NAIROBI, Kenya -- The suspected bomber of Nairobi's Norfolk Hotel apparently escaped to Saudi Arabia hours before the explosion that killed 14 people, reliable sources said Sunday.
Officials released an updated casualty list that named American Kenneth Moyer as among the dead. His hometown was unknown. Officials also feared an American woman, Peggy Bartell, who is listed as missing, was also among those killed in the New Year's eve bombing. Three bodies were unidentified.
Reliable informants said the suspected bomber, who carried a Maltese passport when he checked into the Norfolk Hotel, apparently left on a Kenya Airways flight to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia about eight hours before the bomb exploded. It was not known if the man stayed in Saudi Arabia.
The sources said the Maltese passport identified the man as Mohammed Akila. The man, visited in the hotel by a European woman speaking with a German accent, was believed to be an Arab travelling under a false passport.
The motive for the bombing has not been established, although the Norfolk Hotel is owned by a prominent Jewish family.
Britain's Guardian newspaper, citing Middle East diplomatic sources, said the attack was carried out by West German terrorists acting for the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The report said the raid was in retaliation for the arrest of five PFLP members in 1976 for allegedly trying to shoot down an Israeli airliner over Kenya. Two of the terrorists were released in Israel last month after serving prison sentences.
A report that the attack could have been aimed at Fiat automobile company president Gianni Agnelli was denied by the company. The pilot of Agnelli's executive jet was killed and a co-pilot wounded in the explosion but the Italian industrialist was not in the city, his company said.
A Fiat spokesman said the two were at the hotel waiting for parts to arrive for the plane, which had developed trouble while enroute elsewhere in Africa. Agnelli continued on by other means, the spokesman said.
The dead also included four Kenyans, two British children, a Danish employee of the Dutch Airline, KLM, a Frenchman, and a Belgian child who died of injuries Saturday.