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Last Updated: October 20, 2013 15:54
Westgate attackers chopper is owned by a former politician, pilot questioned and released
Updated Saturday, October 19th 2013 at 23:48 GMT +3
“We are holding three prime suspects over this attack even as we look for more. They are prime and efforts to process them for arraignment are on-going.
– Nicholas Kamwende, Nairobi CID boss
By KIPCHUMBA SOME and CYRUS OMBATI
Nairobi, Kenya: Detectives probing last month’s attack at Westgate Mall now believe six of the attackers hired a private chopper from Dadaab refugee camp to Nairobi.
The investigators said the six terrorists chose to use a helicopter in early September fearing that they might be easily identified should they travel by road.
The detectives believe the attackers were carrying weapons used in the attack. The chopper is owned by a former politician and the pilot was questioned and released.
The attackers are believed to have crossed over from Somalia six months ago into Dadaab, where they posed as refugees as they planned the September 21 attack that claimed more than 70 lives.
Investigators are also pursuing a Turkish national believed to have rented a shop at the first floor of the Westgate Mall a year ago, where the attackers stocked weapons they used in the attack.
Investigators say the Turkish national, whose name they declined to release, rented the shop but did not use it until six months ago when he started selling phones.
However, it is believed that the business was a cover and the shop a strategic location for the attackers who went ahead and fitted a bulletproof glass under the guise of doing renovations.
The Turkish national flew out of the country on Friday 20, September, a day before the attack, with a man of Indian descent whom they believe rented an apartment near Westgate for the terrorists.
Detectives are also looking for a white BMW car owned by the Turkish national and which they believe was used to ferry the attackers around town.
It has also emerged that a woman known as Wanjiru from Kangari village in Nyeri County was one of the attackers and the detectives are now seeking to know whether or not she was killed during the attack.
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Westgate attackers said to have used chopper to reach Nairobi