Official: British man arrested in Somalia

Story highlights

  • The UK Foreign Office says it is aware of the reported arrest and is looking into it
  • The British suspect came to Somalia without a visa, an aide to the president says
  • He told Somali authorities he wanted to help Islam, the aide said
A 45-year-old British man has been arrested in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for suspected ties to al Qaeda, a spokesman for Somalia's president said Tuesday.
The man is not of Somali origin, said Abdirahman Omar Osman, also a senior adviser to President Sharif Ahmed.
Osman said the suspect had come to Somalia without a visa and upon questioning said he wanted to help Islam. Authorities have seized his computer.
A spokesman at the UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the matter and was looking into it.
Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group allied to al Qaeda, controls much of southern Somalia and is active around Mogadishu.
It has waged an insurgency against the weak Transitional Federal Government since 2007.