NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Ali Salim Gichunge, the main planner earlier thought to have been killed when the Tuesday 14 Riverside Drive attack was staged killing 21 people, is among 11 suspects in the police custody.
“He is in custody, there must have been confusion (that he had been killed) because his vehicle was at the scene,” detectives said.
The attack was staged by five terrorists and all died – one having blown himself up while four were shot dead.
Gichunge, who is also known as Farouk is from Isiolo and has rented the house in Ruaka that was raided by police soon after the attack.
He is in custody alongside his wife Violet Kemunto according to her birth certificate but had an Identity card with a different name.
Kemunto publicly identifies herself as an Al Shabaab bride, according to her neighbours and friends.
The rest of the suspects were arrested in Nairobi, Mombasa and Western Kenya – having been linked to the attack from their constant communication with terrorists, including in Somalia.
– Chronology of events –
It all started on Tuesday afternoon when heavily armed terrorists drove inside the 14 Riverside Drive complex aboard two vehicles.
A suicide bomber proceeded towards to the Secret Garden restaurant and blew himself up right outside killing five people.
This marked the beginning of the onslaught as people within the complex either decided to run or take cover.
The terrorists were seen walking majestically towards the complex firing indiscriminately.
This went on for close to 20 hours until they were neutralized by Kenya’s Special Forces with the help of their foreign counterparts.
Some 700 hundred people were safely evacuated.
On Thursday, detectives resumed their search within the complex with sniffer dogs and bomb experts.
Police warned of more safe blasts as they detonate explosives left behind by the five slain terrorists.
Meanwhile, DCI George Kinoti on Thursday urged members of the public to make available any information that may help the ongoing probe after the attack.
In an appeal posted on social media, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations assured anyone willing to share such information of confidentiality.
One can either choose to go report at the DCI Headquarters located on Kiambu Road or call the toll-free police emergency lines 999, 112 or 911.