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Tanzanian Police: Gunman Who Killed 4 Last Week Was 'Terrorist'

In this image from video, security officers and forensic experts stand near a covered body in a street in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Aug. 25, 2021. Four people were killed by a gunman later identified as Hamza Mohamed, a 33-year-old local resident.

Police in Tanzania say the gunman who killed three police officers and a security guard during a shootout August 25 was a terrorist on a suicide mission.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, the director of Criminal Investigations, Camillius Wambura, identified the gunman as Hamza Mohamed, a 33-year-old Dar es Salaam resident.

Mohamed was shot dead by police after he killed four people, including three police officers, a week ago in Dar es Salaam.

Wambura said police investigated what motivated the gunman and found he had been active online.

Wambura said the suspect was consuming a lot of online materials that showed activities of terrorist organizations like al-Shabab and ISIS. He said Mohamed’s behavior also was influenced by communications with people from countries that are known for criminal activities, such as terrorism.

Wambura did not identify the countries.

Dar es Salam resident Eugene Michael says the development raises concerns about how well authorities are tracking possible terrorist suspects in Tanzania.

“The information that we were told earlier was that the man was just a normal person in his community." Michael said. “The police report creates fear for us citizens since we can’t know how many people like him that we are living with in our society.”

This was the first shooting in Tanzania that authorities described as a terrorist attack. The country has been largely free of terrorism, except for the August 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy by al-Qaida in Dar es Salaam. That blast killed 11 people.