Friday, October 11, 2013
Norway said on Thursday that one of its citizens may
have been involved in the attack on a Kenyan shopping mall last month which
killed at least 67 people and was claimed by Somali Islamist militants.
More than two weeks after the mall assault, the worst attack
on Kenyan soil since al-Qaeda bombed the US Embassy in 1998, it remains unclear
how many gunmen were involved and what their nationalities were.
Kenyan government officials at the time of the raid said
10-15 militants had stormed the upscale mall, but so far only four have been
named. Witnesses have said some of the gunmen may have escaped the building
early on in the four-day stand-off with the military.
Norwegian investigators were now in the Kenyan capital
Nairobi, Norway's police security service, known as PST, said.
"PST has received information that a Norwegian citizen
of Somali origin may have been involved in the planning and execution of the
attack, and PST decided to initiate an investigation on this basis," PST
said in a statement.
Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab rebels have said they
staged the attack as an act of revenge for Kenya's military campaign in the
Horn of Africa nation to help neutralise al-Shabaab and restore order there
after two decades of anarchy.
Jan Glent, a PST section leader, told Norway's private
broadcaster TV2 that he could not rule out "more Norway-linked
US special forces carried out a raid on the Somali town of
Barawe, a rebel stronghold south of the capital Mogadishu, on Saturday to
capture a militant commander linked to multiple plots against Kenya. The
mission failed after the Navy SEALS retreated under heavy gunfire.
US officials identified the target as Ikrima, the nom de
guerre of Abdikadar Mohamed Abdikadar who Kenyan and Western security agencies
say was a go-between for commanders of al-Shabaab with al-Qaeda and Kenya's
Earlier this week, Norwegian TV2 reported Ikrima travelled
to Norway where he applied for asylum, but left in 2008 before there was a
decision on his application. When in Norway, he lived in the Oslo area but
visited Somalia, the channel said.