UPDATED: Investigators from Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) have traveled to Nairobi after new information links a Norwegian citizen who’s originally from Somalia to the terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Center last month. PST suspects he was among the terrorists inside the shopping center during the attacks that killed nearly 70 persons.
“We have started an investigation with the aim of hindering more terrorist attacks and to clarify whether a Norwegian man has ties to (terrorist organization) Al-Shabaab,” Jan Glent of PST told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday.
Glent said the Norwegian PST investigators also want to find out whether the man, who has a Norwegian passport, was indeed involved in the attack on the Westgate Shopping Center in September. A Kenyan newspaper, The Star, has reported the attack was planned both in Somalia and Norway.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack while it was underway. More than 200 persons were killed or wounded during the attack, which went on for several days.
PST announced in a press release on Thursday that it had received information that a Norwegian citizen with ties to Somalia was allegedly involved in planning and carrying out the attack. PST thus decided to send investigators to Nairobi “to secure the best possible cooperation with Kenyan police and security authorities.”
NRK later reported that the suspect is in his mid-20s, of Somalian descent but was born and reared in Norway. He’s believed to have survived the attack and subsequent assault by police and military and now a fugitive overseas.
Norway’s TV2 has earlier reported that US special forces were also hunting down a Somalian-Norwegian when they attacked a home south of Mogadishu during the weekend. He was identified as Abdulkadir Mohamed, who often uses the name Ikrimah and who sought asylum in Norway in 2004.
He’s believed to have a central role in Al Shabaab’s attacks outside Somalia. He escaped the US Navy Seals’ attack on the house and is believed to be in possession of Norwegian travel documents, reported TV2.
The person now under investigation by PST in Nairobi is believed to be another Somalian-Norwegian, according to NRK.