Nearly 200 militants have separated from the Somali-based Al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabab militant group to pledge loyalty to DAESH, Kenya’s police chief Joseph Boinett said on Thursday.
The group has started to launch operations along the Somalia border in northern Kenya and has recently carried out several attacks in the last two weeks, killing one soldier and two civilians in Mandera County, Chief Boinett told The Associated Press.
According to Chief Boinett, the separation from Al Shabab is an extra challenge for Kenya’s security forces.
One of the militants who joined the DAESH fraction of Al Shabab is Mohamed Kuno, nicknamed Gamadhere, who has a warrant for his arrest over the April 2 attack launched by Al Shabab on Garissa University in eastern Kenya that has killed 148 people, Boinett said.
The militant group also attacked Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre in 2013, killing at least 67 people.
Al Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks against Kenya for sending its troops to Somalia to fight the armed group. Kenya has been suffering a wave of bomb attacks by the militant group since October 2011.