Results tagged “Kenya”
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After a popular hardline Islamist cleric was shot and killed along with three companions in Mombasa last night, rioting Muslims clashed with police, burned a church, and blocked a main road into the city. Militant Islamist Sheikh Abubakar Shariff a.k.a. Makaburi, who is already facing terrorism charges, appeared quickly at the scene and denounced the killing as a government assassination, and claimed Muslims are now justified to disobey Kenyan laws. Two weeks after the Westgate Mall massacre, only three bodies have been recovered from the rubble, despite claims of more missing. Intelligence officials think at least two of the terrorists escaped during the siege.
Abu Sandheere, a Kenyan al Qaeda operative, is suspected to have planned the Westgate Mall assault, and is thought to have escaped into Somalia. A 20-member Shabaab assassination squad led by Salaad Hassan and Khadar Abdi Abubakar is thought to be at large in Kenya. The number of people missing from the siege has dropped from 61 to 39. The bodies of five terrorists are thought to be under the rubble of the collapsed mall, and no terrorists' bodies have been recovered. The interior minister admitted that some of the terrorists may have escaped. Investigators are looking for cars the terrorists reportedly used.
The government said it is "at war" with Shabaab, and tried to address reports that it had received intelligence warnings before the Westgate Mall massacre that Shabaab was likely to attack in Nairobi. Kenya called for the US to withdraw a travel advisory issued yesterday which warned that "the US government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western and Kenyan interests in Kenya, including in the Nairobi area and in the coastal city of Mombasa."
Authorities are holding eight suspects in the Nairobi mall attack, and have released three others. Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite, who is wanted by Kenya on terrorism charges from 2011. A witness to the attack said the terrorist assault team was directed by a female attacker. Prior to the assault, the attackers are said to have rented a shop from a Turkish man in the mall; the shop was reportedly used to store weapons.
Shabaab's emir threatened more attacks if Kenya does not withdraw its troops from Somalia. The death toll in the attack, already at 62, may rise by as many as 60 more as security forces and forensic experts continue to sweep the building. A British man of Somali origins was arrested at Nairobi airport on suspicion of links to the attack. US officials say Shabaab may have recruited Americans for the attack; officials also say some attackers may have escaped later dressed as civilians. British terrorist Jermaine Grant appeared in court on charges of possessing explosives in a flat he had shared in Mombasa with "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite. The US has agreed to Kenya's request to help investigate the Nairobi mall attack.