NAIROBI, Kenya – A Kenyan court charged four men with 13 counts of murder Tuesday for a terrorist attack that killed at least 10 Kenyans and three Israeli tourists in November.
The four Kenyans charged in Nairobi Chief Magistrates (search) court were not asked to enter a plea because some prosecution documents were not prepared. They were remanded in custody and will appear before court again on Aug. 8.
At least three of the suspects have been linked to a man suspected of being Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (search), an alleged Al Qaeda (search) operative and suspect in the November attack as well as the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
Aboud Rogo Mohammed, an Islamic teacher, Kubwa Mohamed, a trader, and Mohamed Kubwa, a town councilor, were charged earlier this year with harboring an illegal alien who was thought to be Mohammed. But new evidence turned up by the investigation led them to be charged with murder, officials have said.
Few details were available about the fourth suspect, Said Saggar Ahmed, who is a teacher.
In the November attack, assailants attempted to shoot down a chartered Israeli jet with shoulder-fired missiles as it was taking off from Mombasa's airport. The missiles narrowly missed.
Within a few minutes of that attack, homicide attackers exploded a car packed with explosives outside a beachfront hotel popular with Israelis, killing 11 Kenyans and three Israelis as well as the bombers.
The men were charged Tuesday amid renewed warnings of a terrorist attack in Kenya.
U.S. officials closed the embassy here from Friday until at least Tuesday and air traffic between Kenya and neighboring Somalia has been banned after the Pentagon raised the terrorism threat level to "high" in the East African nation.
Somalia, a Muslim nation that has not had an effective government since its last president was ousted in 1991, is believed to be a transit point and staging ground for Al Qaeda operatives working in eastern Africa.
A U.S. district court indicted Mohammed in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Nairobi bombing killed 219 people, including 12 Americans; 12 people were killed in the Tanzania bombing.