Skip to main content

Kenya identifies mall attackers, including American

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN
updated 6:40 AM EDT, Mon October 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kenya names an American, a Sudanese, a Kenyan, and one man with no country listed
  • The four died when the part of the mall they were in collapsed, Kenyan military spokesman says
  • The charred bodies of the four are undergoing DNA verification, he says
  • The American is named Khattab al-Kene; no info on whether he had a different name in the U.S.

(CNN) -- A spokesman for the Kenya Defense Forces has identified four terrorists who took part in the deadly Nairobi mall attack last month.

They are: Khattab al-Kene, an American Somali; Abu Baara al-Sudani, from Sudan; Omar Nabhan, from Kenya; and a man identified only as Umayr.

It was not clear what Khattab al-Kene's name may have been in the United States.

The four died when the part of the mall they were in collapsed, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir said.

The charred bodies of the four are undergoing DNA verification, Chirchir said.

Zain Verjee: I cant' get image of Westgate bodies out of my mind

Kenya's Counter-Terrorism Office said Nabhan was related to former senior Al Qaeda in Somalia operative, Saleh Ali Nabhan, who was killed in a U.S. strike in southern Somalia in 2009. Both men were from Mombasa, Kenya.

Saleh Ali Nabhan was killed when U.S. special operations forces used a helicopter to fire on his car in September 2009. He was believed to be connected to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was also believed to be behind the coordinated 2002 attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, and a failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter flying from Mombasa to Tel Aviv.

What did Westgate mean to Kenyans?
Relatives of Johnny Mutinda Musango, 48, weep after identifying his body at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, September 24. Musango was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the mall on the fourth day of the siege by al Qaeda-linked terrorists. Relatives of Johnny Mutinda Musango, 48, weep after identifying his body at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, September 24. Musango was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the mall on the fourth day of the siege by al Qaeda-linked terrorists.
Kenya mall attack
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Kenya mall attack Photos: Kenya mall attack
Kenyans still missing after mall attack

Throughout the four-day attack at the Westgate mall, it was unclear how many perpetrators were involved.

On Day Two, Kenyan authorities said between 10 and 15 attackers were involved.

The Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. Sources within the group said as many as three attackers were from the United States, two were from Somalia, and the others were one each from Canada, Finland, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told PBS "NewsHour" that the attackers came from Kenya, the UK and the U.S.

"The Americans, from the information we have, are young men, about between maybe 18 and 19."

They are of Somali origin, but lived in Minnesota or other parts of the United States, she said, adding that underlines "the global nature of this war that we're fighting."

On Day Four, as the operation wound down, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said five terrorists were killed by Kenyan forces. Eleven others were in custody, he said, suspected of links to the attacks.

It's not over, Somali terrorists say

CNN's Christabelle Fombu contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Kenya mall attack
updated 9:55 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
As they strolled through the mall, guns strapped to their torsos, the attackers chatted on cell phones while they sprayed bullets at shoppers.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
A leaked video footage from inside has sparked anger amid claims that it shows soldiers looting from stores as they hunted for the gunmen.
updated 3:08 PM EDT, Thu October 10, 2013
Elaine Dang pretended to be dead, and maybe because she did, she is alive to tell her story. She moved away from the crowd because she thought it would be most vulnerable.
updated 6:29 AM EDT, Mon October 7, 2013
U.S. Navy SEALs entered the southern Somalia stronghold of Al-Shabaab, the group behind the Kenyan mall attack, in a mission targeting one of its leaders.
updated 3:40 PM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
Investigators have determined the attackers or their associates rented and operated a small store in the mall a year before the Kenya mall attack.
updated 4:45 PM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
Propped up by strangers, a woman wails outside Nairobi's main city morgue, unable to control her grief.
updated 1:01 PM EDT, Sun September 29, 2013
Loved ones mourn the lives lost in the Westgate mall attack. Dozens of civilians and 6 security officers died in the four-day attack.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
The attack at Westgate mall lasted for four deadly days, with store-to-store siege.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
There is evidence that replicating the 2008 Mumbai, India, attacks has become a major priority for al-Shabaab and al Qaeda.
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Sat September 28, 2013
Twenty men are engaged in fiery debate on a sidewalk near Nairobi's Westgate mall, where terrorists stormed the shopping center and killed at least 67 people.
updated 5:28 PM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
It was the first major terrorist attack in history in which the group that mounted the operation used Twitter to announce to the world it was responsible.
updated 10:42 PM EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
Photos from the attack as it happened.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
A safe distance from Nairobi's Westgate Mall, several Kenyans stare through a stand of trees at the site of one of the nation's worst terrorist attacks.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
British-born Samantha Lewthwaite was once seen as a kind of victim of the July 2005 London terror attacks -- the pregnant wife of one of the suicide bombers.
updated 10:22 PM EDT, Wed September 25, 2013
Some answers may be revealed in blood-stained halls or deep in the rubble of Nairobi's Westgate Mall. Others may never be known.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
The Westgate mall's parking deck collapsed leaving a crater full of destroyed and burned cars in Narobi, Kenya.
updated 7:38 AM EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
Of all al Qaeda's affiliated groups, the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab has over the years had the deepest links to the U.S.
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
Kenyan soldiers take cover after heavy gunfire near Westgate mall in Nairobi on September 23, 2013.
It's hard to imagine a softer target than an enclosed, easy-to-enter space with large numbers of civilians milling about.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked militant group based in Somalia, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of aid workers and peacekeepers
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
What the mall looked like before the attack.
ADVERTISEMENT