Kenyan police had arrested what was first believed to be a Swedish national, suspected to have links with the Somali Islamist militia al-Shabaab, a senior police officer told news agency AFP on Monday.
“He is being interrogated on his mission in the country. We have reason to believe he has terrorism links (with al-Shabaab),” the official said on condition of anonymity.
A police spokesman later confirmed the arrest but declined to provide any further details.
The senior officer said that the officers were seeking to determine if the suspect had links with a wanted German national, believed to have entered Kenya illegally and could have information “on planned al-Shabaab criminal activities”.
The Swedish embassy in Nairobi could not be immediately reached for comment and a spokesperson at the foreign ministry in Stockholm declined to comment on the report, not knowing any of the particulars surrounding the arrest.
“I’ve seen the media reports, but the foreign ministry hasn’t received any official information on the case,” Catarina Axelsson, a spokesperson with the Swedish foreign ministry, told the Expressen newspaper on Tuesday.
However, it turned out that there was good reason for the lack of official confirmation, as the foreign ministry later received word that the arrested man was not in fact Swedish, but hailing from Switzerland.
“We have now had word from our embassy in Nairobi that the man is in fact Swiss,” said Anna Backlund of the foreign ministry to news agency TT later on Tuesday.