Inside Story

Kenyan minister denies police ‘death squads’

Government spokesman rejects Al Jazeera investigation into extrajudicial killings of suspected ‘Muslim radicals’.

Kenya’s information minister has denied the existence of “death squads” within the country’s police force.

Counterterrorism officers told Al Jazeera’s investigative unit that extrajudicial killings were sanctioned by the Kenyan government, and the chain of command reached all the way to the president’s office.

Officers confessed to being behind hundreds of extrajudicial killings a year, targeting what they referred to as “Muslim radicals”, and planting evidence to make victims appear like terror suspects.

But speaking to Inside Story, Kenya’s Information Minister Fred Matiangi said: “The accusations of the police being involved in the killing of Muslim clerics and so on is just gossip, rumour and innuendo, pedalled by people who have a different kind of agenda.”

He blamed criminals for carrying out killings in the country, but added that if police were found to be involved they would face “the full force of the law”.

Al Jazeera was also told Britain and Israel knew of the elimination programmes, and provided training, support and intelligence.

So what role is Kenya playing in the so-called “war on terror”? And are suspects being executed on government orders?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Fred Matiangi – Kenyan minister of information.

Simon Boazman – Al Jazeera investigative journalist and reporter on “Inside Kenya’s Death Squads”.

David Anderson – professor of African history and politics at Warwick University.