Kenyan official’s son identified as one of the gunmen at a Garissa university

Authorities have identified one of the al-Shabab gunmen responsible for the massacre at a Kenyan university last week that killed 148 students as the son of a Kenyan official.

A chief in Mandera County had reported his son missing last year, fearing that he had gone to Somalia. His worst fears were confirmed Sunday, when his son, Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, was named as one of those responsible for the attack.

Abdullahi was a University of Nairobi graduate who received a law degree in 2013.

All the four attackers who struck at the campus of Garissa University College on Thusday were killed by security forces. More than 500 students were rescued.

The news about Abdullahi came as Garissa’s Christian residents celebrated Easter Sunday. Garissa’s minority Christian population has been on edge since the news broke that the attackers had targeted Christian students, with tensions running particularly high on Easter morning.

As it had with its previous assaults in Kenya, which have killed more than 200 Kenyans in two years, al-Shabab said the attacks were in retaliation for Kenya’s 2011 invasion of Somalia and its continued presence in the country. The invasion was allegedly in response to the kidnapping of Westerners in northeastern Kenya.

“Since October 2011, Kenya has been the most insecure that we have seen in decades. If going into Somalia was to secure Kenya, then they have failed,” said Abdullahi Halakhe, a Horn of Africa analyst with Amnesty International. “The elephant in the room is what is Kenya’s plan as far as Somalia is concerned? What does the exit plan look like? Is it two years, is it three years?”

Source: Washington Post

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