Intelligence reports have linked al Shabaab returnees to an attack that left an Imam and a village elder dead in Msambweni, Kwale county, on Saturday night.
Omar Shehe of Mabokoni mosque and Bakari Dondo were killed at 10pm.
Police had earlier said the two were murdered by a 15-man machete-wielding gang but the Star has established that about five al Shabaab returnees had given written warnings to the two prior to the attack.
Reports indicate the two where spying on the activities of al Shabaab sympathisers in the area for the government.
The returnees had sent about five warnings to the two telling them to stop selling their colleagues out to the police.
“If you continue spying on us tutahakikisha kichwa chako kimeachana na …. (We will make sure your head is cut off),” read the latest note sent to Dondo on June 7.
Dondo’s head was found buried few meters from where his body lay.
Other reports indicate two of the attackers escaped when the Anti-Terror Police Unit officers raided a house in Ng’ombeni where 10 suspected al Shabaab members were training youths in March.
Police recovered pangas, knives, cables, fertiliser, matchboxes, military trousers, books and notes with religious writings, black flags with white writings resembling the ones used by ISIS, al Shabaab and Boko Haram terror militants and material suspected to be for making explosives.
But Msambweni subcounty police commander Nehemiah Bitok said reports of al Shabaab returnees were rumours.
“Maybe it’s not MRC. Maybe it’s not the returnees. Maybe it’s some other people,” Bitok told the Star on phone on Monday.
Last November, gunmen shot an Imam and a village elder during a night attack and escaped using a motorbike at Kilolapwa and Shamu villages in Ukunda.