Congolese government sources this week confirmed the arrest of Salim Rashid Mohamed, an exemplary former Kenyan student who was recruited into terrorism three years ago.
The 27-year-old was apprehended in Beni, a city in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, lying immediately west of the Virunga National Park and the Rwenzori Mountains where he is believed to have been working with members of Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
According to reports from local outlets, Rashid is said to have participated in the killing of many Congolese civilians and military personnel with machetes.
In one undated video, a person suspected to be Salim is captured beheading an alleged traitor.
The terrorists, all wearing military fatigues and armed with machetes and rifles are seen with a machete shouting in Swahili and Arabic that traitors must be killed.
Salim’s Education background
Prior to his entry into terrorism, the student born and bred in Mvita, Mombasa County, was seen as a ray of hope in his family who believed that his prolific academic capabilities would change their lives.
According to records, Salim attended Qubaa Nursery in Mvita and later joined Qubaa Primary School, before being transferred to Abu Hureira Academy, where he sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in 2010 and passed.
He later joined a private secondary school in Mombasa in 2011 and sat his KCSE exam in 2014 emerging as one of the top candidates with an A-(minus) grade.
He was later enrolled at the Technical University of Mombasa to study computer engineering but dropped out after the first year.
He then enrolled for a brief certificate course in computer studies at Abraar Muslim School after which his father paid for computer engineering studies at Istanbul Kultur University in Turkey.
Salim’s entry into terrorism
After a few months in Instanbul, Rashid was deported from Turkey on suspicion of being a member of Isis after he was reportedly found at the border headed to Syria.
Following his return to Kenya, he was charged with the offence at Shanzu Law Court but was acquitted over lack of evidence.
This was only the beginning.
On March 8th 2019, Rashid was again arrested at the Moi International Airport and charged together with others for being members of the terror group al-Shabaab.
When detectives picked him up, they found him in possession of items used to make improvised explosive devices for the purposes of terror activities.
After spending days in remand, Salim eventually secured a Sh1.5 million bond with one surety of a similar amount.
He kept religiously attending the court proceedings until one day in October last 2020 when his family reported he had mysteriously vanished into thin air
As the family was unable to trace him, intelligence reports showed that Salim was suspected to have escaped to Mozambique.
At the time, he was said to be fighting for the terror group ” al-Qaeda”.
Below is a video of Congolese forces questioning Salim after his capture.