Results tagged “Kenya”
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Authorities have confirmed that all four of the attackers at Nairobi's Westgate mall have been identified. Reports indicate that the Shabaab gunmen trained in Somalia and crossed into Kenya in June before carrying out the attack. A Western official privy to the investigation said the four had a "local support network" in Kenya, and that they had previously traveled abroad.
Kenya has closed several security posts along the Somalia border after recent Shabaab attacks in which six officers were killed and weapons and communications equipment were stolen. Police in Nairobi arrested over 300 suspected illegal aliens last night, mainly in the Eastleigh neighborhood; the area was targeted, police said, because it is where terrorists usually hide out.
Security forces arrested 21 refugees from the Hagadera camp as they headed towards Somalia to join Shabaab. A confidential security report estimates that over 300 Kenyan Shabaab operatives are currently in Kenya. The chairman of the National Security and Administration Committee blamed the intelligence gathering system for the fact that none of those responsible for the extrajudicial killing of nine Muslim preachers and two Christian pastors have been identified. Morten Storm, an alleged former informant for Danish intelligence and the CIA, claimed that wanted Shabaab terrorist Ikrima, a prime suspect in the Westgate Mall attacks, had known Anwar al Awlaki and handled foreign fighters for Shabaab.
Authorities charged four Somali men, Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adan Adan, and Hussein Hassan, for supporting Shabaab's Westgate Mall terror attack. Abdi and Abdullah are accused of aiding Moahmmed Abdinur Said and Hassan Mohammed Dhohullow the day before the attack. Abdi also allegedly harbored another terrorist, Abdikadir Hared Mohammed a.k.a. Mohammed Hussein, at Salman Al Faris Madrassa in Nairobi's Eastleigh district on or before Oct. 7. Four accomplices are said to have died during the mall siege, in which some hostages were reportedly tortured. The prosecution asked for more time for investigation.
The Kenyan Defense Forces confirmed that its aerial strike on a Shabaab training camp in Somalia's Dinsoor region destroyed four technical vehicles and a weapons store; KDF also said over 300 Shabaab recruits are thought to have died in the assault. The Anglican archbishop for Kenya rejected calls from pastors for guns for their protection and for security at church functions.
Police said they are holding five suspects in the Westgate Mall attack, but maintain that only four gunmen carried out the siege; other authorities have said that number is too low. Two soldiers were court-martialed for looting during the siege. Kenyan forces arrested three Tanzanians in Somalia suspected of membership in Shabaab and deported them to Tanzania. Authorities arrested Tanzanian national Sheikh Ramadhan Jumal outside Mombasa's Masjid Musa mosque last week on suspicion of encouraging youth to join Shabaab; two days of rioting followed his arrest. Security has been stepped up at two Nairobi malls after text messages were sent warning of terror attacks.
The interior minister fired 15 immigration officers for endangering national security by issuing ID documents to illegal aliens. He said some refugees from neighboring unstable countries have planned terror attacks from Kenyan refugee camps.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Lenku said the forensic report on the Westgate Mall attack will be out soon. Christian leaders in Mombasa protested after pastors were killed in Mombasa and in Kilifi. The pastor of the Mombasa church, which is situated very close to the controversial Masjid Musa, had received death threats. Rioting over the killing of a Mombasa imam on Oct. 4 by unknown assailants led to the burning of a Salvation Army worship center in Majengo on Oct. 11.
Investigators recovered four AK-47s and a human skull from the Westgate Mall site. Newly released CCTV footage shows attackers using their cell phones during the siege. Police are said to be holding three prime suspects, who are to be arraigned next week; over 60 suspects have been arrested, interrogated, and released. The US donated bomb disposal equipment to the Criminal Investigations Department.
Nairobi's chief criminal investigator said so far none of the key suspects in the Westgate Mall attack have been apprehended. Detectives are also looking for at least eight suspects thought to have been indirectly involved in the attack; four were seen on CCTV footage from the mall. Security forces monitored two elite high schools outside Nairobi after a threat was made to target the schools during prayer time. The families of two Westgate Mall terror suspects blamed extremist clerics for their sons' decision to join Shabaab. Leaked intelligence reportedly said "thousands" of Kenyan youth from Mombasa have joined the terror group. A youth was killed and his siblings injured when a grenade they were playing with exploded in Mandera.
A Kenyan intelligence report describing a journal kept by wanted UK terrorist Samantha Lewthwaite states that the al Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab terror network extends to a large number of countries, including Somalia, Uganda, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mali, South Africa, Yemen, and Pakistan. Lewthwaite, who is said to be a "logistician" for Shabaab, remains at large. She is thought to be married to Fahmi Jamal Salim, another key operative in the group. Intelligence officials are said to be concerned that al Qaeda affiliates have gained access to Libyan chemical weapons, and that Shabaab may be planning chemical weapons attacks in Kenya.
Police are looking for a Somali resident now living in Norway who is suspected of planning the Westgate Mall attack; some of the planning is said to have taken place at Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp. Swaleh Abdalla Said appeared in court after being accused of involvement in planning the Westgate attack. A witness said Swaleh was recruited by Shabaab in 2004. Other suspects have also been arrested recently, including Shabaab member Said Nassir Haidar. So far none of the bodies of the attackers have been found in the rubble of the mall.