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Garissa attacker identified as Kenyan law graduate

CARL DE SOUZA, AFP I Unidentified US government employees leave Garissa mortuary after examining the bodies of suspected al Shabaab terrorists involved in the University attack on the northeastern town of Garissa.

Authorities in Kenya said Sunday they have identified one of the four dead al Shabaab gunmen who massacred nearly 150 people at Garissa University as a “brilliant” law graduate and son of a government official.


Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka named one of the attackers as Abdirahim Abdullahi, saying he was "a university of Nairobi law graduate and described by a person who knows him well as a brilliant upcoming lawyer".

The spokesman said Abdullahi's father, a local official in the northeastern county of Mandera, had "reported to the authorities that his son had gone missing and suspected the boy had gone to Somalia".

Describing Abdullahi as a high-flying A-grade student, Njoka said it was "critical that parents whose children go missing or show tendencies of having been exposed to violent extremism report to authorities".

Somalia's al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for Thursday's massacre at Garissa University, during which non-Muslim students were lined up and executed.

The massacre, which was the deadliest attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, claimed the lives of 142 students, three police officers and three soldiers.

In addition to the gunmen killed, Kenyan security agencies have arrested five people in connection with the horrific attack which President Uhuru Kenyatta has described as a "barbaric medieval slaughter".

Police are, however, still searching for the person they believe masterminded the attack: Mohamed Mohamud, a former teacher at a Kenyan Madrassa Islamic school and who is also known by the names Dulyadin, Gamadhere and Kuno. Kenyan authorities have offered $220,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Although losing ground in Somalia, the Shabaab have stepped up attacks inside Kenya as well as its recruitment of youth, especially in the country's northeastern and coastal regions.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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