News / Africa

British Suspect Planned Attacks on US, European Targets, Kenyan Court Hears

Jermaine John Grant, a British citizen, waits in a cell to attend his ongoing trial at the Shanzu law courts near the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, Feb. 17, 2014.
Jermaine John Grant, a British citizen, waits in a cell to attend his ongoing trial at the Shanzu law courts near the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, Feb. 17, 2014.
British national Jermaine Grant, on trial in Kenya accused of planning an attack there, was targeting British, French and U.S. interests, a London detective told the court on Tuesday.

Kenyan police suspect Grant, from east London, has ties to the Somali al-Shabab rebel group blamed by the authorities for a string of attacks in the port city of Mombasa, the capital Nairobi and in the remote hinterlands bordering Somalia.

Steve Ball, a London police forensic examiner, said officers had retrieved files gathered from several websites, including instructions on making chemical bombs and literature related to jihad, from a memory device belonging to Grant.

“There were documents recovered from the disk which called for Muslim faithful to attack Egyptian, British, French and American interests, and their partners,” Ball said in a report he read out to the court as evidence.

Kenyan police had requested London police's help in the investigation into Grant.

He denies the charge against him of planning an attack after being found with bomb-making material that included batteries, wire, ammonium nitrate, lead nitrate, acetone and hydrogen peroxide when he was arrested in 2012 in Mombasa.

Ball said the documents they found did not specify where the targets were.

Kenya is still reeling from an al-Shabab attack on a luxury shopping mall in Nairobi, popular with foreigners, where at least 67 people were killed in September.

Among the documents recovered in the disk was one labeled “Mujahedeen Explosive Handbook” and another titled “Explosives Introduction” which referred to bomb attacks in Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, Ball said.

“These files speak for themselves and show the person's interest in the construction of an improvised explosive device ... and with the chemicals, files show intent to obtain the materials to make such a device,” Ball told the court.

“The majority of the documents found on the disk are ideological and extreme in their views, and tend to advocate for the taking up of arms in the name of jihad.”

Ball said of 127 files that had been deleted on the disk, 125 were recovered at British police laboratories

He said voltmeters recovered from Grant's apartment could be used to construct bomb detonator circuits.

Grant was arrested in an apartment prosecutors say he shared with Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of a suicide bomber involved in the July 2005 attacks on London's transport network.

She is wanted by Kenyan police on terrorism related charges but is still on the run. Lewthwaite is believed to have evaded arrest two years ago in Mombasa, where she is wanted in a plot to bomb hotels and restaurants, while working with Grant.

Grant is on trial with his Kenyan female companion Islam Warda and Frank Nyengo, both of who deny the same charge. Another suspect, Fouad Abubakar escaped after he had been released on bail.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs