Kenya arraigns in court 17 suspects of university terror attack

Security forces have laid siege to the area around the university

A Kenyan court on Tuesday ordered the police to detain 17 suspected Al-Shabaab operatives linked to the Garissa University massacre in which 148 innocent people were killed last week.

Six of the suspects, Mohamed Adan Surow, Osman Abdi Dakane, Rashid Charles Mberesero aka Rehani Dida, Mohamed Abdi Abikar, Hassan Aden Hassan and Sahal Diriye Hussein, were however not charged, as police said they have not completed investigations.

Magistrate Benson Nziaki of Kenyan High Court allowed police to detain them for 30 days as they probe the planning and execution of the attack that killed 148 people, including 142 students.

They will be brought back to court on May 7 for further direction. Senior State Counsel Daniel Karuri said the suspects were arrested on April 2 and 3 within Garissa town.

Karuri said the suspects were yet to disclose others involved in the plot and who are still at large.

Karuri further told the court that the fourth, fifth and sixth suspects were arrested on the same day the attack took place in a bus from Garissa and are suspected to have facilitated the attack at the university and they were attempting to run to Somalia.

One of the suspects, Surow, is the owner of a hotel in Garissa town where the terrorists who attacked the university stayed and Dakane is a security guard at the ill-fated campus who was arrested while taking pictures of the dead and making frantic telephone calls.

Witnesses told investigators that when members of the public were requested to assist to remove the dead bodies of the dead people, he was sighted making several phone calls and taking photographs of the scene.

Abikar, Hassan, and Hussein who allegedly delivered weapons to the attackers and were intercepted while crossing over to Somali after the bloodbath.

Mberesero alias Rehani Dida, a Tanzanian, was not in court and had travelled with detectives to Garissa to gather more evidence” after he confessed of being a member of the Al-Shabaab.

Police claim that the attackers who stormed the university enjoyed a meal at the hotel the evening before, and that they were his friends.

Phone records allegedly show that the phone calls he made were to phone numbers in Somalia, suspected to be Al-Shabaab operatives connected with the attack.

The court also heard that the third suspect is a Tanzania national who failed to explain his presence at the scene of the attack and he was arrested immediately at the scene of the attack where he was discovered under a bed from a dormitory where the killings occurred.

The same suspect, the court heard that upon interrogation he informed police he was a student at the same university and gave his names as Rashid Dida and later changed his names to Rashid Charles Mberresero. Lecturers at the university denied his claims, saying he was not a student at the university.

They suspects are suspected to have delivered weapons to the attackers at the university and were on their way back to Somalia.

In the same court 11 others suspected terrorists were also ordered remain in police custody for 15 days to enable police complete investigations about them since they are being suspected to be members of Al-Shabaab terror group.

Meanwhile a man suspected to be a Somali was yesterday charged with possession of explosives and detonating cords.