October 18, 2013

Norwegian Somali ID’d as one of four Kenya mall attackers

More remains awaiting analysis Friday as forensics experts work to determine names of the other three.

By Tom Odula And Jason Straziuso
Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

In this photo taken from footage from Citizen TV, via the Kenya Defence Forces and made available Friday, Oct. 4, a man reported to be one of the four armed militants walks in a store at the Westgate Mall, during the four-day-long siege at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya which killed more than 60 people last month.

The Associated Press

Johansen Oduor, the chief Kenyan government pathologist, said he didn’t know if the remains were those of two bodies or three because the remains were sealed and he hadn’t seen them yet.

The Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the Sept. 21 attack, saying it was in retaliation for Kenya sending troops into Somalia to go after the extremists. Kenyan officials initially said it was carried out by 10 to 15 gunmen, but the security camera video shows only four. A police official said three suspects are in custody, though none directly took part in the attack.

Besides the AK-47 rifles, 11 magazines of ammunition — all apparently used by the attackers — were also found in the rubble, a security official said. A rocket-propelled grenade, likely from Kenyan security forces, was also recovered. The two officials insisted on anonymity because the information has not been released publicly.

Somali authorities may have had Dhuhulow in their grasp earlier this year, when a man with the same name was arrested in Mogadishu in connection with the murder of a Somali journalist. The man was released by a Somali court in March for lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, in Larvik, those who knew Dhuhulow said they were shocked that someone who grew up in their midst had been identified as a suspect in the Nairobi mall attack.

Hassan described the community as a “wonderful multicultural” place with a strong track record of peaceful integration. “The language school here, where foreigners come to learn Norwegian, is brilliant. It is teaching other communities how to do it,” he said.

Robert Rognli, the principal of Thor Heyerdahl High School, which Dhuhulow attended from 2006-2009, described Larvik as a “typical Norwegian town with a typical Norwegian community spirit.”

A former high school classmate of Dhuhulow’s said it was hard to believe that the teen she once knew could have carried out such an attack.

“The video I saw looks a lot like him. But it’s difficult to see,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used because she was uncomfortable being associated with a terror investigation.

“He was a quiet guy,” she said. “He was very committed to his religion, but not extreme. He brought a prayer mat to school.”

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