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Four charged by Kenyan court over Westgate mall attack

The men were charged with supporting a terrorist group, although none are accused of being the gunmen involved in the attack.

The collapsed upper car park at the Westgate Mall.
The collapsed upper car park at the Westgate Mall.
Image: Jason Straziuso/AP/Press Association Images

FOUR MEN HAVE been charged in connection with last month’s Westgate mall massacre.

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shebab claimed responsibility for the September 21st attack in which at least 67 people were killed in Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

The charge sheet read that “the accused persons carried out a terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping Mall on September 21 by supporting a terrorist group”.

Not guilty plea

All pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also included entering Kenya illegally and obtaining false identification documents.

None are accused of being the gunmen in the mall.

The four, who are all ethnic Somalis, are Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adan Adan and Hussein Hassan.

Some of those charged were arrested in Kenya’s northwestern desert refugee camp of Kakuma, a vast settlement home to over 125,000 refugees from across the region, including Somalia.

Further investigations

The suspects, who had no legal representation, were remanded in custody for one week after the prosecution asked for more time for further investigations.

All the gunmen in the Westgate attack — totalling just four, not the dozen that security forces had initially reported — are understood to have died during the four-day siege.

Interpol is assisting Kenya in trying to identify four bodies suspected to be the gunmen, police said last week.

The Kenyan Red Cross has said some 20 people are still missing, and there are fears more bodies could be found in the wreckage of the mall.

Link to Norway

Detectives are continuing to investigate a possible link to Norway, with Ndegwa Muhoro, head of Kenya’s Police Criminal Investigation Department, saying last week that a telephone call was made to the country from the mall during the attack.

A Norwegian citizen of Somali origin is suspected of being one of the attackers.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: ‘White Widow’ Lewthwaite ‘was not part of the attackers’ – Kenyan police >

More: Son of former Kenyan ambassador to Ireland killed in Nairobi siege >

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