UK national Jermaine Grant on trial in Kenya over 'bomb plot'


29-year-old British citizen Jermaine Grant, stands inside the dock at the Momabasa Law court on January 12, 2012 court as he awaits the opening of his trial, on charges of possessing explosive materials and conspiracy to commit a felony following his arrest in December 2011 in the Kenyan coastal resort of Mombasa.


Simon Maina

LONDON, UK – A British national accused of links with the radical Somali Islamist militia Al Shabaab has gone on trial in Kenya over an alleged bomb plot.

Jermaine Grant, a 29-year-old Muslim convert from east London, was arrested in December in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa along with two other suspects after being caught with materials prosecutors say were intended to be used as explosives to kill Kenyan civilians, allegations Grant denies.

Grant, who has already been jailed for being in Kenya illegally and lying about his nationality, made his first court appearance in Mombasa on Thursday, the BBC reports, with the first prosecution witness beginning to give evidence this morning.

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According to the Agence France Presse, prosecutors accused Grant of working with the fugitive widow of a British suicide bomber who struck on the London Underground transport system in July 2005.

Kenyan government lawyer Jacob Ondari said Samantha Lewthaite, who is on the run over terror plot allegations and is the widow of London bomber Jermaine Lindsay, “is connected with Grant and they were working together… she is believed to the be the financier of the whole thing.”

Ondari told the Associated Press that the case had failed to start on Wednesday as planned because the suspect’s criminal file was incomplete. Kenya has been on high alert for terrorist attacks since its decision to send troops into neighboring Somalia last October, blaming Al Shabaab for a wave of kidnappings which threatened its important tourism industry. 

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