Kenya Nabs Suspected Attack Ringleaders

Government insists al-Shabab wasn't to blame

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2014 10:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kenyan authorities say they've arrested several people in connection with the massacres that have hit coastal regions in recent days, including the suspected ringleaders and the owner and driver of one of the vehicles used in an attack, the BBC reports. Police also arrested someone suspected of operating social media accounts "purportedly used by al-Shabab to claim responsibility," the police chief said on Twitter.

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for both attacks, but President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed those claims, instead accusing "local political networks" of being behind the killings. "The attack in Lamu was well-planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence," Kenyatta said yesterday. "This, therefore, was not an al-Shabab terrorist attack." Many are skeptical, however, saying Kenyatta may be trying to deflect criticism that he's failed to protect citizens from the terrorist group. "There are huge inconsistencies in that narrative," one Kenyan columnist tells the New York Times.

Residents barricade a road as they protest against the recent killings and the government's failure to provide enough security, in the village of Kibaoni on the coast of Kenya, June 17, 2014.   (AP Photo)
Protesters barricade a road with burning tyres as they decry the recent killings and the government's failure to provide enough security, in the village of Kibaoni on the coast of Kenya, Tuesday.   (AP Photo)
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