Guango Estate residents were yesterday shocked to learn their ‘ever jovial, humble and harmless neighbour’ might have been the mastermind of the Dusit Hotel terror attack.
Yesterday, Special Forces from the National Police Service combed through the house to piece together information in their latest attempt to unmask the terrorists behind the attack.
The tall white block with a red-brick roof was marooned yesterday after it emerged that the vehicle used in the attack had been spotted in the compound and in the area many times.
The neighbours, they said, would never have thought the genial neighbour would hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
He moved in in March last year and the house rent ranges between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000. Houses on sale go for Sh9 million. Most of the houses are three-bedroomed bungalows with a compound.
The well-manicured flowerbeds would neither have betrayed the evil plans of the tenant.
After word went round that the city terror attack in which 16 people died, could have been hatched and planned in their sleepy neighborhood, shocked residents hurdled in small groups to share the news.
This is after some neighbours reportedly called the police after recognizing his car that was used in the attack.
The locals easily identified the man, who was wearing a cap in the leaked CCTV footage. He is said to have three names — Faruk, Salim and Ali. A guard in the estate said;
He would always greet us every time he was going out or in.
The peaceful and quiet village seems to have been carefully chosen. Strangers can walk in and out without being noticed. The guard said the owner of the car is normally accompanied by a woman, who he presumed was his wife. The guard said;
We have not, however, seen the two with a child.
Ordinarily, a child would have been heard playing or even crying. He said;
He would always give us either Sh50 or Sh100 to take tea to cheer up.
The guard said he is not aware what the man used to do because the estate is a gated community with a perimeter wall around the house. The guard said;
He used to wear a T-shirt and a cap.
The estate which seat near a valley is served by a rough road and
The homes sell in the market for about Sh9million. Resident Dominic Njoroge said they were taken aback after learning about the attack through social media. Njoroge said;
We did not know that anything fishy was going on in this place until we learnt through social media.
He said the houses belonged to a retired banker who had invested in houses before selling them.
“The owner used to work with Barclays Bank but he retired and started investing in houses. In fact, most of the buyers are his former colleagues,” he said.
The house No E9 in the estate, where the suspect is said to have been staying was yesterday out of bounds except for nearby tenants.
The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit has been camping at the site. Njoroge said:
We were shocked when we heard the news.
Neighbours are said to have called the police after recognising the car.
Media has not been allowed near the scene.
The suspect who is now under the hot pursuit of security agencies is said to have converted to Islam.
His friends are known and are being pursued for interrogation.
Workers at a hotel said to have been used by the suspects were equally shocked.
One worker who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity said “they heard the rumours.” A worker said;
We have several premises, meaning that it may not be narrowed down to here.