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Police arrest Mandera lodge caretaker suspected of aiding attackers

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THURSDAY OCTOBER 27 2016 

Bishaaro Hotel in Mandera where 12 people were killed in a terror attack on October 25, 2016. Police have arrested the hotel's caretaker, Abdirahman Ali, on suspicion of aiding the attackers. FILE PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
In Summary
·         In the affidavit, Constable Opondo stated that Mr Ali is suspected of engaging in organised criminal activities in Mandera Town.
·         The suspect told the court that he had informed a Kenya Police Reservist, identified only as Hussein, of the planned attack.

By MANASE OTSIALO
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A court in Mandera on Thursday morning allowed officers from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) to hold for 10 days the caretaker of Bishaaro Hotel, where 12 people were killed in a terror attack on Tuesday.
According to an affidavit sworn by Police Constable Stephen Opondo, Abdirahman Ali, 21, who was arrested on October 25, is suspected to have aided the attackers.
In the affidavit, Constable Opondo stated that Mr Ali is suspected of engaging in organised criminal activities in Mandera Town.
“He is the caretaker of the lodge and, through credible intelligence, we believe he supported the terror attack at Bishaaro Hotel and Lodging leading to [the] murder of 12 and injury of 4,” states the affidavit.
It is alleged that Mr Ali did not sleep in the lodge on the fateful day, as he usually did, but he instead spent the night in a room 15 metres from the lodge, his usual place of work.
NEVER REPORTED THE ATTACK

Police said he never reported the attack to any security agency until he was arrested in the afternoon of Tuesday, long after the attack had happened.
Police told Mandera Resident Magistrate Dancun Mtai they needed more time to complete their investigations.
In his ruling, Mr Mtai noted that the Tuesday terror attack was still fresh in the minds of many Kenyans and needed thorough and conclusive investigations.
“The terror incident needs thorough investigations with a view of not only arresting perpetrators but also to curb any further terror attacks,” said Mr Mtai.
The magistrate ruled the ATPU should hold the suspect for 10 days before he is brought back to court on November 7 for further directions.
In his response to the application, Mr Ali told the court that he had informed a Kenya Police Reservist (KPR), identified only as Hussein, of the planned attack.
“I told a KPR called Hussein of the attack two days before it happened and on that day, I was not on duty as we worked on shifts of three days with my other colleague,” said Ali.
A newly hired local caretaker, identified as Abdikadir Abdi Adan, died in the attack that claimed 11 non-locals.
A series of security meetings have been held since Wednesday in Mandera, chaired by County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia.



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