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Thread: Gunmen Kill Dozens in Terror Attack at Kenyan Mall

  1. #1
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Gunmen Kill Dozens in Terror Attack at Kenyan Mall

    Gunmen Kill Dozens in Terror Attack at Kenyan Mall


    NAIROBI, Kenya — Masked gunmen stormed into a fancy, crowded mall in Nairobi on Saturday and shot dead at least 39 people and wounded more than 150 in one of the most chilling terrorist attacks in East Africa since Al Qaeda blew up two American embassies in 1998.

    Parents hurled their bodies over their children, people jumped into ventilation shafts to save themselves, and shoppers huddled behind the plastic mannequins of designer clothing stores as two squads of gunmen believed to be linked to a Somali terrorist group moved through the mall, shooting shoppers in the head. Hours later, the mall’s gleaming floors were smeared with blood as police officers dashed through the corpse-strewn corridors, trying to find the assailants.

    A standoff with the attackers, who were reported to be heavily armed and holding an unknown number of hostages, continued as the sun rose on Sunday.

    The mall, called Westgate, is a symbol of Kenya’s rising prosperity, an impressive five-story building where Kenyans can buy expensive cups of frozen yogurt and plates of sushi. On Saturdays, it is especially crowded, and American officials have long warned that Nairobi’s malls were ripe targets for terrorists, especially Westgate, because a cafe on the ground floor, right off the street, is owned by Israelis.

    Fred Ngoga Gateretse, an official with the African Union, was having coffee at that cafe around noon when he heard two deafening blasts. He cowered on the floor and watched eight gunmen with scarves twisted over their faces firing at shoppers and then up at Kenyan police officers who were shooting down from a balcony as panicked shoppers dashed for cover. “Believe me, these guys were good shooters,” Mr. Gateretse said. “You could tell they were trained.”

    Several witnesses said the attackers had shouted for Muslims to run away while they picked off other shoppers, executing them one by one. The mall, one of Nairobi’s most luxurious, with glass elevators and some of the most expensive shops in town, is also popular with expatriates. It has served as the place for a power lunch, to catch a movie, to bring children for ice cream.

    Four Americans were believed to have been injured in the attack, American officials said, and none were reported killed. Secretary of State John Kerry, who called the attack “a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world,” said the wife of a local employee of the American government was among the dead. Two Canadians, one of them a diplomat based in Nairobi, and two French citizens were killed, their governments said.

    A confidential United Nations security report on Saturday described the attack as “a complex, two-pronged assault” with two squads of gunmen dashing into the mall from different floors at the same time and opening fire.

    The Shabab, an Islamist militant group based in Somalia, took responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Kenya’s military operations in Somalia, which began nearly two years ago. “Kenya will not get peace unless they pull their military out of Somalia,” said Ali Mohamoud Rage, the Shabab’s spokesman, in a radio address. The Shabab also sent out a barrage of buoyant Twitter messages, bragging about the prowess of their fighters before Twitter abruptly suspended the account late Saturday. Later, a new one was set up.

    Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, called the terrorists cowards and said Kenya would remain “as brave and invincible as the lions on our coat of arms.” He also sounded a somber note, pleading with Kenyans to give blood , and said he had lost “very close family members in this attack,” though he did not specify further.

    In addition to the 39 people killed, who included women and children, Mr. Kenyatta said, more than 150 were wounded. Government officials said the wounded ranged in age from 2 to 78.

    By Saturday night, Kenyan commandos had cornered several of the assailants on the third floor of the mall, witnesses said. Western officials said they expected that the assailants would fight to the death, though the Kenyan news media reported that one wounded gunman had been captured and died in a hospital. Several witnesses also said one of the assailants was a woman.

    Throughout the day, as the police cleared sections of the mall, terrified shoppers emerged with their hands up and collapsed in each other’s arms.

    Around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, the government said that the mall’s upper levels had been secured and the gunmen contained in one place, but that hostages remained in several locations.

    Witnesses described attackers using AK-47 and G-3 assault rifles and throwing grenades.

    Vivian Atieno, 26, who works on the first floor of the mall, described “intense shooting,” starting around 11 a.m., before she escaped through a fire exit.

