Kenya’s crack anti-terrorism unit has deployed 100 specialised agents to help trace fugitive Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, an Al-Qaeda mastermind believed to have coordinated the August 1998 bombing in Kenya and Tanzania.
A major terror operation had been launched in Mombasa to trace the whereabouts of the terrorist suspect, who also goes by the name Mohamed Abubakar, according to fresh details unveiled by the police following a botched raid at his hideout.
Police efforts to arrest the terrorist suspect, who trained in Afghanistan alongside Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, proved futile over the weekend after he escaped following a tip-off.
Police have expanded the manhunt to Mombasa.
Earlier, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, which has been tracing him for the last decade, attempted to make an arrest in Lamu after getting information that the wanted fugitive had crossed the border from Somalia into Kenya.
Police have gathered a variety of information on the wanted fugitive over the years, with some crucial leads obtained from the December 2006 arrest of his wife, who was seized while fleeing from an Ethiopian-led operation to flush out Islamists in Somalia.
Police seized Fazul’s diary, which disclosed a variety of crucial leads about his operations.
The anti-terrorism unit has unsuccessfully attempted to arrest him, and in one instance, actually arrested and detained him without knowing it was him.
In another incident, the alleged terrorist mastermind killed two police officers after detonating a device, which left three other bystanders with serious shrapnel burns, when police attempted to arrest him.
Police suspected the Al-Qaeda lead mastermind in East Africa had plans to bomb a cybercafe frequented by westerners in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Fazul is wanted for the 2002 Kikambala bombing and in connection with an attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner taking off from the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya. Panapress .