5 Kenyans, 1 Tanzanian detained over Kenya university massacre
5 Kenyans, 1 Tanzanian detained over Kenya university massacre

[JURIST] A court in Nairobi on Tuesday ordered five Kenyan citizens and a Tanzanian to be detained for 30 days while authorities investigate possible connections to last week’s university massacre. The court granted state lawyers’ request [AFP report] for the extended detention of the six suspects, which will likely last up to 24 hours before the detainee has to be presented in court. The Tanzanian is still being held in Garissa, where the massacre took place. Lawyers for the police said that the five Kenyan citizens were being investigated for supplying the attackers with weapons but did not give any further details. The Tanzanian citizen, who worked as a security guard on the campus, was found “hiding in the ceiling” of a university building, holding grenades. The five Kenyan citizens were arrested while trying to cross the border to Somalia. Al Qaeda linked militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility [CNN report] for the attack at Garissa University College, which left 148 people dead. Kenyan authorities are offering a USD $215,000 reward for alleged Al-Shabaab commander Mohamed Mohamud, who is said to be the mastermind behind the university attack.

In February, a former aide of Osama Bin Laden was convicted [JURIST report] of plotting the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. In June the US Department of Defense approved [JURIST report] the war crimes trial of Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former leader of al Qaeda’s army between 2002 and 2004, accused [charge sheet, PDF] of killing US service members and funding al Qaeda operations amongst other things. In March 2013 Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama Bin Laden, was captured [JURIST report] and thereafter indicted in US federal court for plotting to kill Americans. In January 2013 the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the conspiracy conviction [JURIST report] of Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul, Osama bin Laden’s media secretary. In October 2012 Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Abu Hamza Al Masri pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to 11 criminal charges, including taking hostages, providing material support to terrorist groups and conspiracy.