NAIROBI, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government have intensified search for suspected terrorists who attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21 by offering 5,800 U.S. dollars bounty for any information leading to arrest of two owners of a vehicle which was used during the attack.
Investigators said the saloon car which was used to ferry terrorists, weapons and explosives to Westgate shopping mall was found parked a few minutes from the Westgate mall's main entrance.
"Police offer reward of 500,000 shillings (5,800 dollars) to anyone who volunteer information on owners of KAS 575X used in Westgate Mall attack," Head of Anti-Terrorism Unit Boniface Mwaniki said in a brief statement received on Monday.
Mwanini said they were finding difficulties in tracing Somali national Adan Dheq alias Hussein Abdi Ali alias Abdulahi Dugon Subow and Kenyan Abdikadir Haret Mohamed alias Mohamed Hussein.
The counter-terrorism police said the two suspects are believed to be the owners of the Mitsubishi salon car which was seized outside the mall after the attack.
The two are believed to have purchased the car using funds withdrawn from the local bank in Nairobi on Sept. 6.
According to police, the two men have been living in Eastleigh which is mainly inhabited by Kenyans of Somali origin, and paid some 4,000 dollars for the purchase of the car on Sept. 6, some 15 days before the attack in which over 70 people were killed.
Mwaniki also released the CCTV footage to the local television stations which two men (one light-skinned man) entering the Queensway branch of Barclays in Nairobi.
The two Kenyans of Somali origin are reportedly from the Kenyan border town of Mandera which Somali militants have been using for cross border incursions.
The 30 year-old Mohamed who is fluent in Kiswahili is from the Marehan clan in Mandera County near the border with Somalia. His colleague, Dheq, is fluent in Swahili as well.
Unknown number of heavily armed terrorists attacked Westgate Mall, a popular upscale shopping center in Nairobi. Kenyan security services were only able to end the attack and restore order on Sept. 24.
Reports said the original owner of the car was a female staff of United Nations in Nairobi who sold it to a staff of International Center for Research in Agroforestry (Icraf) in Nairobi. The ICRAF staff gave it to his brother to help in getting a buyer.
The new move came after the military confirmed on Saturday that four terrorists took part in storming of an upscale Westgate shopping mall.
Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said that they have Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr were captured in the CCTV footage from the Nairobi.
"The Westage mall was attacked by the four terrorists whose names we have released to the public. Among the four, Al-Sudani is a Sudanese but we are still working on the identities of the other three and their nationalities," Chirchir told Xinhua by telephone.
The military spokesman also confirmed the authenticity of the CCTV footage which was broadcast by a private television station in Nairobi, showing the four men strolling through the mall as they chat on their mobile phones.
The four died when the part of the mall they were in collapsed and their charred bodies are undergoing DNA verification, Chirchir said.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo police said security had been stepped up and appealed to city residents to be extra vigilant and take security measures seriously, regardless of their status in society.
The authorities have particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia to battle Al-Shabaab rebels in October 2011 after several attacks, including the kidnapping of a French woman and a British tourist – and the killing of her husband – damaged its key tourism industry.