    Haron Mwachia, 20, a cleaner at the mall, said he had survived by climbing over a wall. “I heard several gunshots and managed to run away,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    Kenya serves as the economic engine of East Africa, and while it has been mostly spared the violence and turmoil of many of its neighbors, it has had other terrorist attacks. In 1998, Al Qaeda killed more than 200 people in an enormous truck bombing that nearly leveled the American Embassy in downtown Nairobi, while simultaneously attacking the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Islamist terrorists also struck an Israeli-owned hotel on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast in 2002 and fired missiles at an Israeli airliner.

    More recently, the Shabab have put Kenya in its cross hairs, especially after Kenya sent thousands of troops into Somalia in 2011 to chase the Shabab away from its borders and then kept those troops there as part of a larger African Union mission to pacify Somalia. The Shabab have attacked churches in eastern Kenya, mosques in Nairobi and government outposts along the Kenya-Somalia border.

    But this was the boldest attack yet. Within minutes, as the gunmen opened fire with assault rifles, Westgate was plunged into mayhem and carnage. People ran out screaming, and victims soaking in their own blood were wheeled out in shopping carts. Bodies were still sprawled on the mall’s front steps hours afterward, and woozy shoppers continued to emerge from the stores where they had been hiding.

    “This is such a shock,” said Preeyam Sehmi, an artist, as she stumbled out of the mall, past a phalanx of Kenyan soldiers, after five hours of hiding. “Westgate was such a social place.”

    Ilana Stein, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the attack took place near the ArtCaffe, an Israeli-owned coffee shop and bakery popular with foreigners that is one of 80 businesses in the mall. Ms. Stein said that one Israeli had been lightly injured, that three others had escaped unharmed and that Israelis had not been specifically targeted. “This time, the story is not about Israel,” Ms. Stein said.

    As night fell, hours after the attack began, Kenyan police helicopters hovered overhead while soldiers in flak jackets and helmets jogged single file into the mall, faces grim, guns cocked. The flashing lights of ambulances lighted up the mall’s facade. Gunshots continued to ring out well past dark, though the Kenyan authorities did not provide much information about what was happening inside the mall. Several Kenyan soldiers were later brought out grimacing from what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

    Before its Twitter account was shut down, the Shabab sent out a message, saying the fighters in the mall would never give up.

    “There will be no negotiations whatsoever at #Westgate,” the message said.

    The Shabab, who have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, used to control large parts of Somalia, imposing a harsh and often brutal version of Islam in their territory. They have beheaded civilians and buried teenage girls up to their necks in sand and stoned them to death. But in the past two years, the African Union forces, including the Kenyans, have pushed the Shabab out of most of their strongholds. The worry now, current and former American officials said Saturday, is that this attack could be the start of a comeback.

    “I think this is just the beginning,” said Rudy Atallah, the former director of African counterterrorism for the Pentagon. “An attack like this gives them the capability to recruit, it shows off their abilities, and it demonstrates to Al Qaeda central that they are not dead.”


    Jeffrey Gettleman reported from Nairobi, and Nicholas Kulish from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Reporting was contributed by Reuben Kyama and Tyler Hicks from Nairobi; Jodi Rudoren from Jerusalem; Mark Mazzetti from Washington; and Mohamed Ibrahim from Mogadishu, Somalia.
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/wo...anted=all&_r=0
    May the deceased rest in peace.

    The gunmen are still alive, and the situation remains fluid. Reminds you of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

  2. #2
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    The gunfight with security forces was still on.
    Very tragic, a lot of children were in the mall for a kiddies event.

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    The blowback from the mess in Somalia is going to continue for some years to come in a number of nations. Very sad indeed.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Regular SajeevJino's Avatar
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    More than 43 include 2 Indians, Canadian Diplomats are also killed in this Attack ..Still siege is on

    Nairobi attack: 2 Indians among 43 dead; stand-off continues as fresh gunfire heard - Hindustan Times

  5. #5
    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    My sincere condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims.

    Rest in Blessed Peace

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    Regular SajeevJino's Avatar
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    The Israeli's are Arrived in Nairobi to Help the Kenyan Special Forces to Conduct a Rescue Mission

    Currently they are giving Idea's to Face the Challenge ..

    They will be in action if Kenyans Requested


    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/brea...ya/2013/09/22/

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    Regular SajeevJino's Avatar
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    Gunfire as Kenya forces battle to end mall siege

    Kenyan troops backed by Israeli agents battled Sunday to end a siege in an upmarket shopping mall and free hostages held by Somali militants in an attack that has killed at least 59 people.

