(ABS-CBN) Ethiopian born Kenyan-Somali accused of masterminding Kenya massacre

From: Biniam Tekle <biniamt_at_dehai.org_at_dehai.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 21:52:42 -0400

"Mohamud was reportedly born in Ethiopia into the powerful Somali
Ogaden clan, which controls the region where Ethiopia, Kenya and
Somalia meet."

'Gentle' ex-teacher accused of masterminding Kenya massacre

Agence France-Presse
Posted at 04/05/2015 12:56 AM

NAIROBI - Kenyan police have named homegrown militant Islamist Mohamed
Mohamud, a soft-spoken former teacher, as the alleged mastermind of
the massacre of 148 people in a university in Garissa.

Known also by the alias 'Kuno', as well as 'Dulyadin' and 'Gamadhere'
-- meaning "long armed" and "ambidextrous" -- the alleged Shebab
member is also wanted in connection with a string of recent
cross-border killings and massacres in Kenya's northeastern border

Police have offered a 20 million shilling ($215,000, 200,000 euro)
bounty for information leading to his capture.

Mohamud is a Kenyan national and an ethnic Somali -- like more than
two million other Kenyans or some six percent of the population. The
minority mainly lives in the country's vast, impoverished and arid
northeast, where Garissa is one of the largest towns.

Kenya's ethnic Somali region is also claimed by the Shehab as part of
Somalia itself, and has long been lawless, including the brutal
secessionist 1963-1967 "Shifta war".

While Mohamud, thought to be in his late 50s, did not take part
physically in the Garissa attack, students who survived the massacre
described the attackers as men like him: speaking Kenya's Swahili
language well, with some suggesting they may have been Kenyan too.

One of those arrested of suspicion of supporting the gunmen include a
Tanzanian -- found hiding in a ceiling with grenades -- and a
university security guard, a Kenyan ethnic Somali, according to the
interior ministry.

Mohamud was reportedly born in Ethiopia into the powerful Somali
Ogaden clan, which controls the region where Ethiopia, Kenya and
Somalia meet.

Photographs show a slender man with a short beard.

Kenyan police sources say he was a teacher and then headmaster of a
madrassa in Garissa, but later became radicalised and crossed the
porous border into southern Somalia to join the Islamic Courts Union,
a precursor to the Shebab.

An AFP correspondent who met him in the Somali capital Mogadishu in
2008 and 2009, when the majority of the city was under Shebab control,
said Mohamud was a well-known and hardline commander.

 - Reaching into Kenya -

 He commanded a much feared Islamist unit in Mogadishu called the
"Jugta-Culus" -- or "heavy strikers", who carried out some of the
toughest fighting.

Mohamud, however, also appeared in person as educated as well as
"quiet and gentle".

He appeared in several propaganda films showing Shebab battles in
southern Somalia, and later was a commander in the southern Somali Ras
Kamboni militia, under the warlord Ahmed Madobe, a former Islamist
commander turned Kenyan ally.

In the murky world of Somali armed groups, politics and clan
loyalties, Madobe's forces helped Kenyan forces seize the key port of
Kismayo in 2012.

While Mohamud is on the run, Madobe now leads southern Somalia's
Jubaland region.

But under pressure on their home soil, the Shebab have reached into
Kenya to carry out attacks and find recruits among disaffected youth
in the Muslim-majority coastal and northeast regions.

In November, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group claimed responsibility for
holding up a bus outside Mandera, separating passengers according to
religion and murdering 28 non-Muslims.

Ten days later, 36 non-Muslim quarry workers were also massacred in the area.

A Shebab statement on Friday warning Kenyans of further bloodshed,
said the gunmen carried out the Garissa attack in revenge for the
"systematic persecution of the Muslims in Kenya".

Attacks cited include Kenya's 1984 Wagalla massacre, when Kenyan
troops trying to put down local conflict killed an unknown number of
people - officially less than a hundred, while others claims up to
5,000 people.

Cash rewards for other Shebab commanders -- offered by the US, and
unlike Mohamud's bounty, in the millions of dollars -- are believed to
have led to information that have resulted in a series of air strikes
in Somalia to assassinate them.

Received on Sat Apr 04 2015 - 21:53:21 EDT

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