Videos: Terrorist attack in Nairobi, 59 dead; Update: US diplomat’s wife killed

posted at 10:26 am on September 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab has launched a lengthy massacre in an upscale Nairobi mall popular with Westerners, with a death toll of at least 59 people so far. The attack comes in reprisal for Kenya’s participation in suppressing the terrorist networks that operate in al-Shabaab’s home base of Somalia, and specifically targeted “non-Muslims.” It’s essentially a replay of Mumbai from five years ago, with the only question remaining is how many more will the terrorists kill before getting killed themselves or committing suicide. The terrorists told Muslims to clear out of the mall before attacking the rest:

The Kenyan military remained in a tense standoff with Islamic extremists Sunday, as the toll rose to 59 dead, including children, and 175 wounded in the attack at an upscale mall, a Kenyan minister said.

Multiple barrages of gunfire erupted Sunday morning from inside the building where hostages are being held by militants. The radicals attacked the mall Saturday and remained inside throughout the night.

Kenya’s Red Cross said in a statement citing police that 49 people had been reported missing. Officials did not make an explicit link but that number could form the basis of the number of people held hostage.

“The priority is to save as many lives as possible,” Joseph Lenku said, reassuring the families of the hostages in the upscale Westgate mall. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.

Ten to 15 attackers remain in the mall and Kenyan forces control the security cameras inside the shopping center, Lenku said. Combined military and police forces surrounded the mall in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, which is frequented by foreigners and wealthy Kenyans. An Associated Press photographer saw Kenyan soldiers carry into the mall a rocket-propelled grenade, an extremely heavy weapon for an indoor hostage situation.

An explosion of an RPG inside a confined area would be extremely lethal, thanks to the rapid increase in air pressure. If the military has that weapon as an option, they may also think that the hostage situation will ultimately be futile.

This has been unfolding for hours, and the victims have been from China, France the UK, and Canada. A well-known Ghanian poet, Kofi Awoonor, is also among the dead. The US embassy says several Americans are among the wounded.  The scene from the mall has been chaotic, but a number of people managed to escape:

CNN also explores the al-Shabaab connection to al-Qaeda:

The attack comes after a civil war within al-Shabaab that apparently resulted in the death of the American traitor Omar Hammami.  Hammami reportedly wanted al-Shabaab to take a more aggressive posture on attacks against the West, while the AS leadership didn’t appreciate having its strategy questioned by an impertinent foreigner.  Perhaps this is a compromise between the two sides, sort of a Hammami-lite operation without Hammami (assuming, of course, that Hammami is actually dead).  Just as with Mumbai, this raises questions about soft targets in Western nations and whether those governments are prepared to deal with a cadre of bloodthirsty jihadis who don’t worry about exit strategies in operations like this.

Update: That’s not the only terror attack today targeting non-Muslims.  Two suicide bombers attacked Christian churches in Pakistan today, killing 56:

A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 56 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim South Asian country.

Violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in past months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to tame the insurgency after coming to power in June. …

The Taliban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah claimed responsibility for the attack.

“They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them,” said the group’s spokesman, Ahmed Marwat. “We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”

Christians make up about four percent of Pakistan’s population of 180 million and tend to keep a low profile in a country where Sunni Muslim militants frequently bomb targets they see as heretical, including Christians, Sufis and Shi’ites.

Update: Don’t forget that al-Shabaab has done a lot of recruiting in the Twin Cities among the ex-pat community here, and a number of young men remain missing.  The FBI got quite a bit of cooperation from the Somalis here (no thanks to CAIR) as they tried to keep their sons out of the conflict that they had fled, and the probe has resulted in some indictments.  Keep that in mind as we find out who the perpetrators were in this attack.

Update: This might get the US more deeply involved:

France said two of its citizens were killed, and Canada said two Canadians died, including a 29-year-old diplomat. Ghanaian diplomat and poet, Kofi Awoonor, was also killed, as was a Chinese woman, according to China’s official news agency.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who offered assistance to Kenya, said several U.S. citizens had been hurt and the wife of a U.S. diplomat working for the U.S. Agency for International Development was killed.

Don’t be surprised to see a few of these nations band together for a punishing attack on al-Shabaab in the future. (via the Daily Beast)


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…and over!

KOOLAID2 on September 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

So this is what Al-Qaeda on the run looks like.

iceman1960 on September 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

What difference does it make at this point? I hope all demplomats’ wives are killed and die of debilitating diseases.

Do I get a University professorship for saying that? How about paid time off? At least I should get a paid vacation.

Wino on September 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

The reliogion of peace…..

As noted in the article – they are moving here in droves. Must be for the temperate winters in the Twin Cities…..

KMC1 on September 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM

…and over!

KOOLAID2 on September 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

What the — ?@! Did you think no one would notice your misfire at the bottom of page 2?

I hereby revoke your over.

John the Libertarian on September 22, 2013 at 9:08 PM

5 ‘Americans’ among the terrorists. The Somali scum, of course.

pat on September 22, 2013 at 9:38 PM

So this is what Al-Qaeda on the run looks like.

iceman1960 on September 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

.
Yes.
(just agreeing with the President, in case the NSA is monitoring this blog )

All of this (dating back to the “prophet” Muhammad) is what Islamic evangelism “looks like”.

listens2glenn on September 22, 2013 at 9:53 PM

…and over!

KOOLAID2 on September 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

; )

Bmore on September 22, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Were the jihadists shouting “Thank God!” as the Arabic language scholar John McCain insists?

onlineanalyst on September 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Ah, the religion of peace strikes again. I’m beginning to get the feeling that the “religion of peace” really wants a holy war. Isn’t it a pity that our secular left wants to take religion out of our culture, otherwise, we’d be leading this war.

