Garissa: The son of a Kenyan government official has been identified as one of the gunmen who attacked a Kenyan college where 148 people were killed, authorities said today. Abdirahim Mohammed Abdullahi, one of the Islamic extremists who attacked Garissa University College, was the son of a government chief in Mandera County, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka told The Associated Press.
The chief had reported his son missing last year and said he feared that he had gone to Somalia, said Njoka. All four attackers were killed by Kenyan security forces on Thursday, said police. Abdullahi graduated from the University of Nairobi with a law degree in 2013 and was viewed as a “brilliant upcoming lawyer,” according to someone who knew him. It is not clear where he worked before he disappeared last year, Njoka said.
To prevent an escalation of Islamic radicalisation in Kenya, it is important that parents inform authorities if their children go missing or show tendencies of following violent extremism, said Njoka. Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Garissa college Thursday saying it is retribution for Kenya deploying troops to Somalia to fight the extremist rebels.
The news that one of the attackers was Kenyan came as grieving Christians prayed, sang and clapped hands at an Easter Sunday service at a Catholic church in Garissa. Security forces patrolled the perimeter of Our Lady of Consolation Church, which was attacked by militants almost three years ago. Grenades lobbed at the building sprayed shrapnel into the interior, injuring some worshippers. Another Garissa church was also attacked that day and 17 people were killed.