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Garissa University attacker identified as former UoN law student

A photo of one the Al Shabaab attackers responsible for Thursday's attack on Garissa University College. A former schoolmate of the attacker has identified him as Abdirahim Mohamed , a former student at the University of Nairobi's Faculty of Law. (Photo/ Twitter)
A photo of one the Al Shabaab attackers responsible for Thursday’s attack on Garissa University College. A former schoolmate of the attacker has identified him as Abdirahim Mohamed , a former student at the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Law. (Photo/ Twitter)

As Kenya continues to mourn the loss of an estimated 147 young students at Garissa University College, there is mounting proof that one of the Al Shabaab attackers Abdirahim Mohamed is a former University of Nairobi law student.

The apparent confirmation came from a former schoolmate of the attacker on twitter. Ricky Razorlar identified Abdirahim as one of the attackers saying he graduated from UoN with a law degree in 2013.

Peter Wakaba, a well-known local journalist, said Abdirahim was a former legal adviser at first community bank.

The news that one of the Al Shabaab attackers appears to have such an accomplished academic background has been met with surprise.

A twitter account linked to Abdirahim @Ababmo doesn’t reveal much about him other than his apparent displeasure at sitting through boring lectures in school.

The University of Nairobi is yet to respond to a query on whether Abdirahim was a student there. This article will be updated as soon as we receive any communication from the university.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, popularly referred to as Grand Mullah, has said that if Abdirahim is officially identified as one of the attackers he will be the second graduate of UoN known to have participated in a terror attack in Kenya.

Official confirmation that Abdirahim was a student at UoN would add yet another disturbing plot twist to what is already a grim story. It would mean that the dreams of the young students at Garissa University College were cut short by a “learned friend” who knew full well the benefits of a good education.

More disturbingly though, Ahmednasir says the attacks by radicalized ethnic Somalis – such as Abdirahim – could have less to do with grievances over KDF’s invasion of Somalia and more to do with a rebirth of a secessionist movement that wants to see the Northern Frontier District tear away from Kenya and again be part of Somali.

If Ahmednasir is right then this is indeed a startling development since it will mean that Kenya has to steady itself to fight a war on the home front that it hasn’t fought since 1967 when the Shifta War ended against an enemy that has recruits from its youngest and brightest.

About brain obara

Brian Obara is a lawyer and writer and the Nairobi County Editor for Kenya Monitor.

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