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Westgate attacker traveled to Kampala before attack, police

An anti-terror police boss told a court on Monday that one of the telephone lines used to plan the Westgate shopping mall attack was traced to Entebbe, Uganda.

The attacker used the line on separate occasions at the Entebbe airport and the Jomo Kenyatta International airport days before the Westgate attack, the court was told.

In total, the anti-terror police unit found five SIM card holders inside a vehicle suspected to have been used to ferry the attackers to the shopping mall.

One of the SIM card holders was linked to the attacker who travelled between Kampala and Nairobi and who later died at the Westgate mall during the attack.

Deputy commanding officer Anti-Terrorist Police Unit, Nairobi detachment inspector Newton Mwiti told the court that the attacker arrived in the country in January 2010 as a refugee.

The attacker then went back to Somalia and returned to Kenya last year to stage the attack at the mall.

The officer insisted that the suspect perished in the attack at the mall.

Four suspects, Adan Abdikadir, Mohamed Abdi, Liban Abdullah and Hussein Hassan, are charged with carrying out the terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping mall.

Mr Mwiti said prior to checking the vehicle, bomb experts found two suitcases which had tyre tubes used in concealing arms and ammunition.

Another witness, Mr Callistus Mashati, a casual labourer at the shopping mall, recounted how the attackers had invaded the second floor.

“We had an explosion like gun shots, we thought police were battling thugs. After a while people were coming out from inside the second floor saying Al-shabaab have arrived,”said Mr Mashati.

The witness told the court that he sustained two gun shots wounds on his right arm plus injuries on his leg as a result of a grenade.

Other charges facing some of the accused include giving support to terrorist group and habouring of persons committing a terrorist acts.

Hearing continues.