U.S. investigators who helped probe the deadly mall attack last September in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, say the al-Shabab militants who launched the massacre likely died in the attack.
In a report posted Friday on the FBI’s website, legal attaché Dennis Brady said there is no evidence any of the attackers escaped the explosions and fire that caused parts of the four-story Westgate Mall to collapse.
Brady also said Kenyan investigators have recovered the charred remains of what they believe are three of the four gunmen, and that Kenyan police are in agreement with the FBI analysis. Four others suspected of aiding the gunmen are in custody.
The attaché also said any escape by al-Shabab attackers would have been publicly celebrated by the militant group, and that no such acknowledgement has occurred.
The New York Police Department also probed the attack, and in a report last month suggested all four gunmen escaped. The Associated Press, however, quoted Linda Greenfield-Thomas, the top State Department official for Africa, as saying the New York critique, based largely on the analysis of public documents, does not reflect the U.S. government’s position.
Sixty-seven people died in the September 21 attack. Somalia-based al-Shabab militants quickly claimed responsibility and threatened to carry out other acts of violence against Kenya.
Kenya sent troops to Somalia more than two years ago to help battle al-Shabab, which has been fighting to turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.
The rebel group has demanded the withdrawal of all Kenyan forces from Somalia.