FBI agents and Kenyan detectives raided a Nairobi hotel in their search for clues in the U.S. Embassy bombing. In Pakistan, two more people have been detained and were being questioned in the bombing.
Reportedly acting on a tip from their prime suspect in the bombing, 15 FBI agents and six Kenyan detectives wearing bulletproof vests raided the Hilltop Hotel on Tuesday and carried away several cartons. Investigators confirmed the raid today but would not comment on a Kenyan newspaper report that the suspect made the bomb at the hotel.The Aug. 7 embassy bombing in Nairobi, just over half a mile away from the hotel, killed 247 people. An almost simultaneous bombing killed 10 at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The police swoop was reported in today's Daily Nation and confirmed by hotel employees. The independent newspaper - the largest in East Africa - also carried a front page photo of a man identified only as an FBI agent carrying a box.
Hotel workers said FBI agents returned Wednesday to take video and still pictures of the hotel, located in a seedy section of downtown Nairobi.
In a statement, the FBI and Kenyan police investigators confirmed that "searches were conducted" at the hotel. They declined to elaborate.
The agents were acting on information provided by Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, who was arrested Aug. 7 in Pakistan and returned Aug. 14 to Kenyan authorities investigating the blast, according to the paper.
In Pakistan, a border official said a Saudi and a Sudanese were detained at the Afghan border and were being questioned about the bombings. The men were stopped Saturday, said Bakhtiar Khan, chief of the Pakistani border post at the Khyber pass, near the northern city of Peshawar.
The New York Times Wednesday reported the Saudi and Sudanese were named as accomplices by Odeh.
The Daily Nation report said a bomb containing 1,700 pounds of TNT was assembled over several days in the Hilltop Hotel under Odeh's direction.
A man who identified himself as the night clerk at the hotel, Omar Jana, told The Associated Press that agents had stormed the hotel. Jana said police arrested manager James Nganga and took the hotel's guest register and copies of bills.
The newspaper said the hotel rooms where the bomb was made were occupied from Aug. 3-7 by four foreigners involved in the bombing - two Palestinians, an Egyptian and a Saudi Arabian. On the day of the bombing, they were said to have completed assembly of the explosive in a pickup truck and driven it to the embassy.
Citing unidentified sources, the newspaper said Odeh flew out of Nairobi Aug. 6 after ensuring that the final preparations were in place. It said he is believed to have had five accomplices, three of whom died in the bombing, the other two at large.
Hotel supervisor Abdulrahman Mohamed Said said no one took special notice of the guests until the raid.