, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 7 – Police have issued an alert against nine suspected Somali-trained terrorists operating in Kenya whom they believe are responsible for grenade attacks that occurred in Nairobi last year.
Identities and a number of photographs of the terror suspects were released on Tuesday afternoon when the police sent out an appeal to the public to help detectives with any piece of information that could help them apprehend the wanted men.
"Further investigations have revealed a wide network of other suspects fitting the same profiles and confirmed by independent witnesses to have been involved in various recent grenade attacks in Nairobi," a statement read to journalists by deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino said.
Mr Owino said police believed the nine were involved in an attack at a prayer meeting at Uhuru Park in June last year as well as in two other attacks in Nairobi\’s Eastleigh estate and on Thika Road. Two police officers were killed in both attacks.
He said the suspects had been evading police dragnets during raids mainly in Nairobi\’s Eastleigh estate and parts of the Coastal province where they have been hiding.
"A recent operation to arrest these suspects was not successful and we are therefore appealing for the assistance of the members of the public who may have information on their whereabouts to pass this information to the police to cause their arrest," Mr Owino said and urged members of the public to cooperate with them.
He particularly singled out two of those being sought, saying they had evidence showing that they were in the country having recently returned from Somalia.
"Initial investigations indicated that these two suspects had recently returned from Somalia were they had trained with Al-Shabaab, the proscribed organised criminal group that has known military training bases in Somalia," he said.
Mr Owino told journalists that detectives had positively identified an explosive used in one of the attacks in Eastleigh as a Russian-made F1 hand grenade, believed to have originated from a neighbouring country.
Police named the nine as Abass Mohamed Mwai, Juma Ayub Otit Were, Erick Achayo Ogada aka Swaleh aka Ibrahim, Steven Mwanzi Osaka aka Abbas aka Duda Brown, Jeremiah Okumu aka Mohamed aka Duda Black, Sylivester Opiyo Osodo aka Musa Abass Hussein Nderito Ibrahim Ruta aka Musyoki Kyondi and Abdulrahman Mutua Daud.
According to police intelligence, most of the suspects were born in Kenya and later converted to Islam before receiving military training from Al Shabaab operatives in Somalia.
Mr Owino said their investigations have further revealed that the suspected terrorists have been receiving training in Somalia since 2008 and are reported to have been entering the country at various intervals.
Mr Owino said two others suspects – John Mwanzia Ngui aka Yahya and David Kihuho Wangeci aka Yusuf who were part of the gang – were shot dead after the brutally shoot two traffic police officers on duty along Thika Road.
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