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US offers $10 million for Nairobi bombing mastermind

Nairobi, 12 Jan. The United States today offered a reward of up to ten million dollars for information leading to the arrest of Kenyan Mohamoud Abdi Aden, the alleged mastermind of the attack committed on January 15, 2019 by the Somali jihadist group Al Shabab against the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi, which caused 21 deaths.

“Today I am announcing a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of Mohamoud Abdi Aden and others” involved in the attack, the US ambassador to Kenya, Margaret Whitman, said in a press conference in Nairobi.

Whitman appeared at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Directorate (DCI) of Kenya together with the director of that police agency, Mohammed Amin.

According to the DCI, Aden, alias Mohamoud Abdirahman, “was part of the cell that planned the attack on the DusitD2 Hotel, the last major terrorist attack in the country four years ago.”

In a statement, the US State Department stressed that Aden “helped plan the January 2019 attack” and that on October 17, 2022, it called him a “specially designated global terrorist”, allowing authorities to seize his assets and prohibit financial dealings with him.

On January 15, 2019, Al Shabab struck Nairobi in an attack on the DusitD2 hotel complex, carried out by a suicide bomber and four gunmen who opened fire at will, killing 21 people, including a US citizen.

About thirty people were injured and about 700 were evacuated.

On the 5th, the US already offered another 10 million dollars for the arrest of the mastermind and other terrorists responsible for the attack committed on January 5, 2020 by Al Shabab against a military base in Kenya, in which three Americans died.

The Kenyan Army invaded Somalia in October 2011 after a series of kidnappings attributed to Al Shabab in its territory.

Soon after, Kenyan troops joined the African Union forces in Somalia, which is fighting fundamentalists alongside the Somali Army.

Since then these jihadists, affiliated with the Al Qaeda terrorist network since 2012, have carried out numerous attacks in Kenya.

Al Shabab’s worst attack on Kenyan soil occurred in April 2015, when 148 people were killed in the assault on Garissa University.

Al Shabab often perpetrates attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and other parts of Somalia to overthrow the central government -backed by the international community- and establish by force an Islamic State of the Wahhabi (ultra-conservative) style.

The jihadist group controls rural areas of central and southern Somalia, and also attacks neighboring countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia.

Somalia has lived in a state of war and chaos since 1991, when dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and in the hands of Islamist militias and warlords. EFE

pa/fpa

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