An elite police commando unit waited hours for transport from Nairobi, Kenya, to Garissa, where Al-Shabaab terrorists had taken over a university on April 2, according to one of the commandos who participated in the response operation.
The commando asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals and because he was not authorized to speak.
Al-Shabaab slaughtered 147 people at the school. Of the fatalities, 142 were students at the university, and the rest were security forces and campus security.
At 7:00 a.m. local time, the response team was told to assemble for a mission to Garissa, the police commando told CNN. At 8:00 a.m., he said, the team was told there were no police aircraft available to take them.
A reserve team was then sent by road, while the main commando team waited in Nairobi for air transport, he said.
Once told aircraft would be available, it took the commando team nearly two hours to travel the roughly 22 miles (35 kilometers) to the airport because of the heavy traffic, the commando source said.
But Kenya’s Police Air Wing Chief Col. Rogers Mbithi denied that his unit caused any delay in the response to the university attack.
Mbithi told CNN two fixed wing aircraft were ready and waiting for the commandos 45 minutes before the police commandos were ready to depart around 12:30 p.m.