Relatives and friends gather for the unveiling of the Amani
Garden within the Karura forest for the victims killed
during the Westgate shopping mall attack. REUTERS/Thomas
A Kenyan court has charged four Somali men with terrorist
offences for helping al Qaeda-linked militants carry out an
attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.
Few details have emerged so far about the how the September
attack was masterminded or how gunmen held off Kenyan
security forces for four days in the Westgate mall. The
assault was claimed by the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab.
U.S., British, Israeli and other experts joined Kenyan
investigators at the site of the attack, which struck at the
heart of east Africa's biggest economy. The West sees Kenya
as vital to the regional fight against militant Islam.
All the men who appeared in court on Monday were formally
charged with "commission of a terrorist act" under Kenya's
anti-terrorism laws. Other accusations ranged from providing
support and shelter to the gunmen to using false documents.
The suspects all pleaded not guilty at the hearing.
The men were named as Mohamed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah Omar
and Hussein Hassan, while a fourth was identified as Adan
Mohamed Ibrahim, although he was listed as using other
Last month, Kenya named four gunmen who took part in the
assault. Al Shabaab said it acted because of Kenya's refusal
to withdraw its troops from Somalia where they are part of a
African peacekeeping force battling the militants.
The court is expected to set a formal date for the start of
trial on Nov. 11. The men were remanded in custody until