Official: Drone strike may have killed Kenya university attack mastermind

Story highlights

Kenya's government earlier identified Mohamed Mohamud as the Garissa attack's mastermind

Forensic tests will be conducted to confirm he died in a drone strike, a Kenyan official says

CNN —  

“Initial information indicates” that a drone strike has killed the suspected mastermind of this spring’s deadly Garissa University College attack, a Kenyan official said Thursday.

Kenyan Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said forensic analysis is needed to confirm that Mohamed Mohamud, who is also known by aliases Gamadhere and Dulyadin, died in the strike.

It was not immediately clear where or when the drone strike occurred, who carried it out, or whether it killed anyone else.

Still, if the strike did kill Mohamud, it would mark a major milestone in East Africa’s efforts to go after the Al-Shabaab militant group and avenge one of its most horrific massacres.

Gunmen from the al Qaeda-linked group attacked the campus in Garissa, a town in northeastern Kenya not far from the Somali border, on April 2. By the time they were done, 147 people were dead – 142 students, three security officers and two university security personnel.

Several people have been arrested since then, though the attack’s mastermind has remained at large – until now, possibly.

A Kenyan Interior Ministry document obtained by CNN days after the attack suggested Mohamud had “an extensive terrorist network within Kenya.” The ministry had earlier put out a “Most Wanted” notice offering a bounty of 20 million Kenyan shillings, or about $215,000, for the man it identified as the Garissa attack’s “mastermind.”