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Four charged with assisting mall terrorists

From Left: Hussein Hassan Mustafa, Ibrahim Adan Dheq, Liban Abdulahi and Mohammed Ahmed. The four were on November 4th charged over the Westgate shopping mall terror attack in which at least 70 people were killed and over 200 others injured on September 21. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Four men were Monday charged over the Westgate shopping mall terror attack in which at least 70 people were killed and over 200 others injured on September 21.

The accused — all in their 20s — were taken to the Milimani court in Nairobi under tight security.

Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Hussein Hassan Mustafa and Ibrahim Adan Dheq were charged with five counts of supporting terrorism and obtaining false identification documents.

State counsel James Kirui said that before the fateful day, Mohamed Ahmed Abdi and Liban Abdullah Omar supported two terrorists identified as Abdinur Said and Hassan Dhohullow in “committing a terrorist act at the Westgate Mall”.

He also accused Ibrahim Adan Dheq of offering shelter to one Abdikadir Hared Mohammed alias Mohammed Hussein at Salman Al-Faris Madrassa on Eastleigh’s Muyuyu Avenue in Nairobi on or before October 7 while knowing he had committed a terrorist act.

Dheq was further charged with obtaining a false Kenyan identity card on July 13, 2010 at the National Registration Bureau office in Mandera Town.

All the four denied the charges and were remanded at the Kilimani Police Station for seven days to enable police to complete investigations.

None of the men was accused of being the gunmen who shot indiscriminately at shoppers in the Westgate Mall. However, the four are suspected to have been involved in the attack in different ways, alongside others who are either at large or were killed in the security operation.

The four communicated with the court through a Somali translator because they had indicated that they did not understand English or Kiswahili.

At different stages during the proceedings, the accused raised their hands to catch the court’s attention or mumbled.

Mr Kirui said the police had sworn an affidavit against the accused being granted bail on grounds that they are international criminals with no permanent residence in the country and were likely to interfere with ongoing investigations.

Inspector Kennedy Musyoki swore the affidavit, saying, four accomplices died in the security operation to rescue hostages.

Roam the country

“Investigations were commenced which led to arrests of a number of suspects including the respondents who were either directly or indirectly involved in the mall attack,” Mr Kirui said.

He told the court that investigations covered North Eastern, Kakuma and the neighbouring Somalia and Uganda.

“We believe they are international criminals who, if granted bail, will definitely abscond and it will be difficult to trace them,” Mr Kirui said.

“Granting the suspects bail is tantamount to allowing them to roam the country to accomplish their machinations of causing mass destruction to life and property and interference with witnesses thereby obstructing the course of justice.”

The magistrate, Ms Dolphine Okundi, concurred that the police had compelling reasons to disallow the release of the suspects on bond.

“Bail or bond at this stage is denied,” the magistrate ruled and ordered that the four be remanded for a week.

The accused chatted briefly as they waited to be led back to the cells after the court proceedings.

Their nationalities have not been disclosed, but they are believed to be from Somalia.


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