THE four Westgate attackers entered Kenya on foot from Uganda, detectives have established. Two of the terrorists have been identified as Mohammed Abdinur Said and Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow. Police confirmed that 28 year-old Dhuhulow was a Norwegian as previously reported.
CID detectives were sent to Kampala where they questioned a taxi driver who drove the terrorists from Entebbe airport to the Malaba border crossing. They then crossed over to Kenya on foot.
Police are protecting the identity of the taxi driver as he might become a prosecution witness in the case against four Kenyans charged with aiding the terrorists.
Reliable sources said the four men flew from Somalia to Kenya with a local airline on June 22. The plane stopped at JKIA airport but the suspects did not alight and proceeded to Entebbe. The terrorists killed at least 67 people during the attack between September 21 and 24.
Norwegian police security service (Politiets Sikkerhetstjeneste) on Tuesday wrote to the CID to confirm that one terrorist was a Norwegian of Somali descent.
According to the Norwegian police, Abdi Dhuhulow lived in Norway for seven years after he was granted asylum in 2006 and had a cousin who also lived in Norway.
They asked the CID for more time to get information about Dhuhulow after it emerged that a man who he claimed in his immigration documents was his father was actually his cousin.
After interrogating the cousin in Norway, the Norwegian police have established that Dhuhulow’s father still lives in Somalia. The second named terrorist, Mohammed Abdinur Said, was a Somali refugee who stayed at the Kakuma refugee camp until 2012. He then went back to Somalia before returning to Kenya in June, police said.
It has also now emerged that the drone strike that killed al Shabaab commander Abdi Fatah in October was linked to the Westgate attack. Investigations revealed that Abdi Fatah spoke to Dhuhulow the day before and even on the day of the attack. CCTV footage showed one terrorist making telephone calls inside the mall.
Abdi Fatah was killed in al Shabaab’s Baraawe stronghold by drones aimed at Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a senior Shabaab figure also known as Ikrima.
Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said Abdi Fatah, alias Ballah, was killed alongside Abdullahi Ali, alias Ante Ante, also an al Shabaab commander in the southern area controlled by Kenyan Amisom troops.
“Ante Ante was very close to the overall Al-Shabaab commander Godane (Ahmed Abdi) and so he was involved in the actual planning of the Westgate attack.” Col Oguna said.
Forensic investigations from Westgate are yet to be concluded. Ten samples of badly charred bones, believed to be the remains of the four terrorists, have been taken abroad for DNA testing with the assistance of the FBI. The tests will be ready in one month.
Earlier this month four men were charged in a Nairobi court for assisting the four Westgate attackers. Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Omar Liban Abdulle, Adan Mohammed Ibrahim and Hussein Hassan Mutafa have denied the charges before magistrate D. Okundi who ordered that they be remanded at Kilimani police station.