From Sunday Nation
Police arrest pastor, seize bomb material

Some of the 300 bomb detonators that police recovered from a suspect in Ongata Rongai, Nairobi July 10, 2010. Police arrested two men, one of them a pastor and recovered bomb material in their car July 17, 2010. Photo/FILE
Posted Saturday, July 17 2010 at 18:40

Kenya police have arrested two men, one of them a pastor, and recovered bomb material after they intercepted a car they were travelling in.

Nairobi Provincial Police Officer Anthony Kibuchi said the two were stopped by police, acting on a tip off, on Kiambu road, Nairobi Saturday afternoon.

“Two people have been intercepted on Kiambu Road at the junction of getting into Runda. They were driving a Nissan Sunny car and in the car police officers found one kilogramme of ammonium nitrate, a safety fuse and a detonator … that’s a complete bomb,” he said.

“They have been arrested and are under interrogation.”


He said the police were puzzled by the incident since they could not explain why “a pastor had these explosives”.

The pastor belongs to a church in Githunguri.

The incident comes just a week after police shot dead a man and retrieved 300 detonators from him in Ongata Rongai, Nairobi.

The discovery comes barely two days after The Nation unearthed how easy it was to obtain commercial explosives in the Kenyan capital.

For Sh1,000, reporters from the newspaper bought enough material to make a bomb powerful enough to blow up a large room. The sale of such substances is supposed to be tightly controlled in law.

Bomb expert Charles Juma said commercial detonators were available for Sh5 in Tanzania, which has a large mining industry. The detonators are readily sold on the black market in Kenya and Uganda as well.

In the controlled shops in Nairobi, they cost Sh150.

Dead end

Mr Juma demonstrated how, using ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser available in the market in unlimited quantities, a person with some training can make a powerful bomb using the detonators and fuses illegally being sold in the country.

A month ago, a prayer meeting cum No rally in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park turned tragic after two explosions tore through the crowd killing 130 people and injuring many others.

Police have since said that investigations into the incident have reached a dead end.

Last Sunday, a series of powerful explosions went off in Kampala last Sunday as patrons were watching the World Cup Final, killing 76 people and injuring an equal number.

An unexploded suicide vest was also found, meaning that the bombers wanted to inflict even more damage. The Somali extremist group, Al Shabaab, has claimed responsibility.