Emerging details on Mahir Khalid Riziki, the DusitD2 suicide bomber

Mahir Khalid Riziki, the terrorist who blew himself up at DusitD2 to initiate the start of the terror attack that left 21 dead and scores injured, was not a stranger to the Kenyan police force.

It has emerged that he was already on the most wanted list of the police, such that the police needed him ‘dead or alive’. About 5 years ago, it is said that Mahir Riziki joint the islamic radicals in Mombasa and was part of the individuals who attacked and killed a police officer back then. It is from that time that the police have been hunting for his head.

It is said that after that 2014 killing of the police, Riziki ran away, disappeared from the police and it was believed that he was in Tanzania, and later in Somalia, before making the surprise attack at DusitD2.

It is said that tracking the terror suspects is so hard due to the ad hoc among the neighboring countries in sharing intelligence information. An officer who didn’t want to be identified says that Kenya was not willing to pay to be given intelligent information, yet getting this information on al Shabaab involves a lot of money.

Yusuf Mohammed, a 54-year-old shopkeeper, occasionally attended the mosque with Riziki. He said the young man was dazzled by its leaders, even as their extremism repelled more moderate Muslims.

“He with many other youth really idolised Rogo and loved his preachings,” Mohammed told Reuters. “They spoke about him all the time.”

It is believed that Riziki met his recruiters at the mosque.

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According to the sources, the Kenya, Tanzania and Somali police failed to coordinate themselve in sharing intelligent information that could have been used to wit out these terrorists. One source says that sharing of these information often depends on personal relationship between officials.

The attackers spent several weeks late last year training in Boni forest said a Kenya security source and a Somali intelligence official.

When these suspects get to Somalia, it is almost impossible to get them due to the political instability in the country that keeps leading to leadership changes almost every half a year thus lack of stability and cooperation.

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A senior Somali intelligence official said his agency passed on a warning about a pending attack in Kenya in late November.

“We told them: five guys,” he said. “They want to attack in Nairobi or Mombasa, like a hotel, tourist attraction or church.”

However, it is important to note that such warnings are common and it is so difficult to track them especially when more information isn’t given. Furthermore, Riziki’s name wasn’t mentioned and hence when he returned to Kenyan on 13th January through the El Wak boarder, nothing mischievous was suspected.

Courtesy: The Star


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