From AP, with thanks to Nicolei:
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) — Police have arrested a militant Islamic leader on the island of Zanzibar and have begun questioning him about a series of bombings and arson attacks, police said Sunday.
The cleric, Sheikh Khalid Azan, was found late Saturday after a three-week manhunt, regional police commander George Kizuguto said.
“Khalid Azan was arrested in connection to different acts of violence, sabotage and vandalism, including the spate of bombings. He will appear in court soon,” Kizuguto said.
Khalid is one of the top leaders of a radical Islamic group known as Islamic Propagation and Awareness, known by its Swahili acronym UAMSHO. The group is suspected of involvement in the firebombing of a church, a moderate Muslim leaders and government offices.
The group’s leaders want Zanzibar to be ruled under Sharia law, and some have called for the assassination of secular political leaders who oppose their agenda.
Sheik Farid Ali, another of the group’s leaders, was released by police in the Indian Ocean archipelago on April 1 after spending nearly two weeks in custody. The group’s spokesman said Farid Ali had been tortured by the police and was being treated for his injuries at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, in mainland Tanzania.
Police refused to comment on the allegations.
The Zanzibar archipelago is semi-autonomous from mainland Tanzania, electing its own president and legislature. But like the mainland, where the majority of people follow Christianity or African religions, the archipelago is run by a secular government.
However, moderate Zanzibari Muslim leaders and Tanzanian and foreign officials have expressed concerns about rising extremism among young Muslims in the archipelago, which includes Zanzibar and the smaller island of Pemba.