In Summary
  • The Dusit attack was hatched mid December 2018 when an unknown attacker of Somali origin travelled from Dadaab to Eastleigh in Nairobi.
  • Apart from Gichunge, the other attackers were suicide bomber Mahir Riziki, Siyat Abdi Omar, Osman Gedi Ibrahim and the unidentified Somali attacker.

As she was planning how to deceive police officers tracking a phone associated with her, her husband was busy shooting and killing people at the Dusit D2 Complex in Nairobi.

Violet Wanjiru, aka Violet Kemunto, aka Khadija, the widow of Ali Salim Gichunge — the man believed to have been the Kenyan mastermind of the January 15, 2019 terrorist attack — has been on the run since four days before the attack.

Police and counter-terrorism organisations believe Violet exited Kenya through Mandera on the day her husband and four others were maiming and slaying people at the complex.


The crafty woman allegedly placed her phone in a parcel and addressed it to a non-existent recipient in Garissa, purposely to deceive police officers who were tracking her.

When the police discovered the plot, they instead launched a fine tooth comb in Kisii, where they believed she hailed from.

A month after the attack, the media was awash with information about the arrest of a woman believed to be Violet in Kisii.

Police had arrested a woman — in the company of a Tanzanian national — whose documents were “questionable”.

She was later released after she proved her identity as Risper Nyamoita Ogwori.

A document produced on September 17, 2019, by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Somalia and presented to the United Nations Security Council states that after leaving the Guango estate Muchatha house on January 11, Violet travelled through Wajir and El Wak to Mandera along the B9 highway, arriving in Mandera on the evening of the same day.


Violet and Salim lived in house number E9. “She remained in Mandera until January 14, and then crossed into Somalia. Throughout this journey, she was aided by Yusuf Ali Adan, a Mandera-based al-Shabaab operative, with whom she communicated on a newly-activated phone line,” says the report.

It said Violet was housed in the border region in a safe house under al-Shabaab control for a number of days before being moved further into al-Shabaab territory and into isolation to observe ‘Iddah’, a period of waiting following the death of a husband.

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