Canadian, four others arraigned over terrorist attack in Kenyan hotel

Nairobi terror attack Terrorists attacked an upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital on Tuesday sending people fleeing in panic

Six suspects, including a Canadian national, appeared in a Kenyan court on Friday in connection with a radical Islamist attack on a Nairobi hotel complex that left 21 dead.

Investigators in Kenya are exploring the possibility that some of the militants who attacked a Nairobi hotel and office complex may not have been ethnic Somalis, stoking fears that militants are deepening their pools of recruitment in the region.

At home, despite being embroiled in a brutal feud with Islamic State, al-Shabaab has kept up the violence, and was widely blamed for Somalia's deadliest-ever terrorist attack in October 2017.

There were conflicting reports on Friday about whether the extremist was among the five attackers who died in the assault, or helped to plan it and was among 11 people who have been detained by police.

Kenya, the East African hub for multinational companies and the United Nations, became a frequent target for al Shabaab after the country sent troops into neighbouring Somalia in 2011 to try to create a buffer zone along its border.

Officials suspect the alleged accomplices, including two taxi drivers and an agent for a mobile phone-based money service, of "aiding and betting" the attackers who stormed the complex on Tuesday afternoon and were killed by Wednesday morning.

The pair's father is an officer in the Kenyan military, she told Reuters.

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The others have not appeared yet. A sixth suspect will be held until next week.

"It is inconceivable how the son of a military man can turn out to be a member of al Shabaab", she said.

He said Interpol's role is to help coordinate the worldwide investigative response in support of the Kenyan authorities as they investigate this appalling terrorist attack.

A police official and a private security professional who took part in rescue efforts at the complex said a man who blew himself up outside a restaurant was also believed to be a non-Somali.

They see the threat of al-Shabab, a Somalia-based armed group that was allegedly behind the siege, as a growing problem that needs to be dealt with through tough security measures.

The militant group claimed the Nairobi attack was a response to the "witless remarks" of U.S. President Donald Trump and his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to the "systematic prosecution of Muslims in Palestine".

Kenyan security forces walk from the scene of the hotel attack.

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