NAIROBI, August 4 – Kenyan security forces have launched a massive manhunt for one of the country’s most wanted terror suspects Fazul Abdullah Mohammed who on Saturday night escaped a police dragnet in the coastal town of Malindi.
According to a senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, Fazul managed to escape but two people who are believed to be his aides have been arrested and are being questioned.
Fazul who is wanted over simultaneous terror attacks on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 10 years ago, had previously escaped capture over the killing of at least 240 people in the August 7 attack in Nairobi and Dar es Salam.
“We were tipped by our informers that Fazul was around for medical checks on his kidney. But he has managed to escape,” the officer said.
He said they have found two passports belonging to Fazul and a laptop, which they believe has crucial information on terrorism activities.
“We are holding two people. They might help us in this operation,” the officer said.
On Thursday Kenya will be commemorating the10th anniversary since the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy.
Fazul has previously escaped from police custody in Mombasa.
Fazul’s name featured prominently in a murder trial of five Kenyans who were arrested and charged over the Kikambala hotel bombing where Israeli owned Paradise hotel was bombed and 15 people were killed in the November of 2002 attack.
The five were however acquitted of the killings for lack of evidence.
One of the suspects in the murder trial Omar Said Omar was later jailed for possessing an anti-tank missile and hand grenades. He has since filed an appeal which is due in court next month.