Two found guilty for Westgate terror attack seven years ago


Three Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack suspects Mohamed Ahmed Abdi (right) Liban Abdullah Omar (Centre) and Adan Hussein Hassan Mustafah at the Milimani Court. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

A Nairobi court Wednesday found two men guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorism act over the 2013 attack at Westgate Mall in which more than 67 people were killed and 200 others injured.

Chief magistrate Francis Andayi said Mohammed Ahmed Abdi and Hussein Hassan Mustafa were linked to the attack inside the busy mall in September 2013. The magistrate, however acquitted a third accused person, Liban Abdullahi Omar, for lack of evidence.

The two are set to be sentenced on October 22.

Evidence presented in court showed that Omar was a brother to one of the attackers but Mr Andayi dismissed claims that communication between him and his brother, prove that he conspired to attack Westgate Mall. Mr Omar is a refugee holding an identity card.

Four suspects had initially been charged with a total of seven counts, but one was set free by Mr Andayi who ruled that he had no case to answer. But Abdi, Omar and Mustafah were put to their defence after more than 140 people, mostly survivors of the attack, testified.

Mr Andayi said he was satisfied by the evidence linking the two to the four-day siege at the high-end shopping mall in Westlands.

Members suspected to be al-Shabaab militants stormed the building on the Saturday morning, hurling grenades and firing indiscriminately at anyone on sight. After a four-day siege, four terrorists are believed to have been killed inside the mall.

The court was forced to get a Somali translator as the suspects had always insisted that they cannot understand English or Swahili.

The charges against them was that they committed a terror act, jointly with others not before court, on September 21 at Westgate Shopping Mall. Abdi, Mustafah and Omar were accused of knowingly supporting Mohammed Abdinur Said, Hassan Dhohullow and others in committing the terror attack.

MrAbdi was further accused of being a member of the outlawed Al-Shabaab after he was allegedly found in possession of videos titled Training series in Swahili” and Ambush at Bardale which the prosecution said can be used in the instigation and facilitation of acts of terror.