Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003
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The four Kenyans charged in Nairobi Chief Magistrate's court Said Saggar Ahmed, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Kubwa Mohamed and his son Mohamed Kubwa were not asked to enter a plea because some prosecution documents were not prepared.
The four were remanded in custody and will appear before court August 8.
At least three of the four suspects are tied to a man suspected of being Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, an alleged Al-Qaeda operative and leading suspect in the November attack as well as the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
Aboud Rogo Mohammed, an Islamic teacher, Kubwa Mohamed, a trader, and Mohamed Kubwa, a town councillor, were charged earlier this year with harbouring an illegal alien who was thought to be Mohammed. But new evidence turned up by the investigation led them to be charged with murder, officials have said.
There were few details about Ahmed, who is a teacher.
The men were charged amid renewed warnings of a terrorist attack in Kenya. The U.S. Embassy closed on Friday and will remain so at least through Tuesday and air traffic between Kenya and neighbouring Somalia was banned after the Pentagon raised the terrorism threat level to `high' in the East African nation. Somalia, a Muslim nation that has not had an effective government since its last President was ousted in 1991, is believed to be a transit point and staging ground for Al-Qaeda operatives working in eastern Africa.
In the November attack, assailants attempted to shoot down a chartered Israeli jet with shoulder-fired missiles as it was taking off from Mombasa's airport. The missiles narrowly missed.
Within a few minutes of that attack, suicide bombers exploded a car packed with explosives outside a beachfront hotel popular with Israelis, killing 11 Kenyans and three Israelis, as well as the bombers.
A U.S. district court indicted Mohammed in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Nairobi bombing killed 219 people, including 12 Americans; 12 people were killed in the Tanzania bombing.
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