    Sporadic gunfire rang out as Kenyan security officials said they were trying to kill or capture the remaining attackers and end the 28-hour-long bloodbath at the Westgate mall.

    "The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," a Kenyan security source told AFP. The Israeli foreign ministry refused to confirm or deny its forces were involved.


    Somalia's Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels said the carnage at the part Israeli-owned complex was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are battling the Islamists.

    Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said 59 people were confirmed dead, while the Red Cross has estimated the number of injured at around 200, with 49 others missing.

    Lenku said there were still between 10 to 15 gunmen in the sprawling multi-storey complex but it was not clear how many people were still being held.


    AFP: Gunfire as Kenya forces battle to end mall siege

  8. #8
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Al Qaeda inspired rebels again. So we have 68 killed in Kenya, 78 in a Pakistani Church and 80 in Iraq within the last 24 hours. Isn't this the same group where some rebels are getting their inspiration in Syria and we want to help the rebels. All those religious minorities in Syria should be quaking in their sandals after all this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Al Qaeda inspired rebels again. So we have 68 killed in Kenya, 78 in a Pakistani Church and 80 in Iraq within the last 24 hours. Isn't this the same group where some rebels are getting their inspiration.........
    Today - Al Qaida - is only a concept - global jihad.
    The Haqqani Network remains the Fountainhead of jihad, where foreign figters are trained and given combat experience, and then sent back to their own countries to carryout jihad. Al Qaida elements are dependent on the Haqqanis for their support & logistics.

    The trainer for the Al-Shabab is relieved to be a Pakistani and the financer a Saudi - all graduated of the Haqqani terror schools on Khost/North Waziristan.

    Pakistani man is Al-Shabab trainer
    A Pakistani-origin man is believed to be the security and training chief of Al-Qaeda linked Shabab group that carried out the horrific attack at an upscale Kenyan mall killing at least 59 people.
    Yemen al-Qaida chief said slain in Somalia - UPI.com
    The Long War Journal noted when reporting the death of Abu Khalid that several other foreign al-Qaida operatives hold senior positions in al-Shabaab. They include Sheik Mohammed Abu Faid, a Saudi Arabian, who is a "top financier and manager," Abu Musa Mombasa, a Pakistani who serves as the group's security and training chief, and Mahmoud Mujajir, a Sudanese who is the chief recruiter for suicide bombers.

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

  10. #10
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Coward Jihadists once again attacking the defenceless and the vulnerable.. Women and Children. Despicable.















    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Kenyan Mall Siege: A Popular Expat Hangout - Somalian Gunmen

    Its been about 2days since somalian gunmen(al-shabaab) entered the kenyan mall.

    Between 50-100 have been killed, foreigners targeted especially yet militants maintain that it is a message for kenya

    Gunfire heard at Kenyan mall under siege after 68 killed by Islamists | Reuters

    There are unconfirmed reports that a british women is guiding the militants in the mall
    Last edited by anil; 23 Sep 13, at 07:20.

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    Regular SajeevJino's Avatar
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  13. #13
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

  14. #14
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SajeevJino View Post
    "Indian Mujahideen" provides pictures and maps of targets to Pak based Jihadis for them to cross over and attack. Other times, they act as couriers for the LeT. Nothing like Al Shabab.

    To bring them into this thread, of a brutal attack by Al Shabab, with an article of them "wanting" to be recognized by Al Queda, and a statement by you misleadingly stating that they have already tied up with Al Queda, is factually misleading..
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemontree View Post
    Today - Al Qaida - is only a concept - global jihad.
    The Haqqani Network remains the Fountainhead of jihad, where foreign figters are trained and given combat experience, and then sent back to their own countries to carryout jihad. Al Qaida elements are dependent on the Haqqanis for their support & logistics.

    The trainer for the Al-Shabab is relieved to be a Pakistani and the financer a Saudi - all graduated of the Haqqani terror schools on Khost/North Waziristan.

    Pakistani man is Al-Shabab trainer

    Yemen al-Qaida chief said slain in Somalia - UPI.com
    Are you arguing that the Haqqani network is orchestrating an organized effort to train and 'export' terrorist 'trainers' to other countries? And if so, on what basis? The only link to Abu Mosa Mombasa that I can find is the 2010 LWJ blog reference, with most of the other links referencing that same piece. Are there any other actual credible reports validating this claim?
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

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