Mombasa hotel blast charges

Four Kenyans appeared in court in Nairobi yesterday charged with murdering 13 Israeli tourists and local workers in the alleged al-Qaeda suicide bombing of a seafront hotel in November.

The accused were said to be associates of Fazul Mohammed, who is on the FBI’s most wanted list and believed to be the mastermind of the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi.

Lawyers for the four—Said Saggar Ahmed, a teacher, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, an Islamic instructor, Kubwa Mohamed, a trader, and his son, Mohamed Kubwa, a town councillor—said they had been charged because of foreign intervention.

But the police prosecutor, Moses Odoyo, insisted that there was fresh evidence of their direct involvement in the attack.

They were remanded in custody until July 8. Three had previously been charged with harbouring an illegal foreigner, thought to be Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

The truck bomb at the Paradise hotel, near Mombasa, killed 16 people.

In Milan, meanwhile, six North African men were arrested on suspicion of running businesses there to fund terrorism and of recruiting illegal immigrants for training as terrorists.

They are an imam named as El Mahfoudi Mohamed, and five Tunisians.

They were said to be suspected members of an Algerian extremist group, belonging to the same cell as Essid Sami Ben Khemais, who has been arrested as Osama bin Laden’s suspected European operations chief. - Guardian Unlimited Â.

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