4 Somali gunmen in Kenya mall attack identified

2013-11-19 09:25
Kenya mall attack. (AP)

Kenya mall attack. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - The four Westgate Mall attackers - all ethnic Somalis - crossed into Kenya in June and settled down in Nairobi's ethnic Somali neighbourhood, where they worked out at the Andalus Gym, a Western official said on Monday.

The official for the first time on Monday confirmed that all four attackers' have been identified. All four are ethnic Somali; none of the four has ever been to the US or UK, the official said.

Little has been released publicly about the attackers behind the 21 September grenades-and-gunfire assault on Nairobi's upscale mall, an attack that killed at least 67 people and froze the city for four days.

Two attackers were previously identified: Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a 23-year-old Somalia native whose family moved to Norway in 1999. A second name was revealed in court documents as Mohammed Abdinur Said. The official on Monday declined to release the other two names, saying only that they are known. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss information not yet released publicly.

The four gunmen arrived in Kenya in June and were previously in Somalia. Officials know where the four lived in Nairobi and the gym they attended in Nairobi's Somali neighbourhood, Eastleigh. An employee of that gym — Andalus Gym — said in a phone call on Monday he was not aware that any of the four had been to his gym.

Large scale attacks

The Somali militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in retaliation for Kenya's sending of troops into Somalia. The group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, had threatened large-scale attacks for years, and it has said more will be carried out unless Kenya withdraws.

The mall siege was carried out by four men with AK-47 assault rifles, but the standoff turned into a four-day fiasco that saw the mall go up in flames and a section of the structure collapse. Afterward it was revealed that Kenyan army troops looted high-end merchandise inside the mall during the siege.

Remains were found in the mall's rubble that the official said are believed to be those of the attackers. The remains are being analysed by an FBI lab. Only four attackers were seen on closed-circuit television images from the mall, despite early reports from the government of up to 15 attackers.

Kenyan officials say 67 people died in the September attack, but some two dozen people remain unaccounted for, and the official said the toll could rise as high as 94.

Despite press reports during the mall siege that the attackers had hostages and had prepositioned weapons or ammunition inside the mall, no evidence has emerged to back those claims, the official said.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  kenya  |  somalia  |  kenya mall attack  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.