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Fraud suspect found with ID of Garissa University terror attack mastermind

By Joseph Ndunda September 6th, 2023 2 min read

Police and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) are investigating circumstances under which a Somali national arrested for fraud in Eastleigh, Nairobi, came into possession of the National Identity card belonging to the mastermind of the Garissa University terror attack where 148 people were killed in April 2015.

Fraud suspect Abdi Yusuf Ali was found with an ID card belonging to Mohamed Kuno alias Sheikh Mahamud or Dulyadeen alias Gamadhere, who hailed from Garissa County.

Gamadhere was a Madrasa teacher suspected of being a senior Al Shabaab leader in Lower Juba in Somalia and Kenya.

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Mr Ali was on April 1 this year charged with obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to section 313 of the Penal Code after allegedly defrauding a businessman of Sh6.5 million.

He was also charged with declining to have his fingerprints taken by the police at the Pangani police station contrary to section 55 (5) as read with section 29 of the National Police Service (NPS) Act.

He denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Agnes Mwangi of Makadara Law Courts and was granted a bond of Sh500,000 with a Kenyan surety of a similar sum.

Corporal Hussein Hassan of Pangani police station, who is investigating the matter, had told Ms Mwangi in an affidavit that he was doubting the suspect’s nationality, although he had a Kenyan ID card.

The police officer opposed the suspect’s bail and bond terms, pending investigations into the ID card.

Cpl. Hassan said Mr Ali obtained Kenyan ID at the age of 30, raising suspicion on the document’s legality.

Further investigations established that the ID card that Mr Ali has been using belongs to the terrorist, and the government is contemplating charging him over the attack.

NIS is yet to establish the connection and relationship between Mr Ali and the family of Gamadhere or how the terrorist’s ID card came into his possession.

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On September 5, Mr Ali was arraigned at the Makadara law courts on an amended charges sheet that included charges of obtaining registration by false pretenses and forgery.

The suspect is accused of conspiring with others in obtaining the registration on diverse dates between July 14, 1987, and February 19, 2008, in Nanighi, a sub-location in Garissa County, to procure a National ID card while falsely pretending he was a son of Ralia Mohamed Wardere knowing the same was false.

In the forgery charge, he is accused of forging a Kenyan ID card, purporting it to be a genuine card issued by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) during the same period.

The suspect was also charged with being unlawfully present in Kenya after investigations established that he is a Somali national.

He is facing additional charges of making a document without authority and uttering a false document.

Mr Ali denied all the charges before Ms Mwangi, and the prosecution and police made an application to have him denied bail and bond terms, stating that he is a flight risk.

Ms Mwangi remanded him in custody until Thursday, September 7, when she will rule on his application for bond.

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