Africa

Jermaine Grant to face Kenya bomb plot trial in May

Jermaine Grant Image copyright Other
Image caption Jermaine Grant was arrested in the port city of Mombasa in December

A Briton accused of Islamist extremist ties will stand trial for allegedly planning a bomb attack in Kenya and possessing explosive materials.

Jermaine Grant, 29, who was arrested in Mombasa in December, will face a Kenyan court on 9 May. He denies the charges.

He has been beaten and is being held in solitary confinement, his lawyer says.

The Londoner, who Kenyan authorities say is linked to Somali militants al-Shabab, has already been jailed for being in the country illegally.

Mr Grant, from Newham, in east London, was sentenced to three years in prison for using false documents that claimed he was a Canadian called Peter Joseph.

The Briton will stand trial with three Kenyan co-accused.

It comes amid heightened concern about the terror threat posed by Somalia's Islamist militancy to the Horn of Africa region and beyond.

Last month the Foreign Office warned that terrorists could be in the final stages of planning attacks on official buildings and tourist sites in Kenya.

A recent report by the security think tank the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) claimed Britons made up about 50 of the estimated 200 foreigners fighting with al-Shabab in Somalia.

"Those who survive tend to return in a matter of months or perhaps a year, and it is only a question of time before their commitment to the cause, and their newly-acquired expertise, are likely to be seen on British streets," noted Rusi director-general Professor Michael Clarke.

On a visit to the east African country earlier this month, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "For the security of the UK, it matters a lot for Somalia to become a more stable place."

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