A Kenyan national arrested in connection with a double grenade attack in Nairobi earlier this week pleaded guilty to nine charges in court on Wednesday and said he belongs to the al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab.
AP - A Kenyan suspect arrested after two grenade blasts rattled Nairobi this week said in court on Wednesday that he took part in one of the attacks and that he is a member of the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab.
Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, 28, pleaded guilty to nine charges, including causing grievous bodily harm to two people during Monday evening’s blast at a bus stop where hundreds of blue-collar Kenyans were waiting to get a ride home.
An officer with the anti-terror police unit who brought Oliacha to court said authorities will bring more charges against him in court on Friday, including charges related to the grenade attack on a pub early Monday morning that wounded a dozen people.
The officer, who did not give his name because he is not authorized to speak with the press, said that Oliacha is expected to plead guilty to all of those charges as well.
Oliacha looked calm in court, smiling and laughing with journalists who questioned him. When asked if he had gone to train in Somalia with al-Shabab, he said: “I would not even give that information to police.”
Oliacha was arrested Tuesday night by members of an elite paramilitary wing of the Kenya police at his house in a city slum.
Monday’s two blasts came about a week after hundreds of Kenyan forces moved into neighboring Somalia to attack al-Shabab militants. Al-Shabab, Somalia’s most dangerous militant group, threatened to carry out terror attacks in Kenya in retaliation.
Police arrested the suspect on Tuesday and said that he was from a Kenyan tribe and was not ethnic Somali.
Analysts had doubted that al-Shabab was behind the Nairobi grenade attacks that targeted working-class Kenyans.
Given al-Qaida’s preference for large-scale attacks, the twin blasts did not bear the hallmarks of a major, well-planned terror assault. A U.S. warning also had said likely targets would include shopping malls and night clubs where foreigners congregate.
Date created : 2011-10-26