Brother of Canadian suspected in Kenya terrorist attack convinced he is innocent
The brother of a Canadian man accused of being a part of a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya says that he is convinced his brother is innocent and will be hiring a lawyer to defend his name.
Abdihakim Guleid is one of six people suspected of aiding and abetting the attack on the dusitD2 hotel complex on Tuesday that resulted in 21 people dead. The attack involved gunmen storming the complex and opening fire, as well as a suicide bomber.
Al-Shabab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida and based in neighbouring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Abdihakim appeared in court with five other suspects on Wednesday and will be held for 30 days while authorities investigate the attack. Prosecutors said they are pursuing more suspects in and outside of Kenya.
LISTEN: Brother of Canadian arrested in connection with Nairobi terror attack says family has hired lawyer
Since the attack, Global News has learnt more about Abdihakim.
According to his driver’s licence, he is 46 years old and has lived in Etobicoke, a neighbourhood in west Toronto, as recently as 2017, when his licence was last issued.
His sister-in-law confirmed to Global News that he lived in Etobicoke at her address. There is currently a note on her address reading “My uncle did nothing.”
WATCH: Five suspects appear in Kenyan court in connection with deadly hotel attack
Abdul Guleid, Abdihakim’s brother, says that Abdihakim went to Kenya in December to bring back his family. He was a truck driver for Purolator while in Canada.
He says that he is “100 per cent” convinced that his brother is innocent, but he hasn’t heard from him yet.
“We’re going to hire a lawyer and prove he is innocent,” he said. “He is a normal person, like any other person, good family man. He has no appetite or nothing to do with such a crime, I am 100 per cent sure.”
WATCH: Toronto man arrested in connection with Kenyan terror attack
Abdul said he is not worried and is “sure” they will clear his name. “I have no fear at all,” he said.
Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said Canada condemns the attack and Canadian officials are in touch with Kenyan authorities.
“We condemn the horrific attack that was so costly in terms of human lives,” he said. “Our consular and diplomatic offices are in touch with Kenyan authorities to gather as much information as we possibly can.”
Global Affairs Canada said consular services are being provided to Abdihakim’s family.
-With files from Kamil Karamali and Jamie Mauracher
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.