Terror suspect-Abdirahim Abdullahi was friends with Pangani blast perpetrator


Abdirahim Abdullahi,NAIROBI: Abdirahim Mohamed Abdullahi, one of the four Al-Shabaab militants who stormed Garissa university college killing 148 people, has been linked to another Kenyan terrorist, Abdul Hajira.

Mr Hajira blew himself up outside Pangani police station, killing two police officers and his driver in May 2014, after he was arrested.

Police investigations show both Abdulahi and Hajira were at the University of Nairobi in the same years but taking different courses. Abdulahi studies law while Hajira pursued commerce.

They went missing at the same time. And police now say their two friends – identified as only Ahmed and Atom – are in Syria where they have joined ISIS in the battle to create a caliphate.

“Abdulahi and Hajira were close friends at university and were also from Mandera. We are yet to know how they were recruited,” said a senior officer aware of the probe.

Hajira, a former player in a top team in the Kenya Premier League (KPL), was among those who died in the Pangani blast. He was the son of a soldier based at Kahawa Garisson in Nairobi and he had also started a football club in Majengo slum, which is thought to be the main source of radicalised youths heading to Somalia for militancy training.

His father had informed police Hajira had disappeared from his home for over a year, later resurfacing to finish his studies in 2013 when he and Abdulahi graduated.


Hajira is also thought to have left the KPL club to launch his team in Majengo. Following his death, police said his case would have been an eye opener into the investigation and effort to crack terror cells. But nothing has come of it since.

“If we handled the case well, it would have been an eye opener in all these cases. Both must have been central in the recruitment of terrorists,” said our source.

The Pangani blast happened after the two slain officers flagged down a car that made a u-turn on the road near the police station for inspection and interrogation of the passengers. Two officers boarded the car to make sure the suspects didn’t escape, one sat at the front and the other at the back, while the rest escorted the suspected vehicle in official transport.

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