NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – Police have described the death of Al-Shabaab militant Adan Dheq alias Garar who was killed in a US drone attack in Bardhere, Somalia last week as the biggest blow to the militia group since the killing of its leader.
A profile released by police and the National Intelligence Service says Garar was a key facilitator during the 2013 Westgate attack that left more than 60 people dead.
He was specifically charged with the responsibility of bringing in the weapons that were used during the attack.
Garar, a Somali national according to the report, was the one who bought a Mitsubishi salon car that was seized in front of the mall after the attack.
The attack is said to have led to his promotion to the rank of a commander; “before then, he was a gun-for-hire used by Al Shabaab as a facilitator because of his ability to move people, weapons and explosives into Kenya successfully.”
Before then, police says Garar did not fit in the natural mould of a regular Al Shabaab operative “as he did not fight in the jabha (Al Shabaab lingua for the frontline) neither did he hold any specific title in the group until after Westgate Attack when he was made a unit leader or commander.”
Prior to the Westgate Attack, Garar is also said to have quietly facilitated low-level attacks in Kenya and Uganda.
“Garar was also involved in coordinating and planning of the attack that was to take place in September in Kampala September last year,” reads the report.
“While he was not physically present, Garar ensured that suicide vests were delivered to Uganda through Mandera by his accomplice Mahat Mohamed Jama aka Zakariye, who hails from Bulla Hawa, Somalia.”
Garar is also said to have been instrumental in facilitating the movement of the Vehicle Bound Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) from Somalia into Kenya.
According to police, he used a network of individuals who included a woman, Ladhan Hokitu, and Abdiaziz Abdullahi Abdi.
Hokitu, who is currently in custody in Somalia, was responsible for acquiring registered SIM cards for the operatives while Abdullahi together with another accomplice Issak Noor Ibrahim were in charge of the vehicle and its deadly cargo.
The team behind the plot was arrested in March last year in one of the most-successful sting operation by Kenya’s anti-terror security agencies.
“The sophistication with which the explosives and weapons were hidden in the 4×4 motor vehicle indicated that the individual who fitted the vehicle was an expert,” the report pointed out.
Police have described the slain terror suspect as a certified psychopath known for extreme fits of anger, which would often see him shoot haphazardly whenever he flew into tantrums.
Prior to his death about a week ago, the report has reviewed that Garar had dispatched operatives to carry out a fresh attack in Nairobi in retaliation to the arrests of several Al Shabaab combatants and security agents’ operations that have neutralised a number of Al Shabaab cells.