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Al Qaeda man’s kin want his death confirmed

By | September 17th 2009
By | September 17th 2009

By Ngumbao Kithi and Agencies

The mother of suspected terrorist Saleh Ali Nabhan, reported to have been killed in a US strike has asked the US and Kenya governments to confirm the death.

Ms Aisha Abdallah, 62, who spoke to The Standard in Mombasa yesterday said she has not heard from her son for the last seven years.

Ms Abdallah, who lives with the wife her son left behind when he fled in 2002 to Somalia, said her daughter-in-law would have to start a mourning period if it is confirmed to her that the husband has died.

Ms Aisha Abdalla, 62, mother of suspected terrorist Saleh Ali Nabhan with his daughter Hafswa Saleh, seven, at their Tudor Home, Mombasa, Wednesday. [PHOTO: Maarufu Mohamed/STANDARD]

According to Muslim tradition a woman who loses a husband mourns for 40 days.

"We do not know if the information is correct or not but as Muslims, we have 40 days set aside for the mourning period and that is why, I cannot allow you talk to his wife," she said.

She was sceptical about her son’s death because two years ago Nabhan’s killing hit headlines but it later emerged that it was not true.

" This is the second time we are told Nabhan is dead. It happened sometime ago and later we were told he was alive. The only people who can give us the official information are the governments of Kenya and US," she said.

Unknown father

Speaking at her Tudor home accompanied by Hafswa Swaleh, seven, daughter of Nabhan, Abdallah said she lost contact with her son in 2002.

The daughter said she has never known her father.

US special operations forces used a helicopter to fire on a car Monday in southern Somalia, killing several people, including one they believed was Nabhan.

Nabhan, 30, was born in Kenya and had been tied to attacks that included the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

He is also linked to the 2002 suicide bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel and an unsuccessful attack on an Israeli charter jet in Mombasa.

Ten Kenyans and three Israelis, including two children, were killed when three suicide bombers detonated a car bomb outside Mombasa’s Paradise Hotel in November 2002.

The bombing took place within minutes of an unsuccessful missile attack on an Israeli charter plane, which was taking off with 261 passengers and 10 crew members.

Nabhan has been on the FBI list of the most wanted terrorists and is said to have been operating in Somalia.

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