Fazul probe extends to passport office

August 8, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 8 – Three officials at the Immigration Department have been questioned by detectives probing how terror suspect Fazul Abdullah Mohammed obtained two passports.

Capital News independently learnt that three officials had recorded statements with the police late Thursday over the matter.

Detectives are keen to establish how the 1998 US Embassy bomb mastermind acquired two Passports using the same photograph.

The two passports were seized last weekend at a house in Malindi during a raid in which the prime suspect fled.

“We want to establish how these passports were issued and the criteria used,” a senior source privy to the investigations told Capital News.

So far, he said, three officials have been interrogated at Nyayo House and their statements are being analysed.

The officer said two other suspects had been lined up for questioning on Monday.

Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ was not immediately available for comment.

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe confirmed the passports’ origin had been traced to the Immigration department.

He circulated the two passports to the local media to seek help from the public in the on-going investigations.

“We have every reason to believe that these are Fazul’s latest images. We are appealing for help from the public,” he said.

Fazul is wanted over the 1998 terror attacks on US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam which claimed the lives of more than 250 people and injured 6000 others.

In the past week, officers drawn from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) have been on high alert as the hunt for East Africa’s most sought- after terror suspect intensified.

On Wednesday, ATPU said they were looking for a man they suspect has been harbouring the wanted terror fugitive Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

The man said to be a Mombasa businessman was identified as Bajnaf Mselem Swaleh.

“We understand he had been staying with Fazul and he has since gone under. We are looking for him to assist us get this man,” our source at the ATPU said.

He said they had obtained the man’s picture which was due to be circulated in local media.

“He bears the image of a bearded man. We are told he is a Mombasa businessman with vast interests in real estate and motor vehicle dealership,” the officer said.

Anti-terrorism Police Unit officers hunting for the terror suspect said they had established that the businessman is Fazul’s close associate who has links with a family of three who were arrested last weekend.

The operation is concentrated in Malindi and Mombasa where the suspect is thought to be hiding.


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