Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) – To anyone shopping at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, it would likely have seemed just another store.

But according to a Kenyan intelligence official, the small shop concealed an ominous secret. It was rented by the Al-Shabaabterrorists, or their associates, who within a year would carry out an attack on the upscale shopping mall.

The information — revealed Friday to CNN by the source, who is close to the investigation into the attack — suggests the Somalian terror organization had been planning the operation at least that long.

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