Police trailed terror suspects before Nairobi blast
Posted Tuesday, May 29 2012 at 22:30
Police were trailing four terrorism suspects a week before the Monday blast in Nairobi in which 36 people were injured.
Sources in the force told the Nation that detectives, who had been monitoring the movements of the four, were alarmed when they changed sim cards six days to the explosion at Moi Avenue’s Assanand’s House.
This is one of the leads detectives are pursuing in the hunt for those responsible for the attack.
Three of the suspects are said to be based in Nairobi and the other one in Mombasa, where a Muslim lobby group yesterday condemned the attack.
The Kenya National Muslims Advisory Council chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao demanded the resignation of those charged with the protection of Kenyans.
In the Nairobi explosion, police sources said the suspects’ movements were being monitored using their mobile phones.
However, detectives have established that the phones which were being tracked were nowhere near the scene when the explosion went off.
And on Tuesday, American detectives joined the hunt for the suspects. Internal Security assistant minister Orwa Ojode said the government had sought assistance in tracking down the suspects.
Focus on two men
“For Nairobi and parts of the country to be safe, we will need the assistance of the FBI and even the Scotland Yard (from the UK). We are determined to wipe out the terrorists,” he said.
Police said investigations had concluded that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device ‘‘planted by criminals’’.
‘‘The investigating team is now working to establish the identity of the perpetrators of this serious crime,’’ spokesman Eric Kiraithe said in a statement adding that they were zeroing in on two men.
One of the suspects, whose photo police circulated, is identified as Emrah Erdogan. He is believed to have entered Kenya through Garissa from Somalia on May 3.
Mr Kiraithe also said tests were being done to establish the materials used in the explosive. However, some sources indicated that a fertiliser bomb could have been the cause of the lunch-time explosion.
Detectives from the Federal Bureau of Investigations were at the scene collecting samples for tests.
Samples for analysis
They sifted through the debris using special metal detectors. Samples collected were sent to the Government Chemist and the US for analysis.
The development came as fresh details emerged about events leading to the explosion that caused a huge hole in the ground and blew off iron sheets from the roof.