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Hunt for Suspects In Embassy Bombings Elicits Anger in Kenya

Kenyan Premier Raila Odinga, second from left, visits a Nairobi memorial Aug. 7 for victims of the embassy bombings. Authorities, hunting for suspects, conducted raids around the same time.
Kenyan Premier Raila Odinga, second from left, visits a Nairobi memorial Aug. 7 for victims of the embassy bombings. Authorities, hunting for suspects, conducted raids around the same time. (By Khalil Senosi -- Associated Press)

"They just harass people because they want a bribe," said Salim Mohamed, who works at a fabric and tailoring shop in the neighborhood. "The government is making money off Fazul."

On Friday, Ashur's family appeared in a Mombasa court, where their attorneys complained that police had prevented access to their clients and were holding them without sufficient evidence.

"The first time I saw my client is today," said Abdallah Mazrui, Ashur's attorney. "When I go to the police station, I'm told he's been moved."

As the judge deferred her ruling, dozens of members of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose goal is to reestablish the Islamic caliphate, sat in the gallery. Mohamed Ahmed, a member, said the group's numbers have been growing in Kenya.

"These arrests are just to please the American government," he said outside the courthouse, as an impromptu Hizb ut-Tahrir rally of several dozen people got underway. "It's just aggression against the Muslim community."

Sharahil Mohamed, a relative of the accused family's, shrugged as he looked on. He is not a member of the group, he said, but he could understand their point of view.

"We know that Kenya gets funding for anti-terrorism," he said. "And they have to justify the money rolling in."


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