Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow: who is Norwegian Westgate suspect?
Family of Norwegian man suspected of Nairobi mall attack say he must have been 'brainwashed'
A NORWEGIAN man being investigated over the Westgate shopping centre attack in Nairobi has been named as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow. At least 67 people died last month in the four-day siege, believed to have been carried out by al-Shabaab terrorists. As new CCTV footage from the mall is released, BBC Newsnight has interviewed the suspect's family.
Who is Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow?
Dhuhulow is a 23-year-old Norwegian citizen of Somali origin. He and his family are thought to have moved to Norway as refugees in 1999. One relative told BBC Newsnight that Dhuhulow left the town of Larvik in 2009 and returned to Somalia, from where he made "infrequent, increasingly erratic" phone calls to his family. The last call reportedly came this summer, when he said he was in trouble and wanted to return home. On being shown the CCTV footage of the Nairobi attackers, Dhuhulow's relative said: "I don't know what I feel or think... If it is him, he must have been brainwashed." One of the family's neighbours told the programme Dhuhulow did not like life in Norway as a teenager. Describing him as "extreme", the neighbour said he got into fights and his father was worried about him.
How was he identified as a suspect?
The development came after new video footage of the massacre emerged. Last week Norway's intelligence agency, the PST, sent officers to Kenya to verify reports that a Norwegian citizen had been involved in the attack. He was named on Newsnight last night.
What else does the video footage show?
The footage, which has been obtained by CNN, offers the most complete visual account of the massacre so far. It appears to show the first moments of the assault, when the gunmen opened fire and sparked panic among Saturday shoppers. The gunmen are seen casually shooting members of the public and taking a break for prayers.
Are all the attackers dead?
It is still unclear how many terrorists there were and how many of them are dead. Kenyan officials initially claimed that five attackers had been shot dead and 11 had been arrested. However, the CCTV footage shows just four men. Forensic teams continue to pick through the wreckage of the shopping mall looking for clues and human remains. This morning a Kenyan MP said two bodies pulled from the rubble are "highly likely" to be those of two gunmen. The Kenya Red Cross say at least 23 shoppers are still missing.
Does al-Shabaab recruit in Norway?
Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent, says the revelation that at least one of the attackers had spent time living in Europe was perhaps "inevitable". Counter-terrorism officials say that al-Shabaab appears to have stronger links to Norway than with most other European countries and suspect there is an established "pipeline" for those wishing to travel to Somalia, travelling via the refugee camp of Dadaab in eastern Kenya. Of around 23,000 Somalis who live in Norway, around 20 to 30 ethnic Somalis have left Norway to go and fight in Somalia. ·