UK MI5 could be informed of Nairobi attack 4 years ago

Britain’s intelligence service MI5 might have been informed about the plan to attack a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi four years ago after the arrest of an al-Shabab group commander.

British citizen Bilal Berjawi was arrested in Kenya and was put under question by Kenyan officers, who were fed questions by MI5, over plans to demolish an Israeli-owned shopping center in the eastern African country. 

MI5 has not yet confirmed whether it knew about the attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, but if true, it shows a failure of intelligence by the Kenyan authorities and the British spying agency. 

“There is often terrorist chatter about targets for spectacular attacks and over the years the same targets pop up,” the Daily Mail quoted a security source as saying. 

Berjawi who was among suspects of the deadly twin bombings by al-Shabab in Kampala, Uganda in 2010, was then stripped off of his British citizenship and was reportedly killed in January last year in a US drone attack. 

MI5 has put more than 60 names in its watchlist in order to expand its surveillance in the aftermath of the Nairobi attack which led to 67 fatalities. 

The list contains names of 20 people who have not yet committed a crime but might have links to extremist groups. 

About 40 Somalis, who are thought to be recruiting for the militant group, are also among the names in the list.