Isiolo, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Nairobi have also been affected by radicalisation and violent extremism.
Cholo Abdi Abdullahi from Isiolo was arrested in July 2019 in the Philippines for plotting to attack the USA.
He was among the few remaining in the cell that planned and attacked the DusitD2 complex in Nairobi in 2019.
According to police, he went St Kizito Primary in Isiolo and later joined St Paul’s Kiwanjani Secondary where he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam in 2010.
Cholo is believed to have gone to Somalia then to the Philippines. He left home in 2016.
He went to the Philippines in 2016 and enrolled at the All-Asia Aviation Academy, where he trained as a commercial pilot between 2017 and 2018.
It is not clear who was financing his studies, but officials suspect al Shabaab did.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris