More questions than answers over Fazul
Posted Saturday, August 16 2008 at 17:48
- As long as Fazul remains a free man nobody within Kenya’s borders can be safe.
- The Israeli mission held the view that Fazul was no Houdini (escapologist), but a terror chief with Deep Throat-type (Watergate) moles in the Kenya Police.
- There is an interesting relationship between criminals and police; for police to understand criminals better they live among them.
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe denies the popular view that mass murder mastermind Fazul remains at large because he has links with crooked and criminal elements in the Kenya Police.
In other words, Kiraithe is asking Kenyans and the world to believe that the architect of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi is a ghostly Houdini-style escape artist.
Fazul, Kiraithe is saying, is expertly running rings around genuinely perplexed and legitimately puzzled police officers.
That, of course, is an outrage, especially given that neither Kenyan nor Tanzanian authorities had even a whiff of the planning of the twin bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.
Nobody is safe
On the evidence of the deaths of more than 200 people on that August morning ten years ago last week, as long as Fazul remains a free man nobody within Kenya’s borders can be safe.
The danger is that with Fazul out there and a free man another atrocity could be visited against Kenyans at any time. Fazul deserves a long stretch of time in prison, with the keys to his cell thrown in the sea.
But it is the 10-year failure to capture Fazul, even when this has seemed the easier thing to do, that raises widespread suspicion that Kiraithe’s comrades-in-fighting crime, have question marks all over their faces and uniforms.
Listen to this. Sometime in 2003 I had lunch at the Tamarind with high-ranking officials of the Israeli mission in Nairobi.
It was clear they wanted to fill me in on their take on — and exasperation with — the way the Kenya Police was handling the Fazul matter.
Remember that it was just the previous year that terrorists had blown up the Kikambala-based Paradise Hotel in the hunt for Israelis.
This is to say that the mission was keenly following the investigations into the Kikambala bombing, the failed missile attack on an Israeli jetliner and the hunt for the culprits.
The officials told me that the mission was convinced that Fazul had escaped twice from the police in Kenya’s coastal towns and this could only have happened because police helped him escape.
The Israeli mission was itching to catch Fazul, but could not play policeman in Kenya for this is Vigilance House’s turf and call.
Again, the Israelis were making the point that if you lay a trap for such a highly prized international criminal you cannot afford to leave any loopholes through which he could slip through your fingers.
I was told that at one time police were sure they had their man cornered only for a grenade to explode unexpectedly and at a critical moment and allow Fazul to flee in the melee.
The Israeli officials told me they were convinced the grenade had been detonated deliberately by a policeman with the express intention of enabling Fazul to escape.
In other words, the Israeli mission held the very strong view that Fazul was no Houdini (escapologist), but a terror chief with Deep Throat-type (Watergate) moles in the Kenya Police.