Kenya launches probe into Garissa university attack

” The CISC had recommended that eight police officers be deployed to the areas named as terrorist targets, but this did not happen owing to the shortage of police officers. ”
Nairobi, April 22 (IANS): Kenyan authorities on Tuesday appointed a team to help prosecutors investigate the attack on the Garissa University College earlier this month that killed 147 people and injured over 70, to establish possible criminal culpability of individual officers or relevant security committees.

The inspector general of police has appointed an investigating team that will work with the office of the director of public prosecutions to carry out investigations and take necessary steps as soon as possible, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry said, according to a Xinhua report.

Nkaissery said that he took the drastic decision after perusing through a preliminary enquiry undertaken by a government-led team on the actions of individual police commanders and administrative officers as well as the performance of the committees in charge of security in northeast region.

The move came after Kenyans had expressed anger over the actions of police officers during the 10-hour siege and blamed the high toll on security officers, accusing them of slow response to the attack.

A senior police chief has also admitted that a plane meant to transport an elite squad to the scene of the attack was instead used to fly his family back from holiday.

The plane eventually arrived and transported the elite squad to the site of the attack hours after the siege began.

The elite squad arrived even after some senior government officials and humanitarian agencies based in Nairobi, but were able to gun down the four terrorists 10 hours after the attack began.

Some Kenyans including human rights groups have blamed corruption among the security forces for allowing the Al-Shabaab terrorist group to carry out such attacks.

Sources said the County Intelligence and Security Committee (CISC) had received information that the college was among the areas that the Al-Shabaab was planning to attack.

The CISC had recommended that eight police officers be deployed to the areas named as terrorist targets, but this did not happen owing to the shortage of police officers.

On the day of the attack, there was supposed to be four armed police officers on duty, but only two were present.