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Form 3 student arrested in Westgate probe

The terror attack claimed lives of 61 civilians and six security officers. Photo/ FILE

The terror attack claimed lives of 61 civilians and six security officers. Photo/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – A Form three student was arrested on Tuesday in the ongoing investigation over the Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack.

The student whose name we have withheld for security reasons was picked up from his school on Murang’a Road in Nairobi.

“We have handed him over to the Anti Terrorism Police Unit,” Samuel Anampiu, police chief for Starehe said.

Police did not immediately reveal the role the student is thought to have played in the terror attack that claimed lives of 61 civilians and six security officers.

“The investigation is wide, we will not reveal all that we have, but I can confirm that the student is under investigations over the matter,” Anampiu said.

Three other suspects arrested in Eastleigh at the weekend are still undergoing interrogation by detectives probing the matter, police said.

So far, no suspect has been charged in court over the attack, after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku announced that eight suspects were still in custody.

Police had initially detained 11 suspects but three were released for lack of evidence.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said investigations have shown that the Westgate attack was perpetrated by between four to six men, who are all thought to have been killed during the four-day siege in the mall.

Police have in the meantime, appealed to the public to volunteer information that can lead to the arrest of two men captured on CCTV footage while entering Barclays Bank, Queensway Branch to seal a deal to purchase a motor vehicle that was used to ferry attackers and explosives to the mall on September 21.

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A reward of Sh500,000 will be offered to anyone who volunteers information of owners of the saloon car KAS 575X, a Mitsubishi which was seized outside the mall with some of the explosives.

Anti Terrorism Police Unit chief Boniface Mwaniki said they have identified the owners of the car as Abdikadir Haret Mohammed also known as Mohamed Hussein a Kenyan and Adab Dheq who is also known as Hussein Abdi Ali or Abdulahi Dugon Subow a Somali national.

“These are the owners of the car that was found outside the mall. Any information offered to us will be treated confidentially and whoever volunteers it rewarded,” Mwaniki said.

“The car had explosives and weapons and we want the owners,” he added, saying records at the motor vehicle registration department at Kenya Revenue Authority have shown they are the registered owners.

According to police, the two bought the car from an ICRAF official who had bought it from a UN staffer.

Records retrieved by police have shown that they bought the car from the ICRAF staffer on Sept 6 this year having paid Sh340,000.

Both men, now on the run, are known to have been residing in Eastleigh.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced plans to set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe the mall attack and identify security lapses.

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