Gunman in Kenyan massacre was government official’s son
GARISSA, Kenya — 1 of the gunmen who slaughtered 148 people at a college in Kenya was identified Sunday as the law-school-educated son of a Kenyan government official, underscoring the inroads Islamic extremists have made in recruiting young people today to carry out attacks against their own country.
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Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, who was killed by security forces Thursday along with the 3 other militants who stormed Garissa University College, was the son of a government chief in Mandera County, which borders Somalia, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka told the Associated Press.
The chief had reported his son missing final year and feared he had gone to Somalia, Njoka said.
Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retribution for Kenya’s sending of troops to Somalia to fight the extremists. The attackers separated Christian students from Muslim ones and massacred the Christians.
The news that one particular of the gunmen was Kenyan highlights the challenges faced by the government in preventing terrorist attacks. The danger comes not only from neighboring Somalia but also from inside Kenya.
Kenyans make up the largest quantity of foreign fighters in al-Shabab, according to authorities. Hundreds of Kenyan youths have educated with al-Shabab and then returned to Kenya, posing a key security threat, according to former police Chief Mathew Iteere.
Abdullahi graduated from the University of Nairobi with a law degree in 2013 and was noticed as a “brilliant upcoming lawyer,” according to Njoka.
Njoka said it is crucial for parents to inform authorities if their young children disappear or appear to be embracing extremism.
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