4 Kenyan attack suspects named

2013-10-06 14:18
Bullet-holes pepper the glass door of a shop in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (Rukmini Callimachi, AP)

Bullet-holes pepper the glass door of a shop in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (Rukmini Callimachi, AP)

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

Nairobi - A military spokesperson on Saturday confirmed the names of four men implicated in the attack on an upscale mall in Kenya's capital last month, an assault that turned into a four-day-long siege and killed at least 67 people.

Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the attackers were Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr, names that were first broadcast by local Kenyan television station Citizen TV.

"I confirm those are the names of the terrorist," he said, in a Twitter message sent to The Associated Press.

The identities of the men came as the private TV station in Nairobi broadcast closed circuit television footage from Westgate mall.

The footage shows no more than four attackers. They are seen calmly walking through a storeroom inside the complex, machine guns strapped to their torsos. One of the men's pant legs appear stained with blood, though he is not limping, and it is unclear whose blood it is.

The footage appears to contradict earlier government statements indicating 10 to 15 attackers were involved in the 21 September attack, although the footage may not show all of the assailants that took part.

Terrified shoppers hid

It's not yet known if the four shown managed to escape, or if they were killed by security forces reacting to the scene.

Terrified shoppers hid behind mannequins, inside cardboard boxes, in storage rooms, in ventilation shafts and in the parking lot underneath parked cars during the attack, many hiding for hours before help arrived.

Al-Shabab, al-Qaeda's affiliate in neighbouring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the assault, saying it was revenge for Kenya's 2011 military intervention in Somalia, which was aimed at flushing out the extremists.

Little is known about the identities of the attackers beyond their names.

Matt Bryden, the former head of the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea and a top expert on al-Shabab, said via email that al-Kene and Umayr are known members of al-Hijra, the Kenyan arm of the Somali militant group.

He said Nabhan may be related to the late al-Qaeda operative Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan 0 an alleged plotter in the 1998 bombings at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 250 people. He was killed in a 2009 Navy SEAL strike in the town of Barawe in Somalia.

But Bryden also cautioned that Nabhan is a common coastal name in Kenya, so there may be no link to the al-Qaeda leader.

Before dawn on Saturday, foreign military forces carried out a strike in the same village against what a Somalia intelligence official said were "high-profile" targets. A Western intelligence official said it appeared either US or French forces likely carried out the attack.

Both officials insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Read more on:    kenya  |  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

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.