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New suspects in Kenya church bombing: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 6. November 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism.
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Bishop Joel Waweru and Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya visiting one of the victims of the 30 Sept attack on St Cyprian’s Church

Greed, not terrorism, may have been the motive for last month’s Nairobi church bombing, the Bishop of Nairobi reports.

Speaking at the 10 Oct 2012 funeral of one of the victims in the attack, Bishop Joel Waweru said a dispute over the ownership of the church’s land may have been the cause of the crime.

“The case on the ownership of the plot is dragging in court and we think the dispute could be connected to the attack,” Bishop Waweru said.

While the 30 September 2012 attack on St Cyprian’s has all the hallmarks of an operation by the Somali-based Islamist group al-Shabaab, police are investigating an alternative theory of the crime and are considering the lawsuit between the church and the Juja Development Company headed by Kenya’s former Defence minister Njenga Karume.

Initial witness statements said two men of Somali appearance were seen fleeing the scene after the explosion and were said to have thrown grenades.  However other witness reports said no one was in the alley when the explosion took place.

Nairobi’s police commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu reported that an examination of the crime scene indicated a limpet mine or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was electronically detonated alongside the wall of the Christian education building of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at approximately 10:30 local time.  Shrapnel from the blast killed an eight year old boy and wounded several children attending a Bible study.  Six children were taken in serious condition to the capital’s Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

Popular sentiment in Nairobi blamed the blast on al Shabaab.  The Somali terror group had been responsible for a series of low level bombings of churches and public buildings in Nairobi and in towns along the border with Kenya.  Last year it claimed responsibility for a series of blasts in Kampala that killed 74.

Bishop Waweru said the use of an IED might have been a copycat attack designed to drive the church off its land.  The land on which the Sunday school building sits is the focus of a protracted legal battle between the church and a property developer – a former parishioner.

Asked at a press conference whether he believed the bombing was political, or a dispute over land, Kenya’s Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said he did not know, nor was it fruitful for him to speculate.  This was a “crime” he said, that called for prompt police action.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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