Oh well, when our government is willing to recognize we might be in a religious war, perhaps something will happen. Until then, our government will probably blame it on a video.

bflat879 on September 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

so was there a video involved? sorry, just saying…this was obviously meant to target Americans again so the government will have to invent some excuse to blame something other than what it is.

scalleywag on September 22, 2013 at 10:39 PM

The only logical thing to do would be to remove any restrictions on the number of Somali’s looking to enter this country. I think it will assuage any fear the Somali community may feel about the threat of profiling by the caucasian community in the US.

rickyricardo on September 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM

But hey!
Let’s arm Al-Qaeda affiliates and become their air force in Syria. (US is already arming them)
I mean no way will those sophisticated caches of weapons will end up being used against Americans right? For Democracy and Human Rights!

flawedskull on September 22, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Don’t forget that al-Shabaab has done a lot of recruiting in the Twin Cities among the ex-pat community here

It is sad that we never deal with real immigration reform, but instead we get caught in the amnesty vs. follow the law because the current system is wonderful. I am….

(1) Not a fan of amnesty
(2) Not a fan of our current immigration system

We should be restricting people getting into this country for the content of the character (in other words ideology). That is the prime restriction before anything else, like wealth, education, etc. We are clueless on what constitutes a safe Muslim, because Islam itself has not modernized to co-exist in a democratic style/constitutional republic government.

This might get the US more deeply involved:

This is why I don’t want to get involved in the Islamic world unless we are going to bomb and that is it. Every time we get involved and it somehow always ends up with boots on the ground and us bringing home a bunch of the natives. Our involvement of late seems more like a armed amnesty plan than an actual military operation.

If the plan is the level Mogadishu I would be all for it. If the plan is to save the starving children, being democracy and “social justice”, fight the evil doers who we have a hard time identifying, and bring a boat load of “new American Muslims” home with us who we have not vetted or should I say our government has no idea how to vet (no asking them “Are you a evil doing radical terrorist” does not cut it), than I am a big fat NO!

BTW the people we are trying to arm in Syria are Sunni Jihadist, the same folks who just pulled this Kenyan attack off.

William Eaton on September 23, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Horrific and heart breaking. My prayers go out to the victims.

You know they are planning attacks like this one on US soil. It took Kenyan military 2 hours to mount a response to this. It took 20 minutes for the police to respond to Sandy Hook, and that was 1 shooter. I wonder how long the police response will take when it finally does happen here at home?

Thank God I live in a country & state where law abiding Christians are allowed to arm themselves.

bitsy on September 23, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Thank God I live in a country & state where law abiding Christians are allowed to arm themselves.

bitsy on September 23, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Me too, but unfortunately, Obama and “Fast” Terry McAulife are trying to take that right away from me here in Virginia. Good thing I already have my own little arsenal.

(not if, but) when this happens here, I am sure we can all count on Obama to blame it on the Tea Party, or a disgruntled Muzzie who was just misunderstood and us as Americans are to blame for his rage.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Thank God I live in a country & state where law abiding Christians are allowed to arm themselves.

bitsy on September 23, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Me too, but unfortunately, Obama and “Fast” Terry McAulife are trying to take that right away from me here in Virginia. Good thing I already have my own little arsenal.

(not if, but) when this happens here, I am sure we can all count on Obama to blame it on the Tea Party, or a disgruntled Muzzie who was just misunderstood and us as Americans are to bla

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:06 AM

The sense of entitlement pervading Islam is so perverse that Muslims feel oppressed when their terrorist groups are prevented from killing…

Pest on September 23, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Ah, the religion of peace strikes again. I’m beginning to get the feeling that the “religion of peace” really wants a holy war.
bflat879 on September 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Yep.

BallisticBob on September 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

**clicks heels of Ruby Slippers**

“The religion of peace”

“The religion of peace”

“The religion of peace”

Nutstuyu on September 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Unless some of the terrorists worked at the mall, I believe this falls into the Man Caused Disaster category. The next question is who or what is to blame. Was it:

a) George Bush
b) Joooos!
c) Climate Change
d) The Sequester

trubble on September 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

e) AR-15 SHOTGUNS!!!!11!1!11!

Nutstuyu on September 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Update: US diplomat’s wife killed

Obama won’t abandon you! Oh, wait.

faraway on September 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

The only logical thing to do would be to remove any restrictions on the number of Somali’s looking to enter this country. I think it will assuage any fear the Somali community may feel about the threat of profiling by the caucasian community in the US.

rickyricardo on September 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM

I’m wondering why we have ANY immigration laws at all. Why not simply remove any and all barriers to ANYONE entering this country at will?

Oh, well, ok. We can allow the restrictions for educated and skilled Europeans to remain in place. Otherwise, let’s open the gates!

Cleombrotus on September 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Nairobi Islamic terror attack reportedly was led by white female Muslim convert, the widow of one of the 7/7 London bombers

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/09/23/shocking-update-nairobi-islamic-terror-attack-reportedly-was-led-by-white-female-muslim-convert-the-widow-of-one-of-the-77-london-bombers/

Pork-Chop on September 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Letting a crisis go to waste:

Talk about setting it up on a tee– The POTUS, with bloodline origins from Kenya AND a Nobel peace prize, is strangely silent over the three and a half day run of this religious extremist violence.

Where is Rahm when you need him?

socalcon on September 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

“They need stricter gun laws in Kenya.”

-President Obama

portlandon on September 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Zero will blame the gun. He’s nothing but a parrot, quickly becoming a parody.

dogsoldier on September 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM

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