Kenya charges four over Westgate mall attack

Updated 05 November 2013

Kenya charges four over Westgate mall attack

NAIROBI: Kenya charged four men Monday in connection with the Westgate mall massacre in September, an attack claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabab in which at least 67 people were killed.
“The accused persons carried out a terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping Mall on September 21 by supporting a terrorist group,” the charge sheet read.
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.
The suspects, who had no lawyer, were remanded in custody for one week after the prosecution asked for more time for further investigations.
All the gunmen in the Westgate attack — totaling 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.
Witnesses in the mall described how the fighters stormed the crowded complex, firing from the hip and hurling grenades at shoppers and staff.
The gunmen coldly executed scores of people, with witnesses recounting how in some cases they called out to those wounded, then shot them at close range.
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.
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.
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, a 23-year-old named in media reports as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow.
Norway’s PST intelligence agency has said it has investigated reports about the possible involvement of a Norwegian of Somali origin in both planning and carrying out the attack, but has declined to comment if Dhuhulow was involved.
After the attack, the Shabab threatened further attacks against Kenya, after Nairobi refused to pull its troops out of Somalia, warning that, “rivers of blood will flow in Nairobi.” Kenya invaded southern Somalia to attack Shabab bases two years ago, and later joined the 17,700-strong African Union force deployed in the country.
In Somalia, efforts continue to target the Shabab, with a US drone strike killing the extremists’ top suicide bomb-maker last week.


Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal

Updated 47 min 6 sec ago

Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal

  • Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talk of reopening the 2015 deal

BERLIN: Germany said Friday that a new broader Iran nuclear accord must be reached to also rein in Tehran’s ballistic missile program, warning that the 2015 deal was no longer enough.
“A form of ‘nuclear agreement plus’ is needed, which also lies in our interest,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told Spiegel magazine in an interview.
“We have clear expectations for Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic rocket program which threatens the whole region. Iran must also play another role in the region.”
“We need this accord because we distrust Iran,” he added.
The 2015 nuclear deal — known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
The European Union and the United States were key signatories in the deal but US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and has reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
President-elect Joe Biden has signalled that Washington could rejoin the deal as a starting point for follow-on negotiations if Iran returned to compliance.
But Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talk of reopening the 2015 deal, saying on Thursday: “We will not renegotiate a deal which we negotiated.”
He added that Western powers should look to their own behavior before criticizing Iran.
He also complained at what he characterised as a lack of European outrage at the assassination of one of Iran’s leading nuclear scientists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, outside Tehran last week — an attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.
Decades old US-Iranian tensions dramatically escalated after Trump walked out of the deal.
In recent months, alarm has also grown over Iran’s regional activities through proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, which the West says destabilizes the region.