MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - One of Africa's most wanted al Qaeda operatives, sought for his role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, has narrowly escaped capture in Kenya, police said on Sunday. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, high on Washington's list of terrorist suspects, left a home in the Indian Ocean resort of Malindi late on Saturday just minutes before officers crashed through the door, police said.
The United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of the Comorian, who speaks five languages (French, Swahili, Arabic, English, Comoran) and is said to be a master of disguise, forgery and bomb making. He is accused of playing a lead role in the 1998 embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam Kenya, which killed 240 people. Kenyan police said they found two passports believed to belong to Mohammed and arrested two people, including the owner of the home, which is near the Malindi district hospital. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was indicted in the Southern District of New York, for his alleged involvement in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998. The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension (Dead or Alive) or conviction of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed. Mohammed likes to wear baseball caps and tends to dress casually. He is very good with computers.
Another police source said more than 50 officers took part in the raid, and that Mohammed appeared to have been staying at the house for several days. "Our intelligence reports show that he came into the country from Somalia (HE IS LINKED TO THE AL-SHABAAB TERROR GROUP, WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE) to seek medical attention because of a kidney condition," the source told Reuters.
Washington says several al Qaeda men involved in the embassy bombings have sought sanctuary in neighbouring Somalia, where Islamist insurgents (Al-Shabaab terror group) are fighting a weak Western-backed administration.
The U.S. military has launched several air strikes targeting them in the Horn of Africa (THE AL-SHABAAB TERROR GROUP, WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE) since the start of last year.
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