Kenyan police produce Westgate attackers’ weapon in court as evidence
Kenyan police on Wednesday produced a small arsenal of weapons recovered after last year’s Nairobi Westgate shopping attack in the ongoing trial of four men accused of helping the gunmen.
Police said they have evidence from people who were at the mall when the gunmen from Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab launched their attack in September 2013, killing at least 67 people and wounding more than 200 others.
Police firearm expert Lawrence Nthiwa produced a report detailing the weapons “recovered from the terrorist attack” in the wreckage of the up market mall, which included remains of eight damaged assault rifles.
The arms were displayed in a bundle in court room during the proceedings.
But he said it had not been so far possible to determine if the rifles examined had belonged to the attackers believed to have numbered just four or from the security forces who spent days in firefights trying to end the siege.
Nthiwa said he had examined evidence gathered after the four-day siege, including almost a thousand spent cartridge cases as well as fired bullets.
“These exhibits were recovered from bodies of victims and the scene of the crime,” he said.
The suspects Hussein Hassan Mustafa, Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar and Adan Mohammed Abdikadir are not accused of carrying out the attack, but of providing support to the attackers.
The four are charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack, being members of a terrorist group and possession of material linked to the terrorism offense.
More than 35 witnesses have so far appeared at the trial, with at least 10 more expected to give evidence.
Al Shabaab, who said the gunmen came from a special suicide commando brigade, said the attack was a warning to Kenya to pull its troops out of southern Somalia, where they are fighting the group as part of an African Union force.
Al Shabaab claimed several terror attacks in Kenya for retaliation of Kenyan defense forces in Somalia.
Additional by reporting AFP