Canadian among 6 Muslim terrorists arrested over Nairobi hotel massacre
A Canadian national and five other Muslim terrorists who plotted the Kenya hotel massacre in Nairobi appeared in a court on Friday, as prosecutors investigate them for terror offenses.
A judge ordered the terrorists held for 30 days while authorities look into the terror attack on the upscale hotel in Kenya’s capital city, that was carried out by al-Shabaab, a terror group linked to al-Qaeda and based in neighboring Somalia.
Prosecutors suspect the accomplices, including two taxi drivers and an agent for a mobile phone-based money service, of “aiding and abetting” the terrorists, who stormed the Nairobi complex on Tuesday afternoon and were eliminated by Wednesday morning, according to a court document.
Prosecutors said they were pursuing more terrorists in and outside Kenya.
Muslim terrorist Guleid Abdihakim, described by prosecutors as a Canadian national, appeared in court with four other suspects identified as Joel Nganga Wainaina, Oliver Kanyango Muthee, Gladys Kaari Justus, and Osman Ibrahim.
Hussein Mohammed, another terrorist who was arrested in Mandera County along the border with Somalia, was brought to court separately, prosecutors said.
Kenyan authorities say 21 people, including one police officer, were murdered by the terrorists, one of whom blew himself up beside a restaurant. Another four gunmen were eliminated.
“The attackers were in constant communications with several phone numbers which are located in Somalia,” prosecutors said.
The terror attack began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up and armed Muslim terrorists detonating car bombs, throwing grenades and opening fire on civilians.
The attack on the Dusit hotel complex – which also houses offices and banks – sent people fleeing for their lives. More than three hours after the attack began, small groups of workers were still being taken out by officers escorting them to armored vehicles.
An American Jewish businessman was one of the 21 people murdered in the terror attack. Jason Spindler was the head of a consulting firm with offices located in the hotel complex that was attacked.
“Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell,” his brother Jonathan wrote on Facebook.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group said on Wednesday that they had launched the attack because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Kenya faced a spate of terror attacks after it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab terror group.
On April 2, 2015, another Shabaab attack killed 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.