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Kenyan Police Step Up Search for Terror Suspect


Police in Kenya say they have stepped up efforts to catch a suspected senior al-Qaida operative after he narrowly escaped arrest during a raid Saturday.

Officials say police have been put on high alert and are circulating pictures of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed throughout Kenya's eastern coastal region.

The pictures were taken from two passports recovered following Saturday's raid in the coastal town of Malindi. The passports bore the same picture, believed to be of Mohammed, but had two different names.

The terror suspect is believed to have fled just minutes before police raided a Malindi residence.

Mohammed is is wanted by the United States for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998 attacks on embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The two bombings killed more than 220 people.

Mohammed is also accused of a November 2002 hotel bombing in Mombasa that killed 15 people.

A Kenyan court charged three people with harboring Mohammed. The three suspects, Mahfoudh Ashur, Lutfiya Abubakar, and Ibrahim Mahfoudh, pleaded not guilty during a court appearance in the town of Mombasa on Monday.

Mohammed is originally from the Comoros Islands off the east coast of Africa and has spent recent years in Somalia. Police say he may have come to Malindi to seek help for a kidney ailment.

The United States is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

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