After 19 hours of terror, gunfire, bloodshed and confusion, the siege at the DusitD2 hotel complex ended as it emerged that two of the attackers are from Kiambu and Nyeri.
Police are also pursuing a man seen on CCTV having lunch with six of the suspects at Chicken Inn at Oilibya on Limuru Road just hours before the other six attacked the 14 Riverside Drive complex.
Investigators were busy yesterday piecing together details about 26-year-old Eric Kinyanjui, who is said to come from Ngecha Village in Limuru, and Farouk, reported to have been born and bred in Majengo slum in Nyeri.
Police found documents in their pockets that seemed to reveal their identities and were confirming details.
The two were killed yesterday together with three others inside the DusitD2 hotel and forensic experts started to match their fingerprints as teams were dispatched to their villages.
“They converted to Islam recently and we believe they were brainwashed by al Shabaab,” a police officer involved in the investigations told the Star. The two are believed to have crossed over to Somalia where they joined the terror group and received training.
At least 16 people lost their lives, dozens were injured and 50 others are missing after heavily armed gunmen stormed the complex, forcing hundreds of others to make daring escapes. American, Israeli and British special forces were part of the security operation in which more than 700 civilians were evacuated.
The attack was executed in a strategy similar to that of the September, 21, 2013, Westgate mall siege that killed 67 people.
“The security operation at the Dusit complex is over, and all the terrorists eliminated,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told the nation from State House Nairobi after chairing a National Security Council meeting.
“As of this moment, we can confirm that 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderous terrorists.”
Investigators privy to the matter told the Star that seven men, including the six who were killed at Dusit by security officers, were captured on camera having lunch at the Oilibya eatery.
The seven men frequented the place while planning the attack. They are also believed to have conducted several reconnaissance missions of the DusitD2 hotel and complex. They launched their attack a few minutes past 3pm on Tuesday.
Investigators said six of the seven men eating lunch have been accounted for — one blew himself up and five were gunned down — but the seventh one is believed to be on the run.
Police have already obtained CCTV footage from both the petrol station and the Secret Garden Dusit restaurant where the attackers randomly shot innocent people who had gone there for lunch.
The footage will help the police piece together the events preceding the terror attack.
The investigators have concluded that the seventh man was on the run because he was not captured by Secret Garden cameras.
Witnesses said the attackers gained entry to the DusitD2 hotel through the kitchen and started shooting as they pushed their way into the dining area.
One of the terrorists, a suicide bomber, blew himself up inside the restaurant.
After the siege yesterday, six bodies believed to be those of the terrorists remained in separate rooms in the luxury hotel frequented by high-profile Kenyans and foreigners.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti confirmed that they had taken in two more suspects in connection to the attack.
One suspect was arrested in Ruaka estate where one of the attackers is said to have lived for four months prior to the attack.
The other suspect was nabbed in Eastleigh estate by DCI detectives. Kinoti did not disclose how police traced them to their hideouts.
Detectives uncovered a number of leads in the Sh40,000-a-month Ruaka apartment, where a suspect only identified as Farouk had lived since December 1 last year.
The house had an assortment of weapons, including grenades and guns believed to have part of the arsenal used during the Tuesday’s attack.
Police were tipped off about the Ruaka apartment by a neighbour who recognised the car — KCN 340E — that was used to ferry the attackers to DusitD2 complex.
According to NTSA records, the car belongs to Cynkim Investment Company Limited, whose email address is registered as email@example.com. It was registered on October 13 last year.
Neighbours described Farouk as a friendly man who interacted freely with them.
Anti-terrorism police on Tuesday night raided the house at Guango estate in Muchatha where Farouk lived with his family.
The man’s real identity was yet to be revealed last evening but police took fingerprints for examination by the Registrar of Persons.
Police said they found a hole in the floor of the three-bedroom house where it is believed he was hiding the grenades and guns used in the attack.
A woman, believed to be the Faruok’s wife, was arrested at the home.
Police were still guarding the house yesterday as crime scene officers combed through the home and interviewed neighbours.
Police officers were also dispatched to Nyeri where the man, who is said to be a convert to Islam, was born and brought up.
Preliminary information obtained by the police indicates the man was born in the Majengo area of Nyeri where his family live.
Police said they had also obtained vital information from a mobile phone found in the vehicle said to have been used by the terrorist.
A forensic examination of the phone revealed that the owner, whom police suspect was among those killed in the hotel, was in constant communication with five other men, some who had been killed in the attack.
Source: The Star