Skip to comments.24 al-Qaeda suspects held in Kenya, Somalia
Posted on 11/30/2003 7:12:38 AM PST by knighthawk
NAIROBI : Kenyan authorities have arrested more than two dozen suspects wanted for two al-Qaeda attacks, including some sought by the US , a senior government official has said.
The suspects, including several alleged masterminds, were accused of taking part in the 1998 car bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi and the November 2002 attack on a coastal hotel in Mombasa , National Security Minister Christopher Murungaru told the independent East African Standard newspaper.
Most of the suspects were foreigners and were rounded up by Kenyan authorities and foreign security agencies in a recent anti-terror operation, Murungaru told the respected paper, which gave no other details.
Some were arrested in neighbouring Somalia , a country without an effective government for more than decade, Murungaru said.
US officials refused to comment, and Kenyan officials were not immediately available for comment.
The minister refused to identify the suspects, although he was quoted as saying that some were on a US "most wanted list." However, the Kenyan government did not plan to extradite them to the US , Murungaru said.
The FBI has a list of 21 most wanted terrorists that includes key suspects in both attacks, including Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, who was indicted by a US court for his role in the embassy bombing.
Osama bin Laden was also indicted by the same court for the 1998 bombing.
Marine Brig Gen Mastin Robeson, the commander of a US-led anti-terrorism task force in the region, said that 25 terror suspects had been killed or captured by forces from the US and its regional partners, including Kenya.
There are hundreds of other terror suspects whom the US and other countries in eastern Africa "would like to find and talk to," Robeson said.
US agents are reportedly hunting down al-Qaeda suspects in Somalia , which the US and UN have cited as a haven for terrorists.
In March, with the help of a Somali warlord, they nabbed Suleiman Abdalla Salim Hemed, who is accused of playing a role in the embassy bombing.
Later that month, Murungaru claimed credit for Hemed's capture and said that he was turned over to US authorities, who have refused to comment.
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network claimed responsibility for the attack in November 2002 in Mombasa that killed 15 people, including three Israeli tourists, as well as the August 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi and in Dar es Salaam , Tanzania , in which 231 people, including 12 Americans, were killed.
Gitmo will do. Barring that, let's hope that they're being held somewhere secure enough to prevent an escape.