Video: Most hostages rescued in Nairobi terror attack; 10 remain

posted at 8:01 am on September 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Kenyan security forces regained control over most of the Westgate mall in Nairobi overnight, rescuing an unknown number of hostages as smoke arose from one end of the complex. Officials estimate that 10 more hostages still remain, and government forces have cornered the terrorists into one level:

Terrorists from the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab group were believed to have about 10 remaining hostages on one level of the mall, security officials said. Other mall levels had been cleared Monday.

“All efforts are underway to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion,” the Kenyan military said on Twitter about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Nairobi time (4:30 p.m. ET). Another tweet said that “most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building.”

An unspecified number of hostages then were freed overnight, the head of the Kenyan police force said.

Inspector General David Kimaiyo tweeted at noon Monday local time: “We have managed to rescue more hostages overnight and very few are remaining. We are also closing in on the attackers.”

Yesterday, I noted that al-Shabaab had recruited a number of young men from the Somali refugee community in the Twin Cities.  Later in the day, a Twitter account claiming to speak for the terrorists claimed that the group included two men from Minnesota and another from Missouri, highlighting a years-long investigation into terror recruitment and risk:

It’s a concern all too familiar for many Somali-American families in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where young men have been slipping away to join the al Qaeda-affiliated guerrilla group Al-Shabaab for the past few years, sometimes in groups. Several have died, their relatives learning of their deaths in cryptic phone calls or in messages posted online. …

In a message on its now-suspended Twitter page, Al-Shabaab named nine people it said were among the gunmen who stormed Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Saturday. Three of them were from the United States and one each was from Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom, it said.

“It isn’t totally surprising, given the fact that we know Shabaab has recruited in the United States,” CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen said Sunday. “We also know they have recruited in a number of European countries.”

Bergen noted that the group’s Twitter page includes tweets in colloquial English, “the kind of English that an American, or perhaps somebody who grew up in the UK, would be using.”

The US government is close to confirming this, CNN reports:

A senior State Department official told CNN that U.S. officials are trying to confirm whether the names released by Al-Shabaab are Americans, but said they are becoming more confident American citizens were involved in the Kenyan attack. The official said the administration has been concerned and raising alarm bells about Al-Shabaab recruitment in the Somali-American community for years and would be making decisions in coming days about additional efforts to stem the flow of recruits.

The risk is that Shabaab will send them back for a terror operation, and a similar target to Westgate exists right here in the Twin Cities — the Mall of America, which is the largest shopping mall in the US and which attracts considerable international business. After this replay of Mumbai, American retail centers across the country should be rethinking security plans forthwith.


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Yowser

Love mall of America….. wake up folks

cmsinaz on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

Yeah, we have been very lucky.

Beslan is the type of attack I mostly fear.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

After this replay of Mumbai, American retail centers across the country should be rethinking security plans forthwith.

And, elementary and middle schools, the ultimate soft targets.

TXUS on September 23, 2013 at 8:08 AM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Unfortunately, it can’t. That is the frightening reality of this. Even more incentive for me to conceal carry.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Beslan is the type of attack I mostly fear.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

We were posting about the same time. Yep, Beslan stays on my mind since I have a young one.

TXUS on September 23, 2013 at 8:11 AM

And, elementary and middle schools, the ultimate soft targets.

TXUS on September 23, 2013 at 8:08 AM

With two of my three kids in elementary school, the thought of their safety crosses my mind daily. Luckily their school is on total lockdown during the day, and any visitors have to arrange for their visit prior to showing up.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:12 AM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

…make them…”gun free” zones!

KOOLAID2 on September 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

All the more reason to hate shopping.

katy the mean old lady on September 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I don’t see how a shopping mall can possibly maintain sufficient security to defend against an attack from a large force of well-armed terrorists. It just can’t be done in any cost effective way.

But it would be possible to deal with these groups in a different way, using prevention by hitting any strongholds they build up. It can’t defend the attack, but it can make it more difficult to organize and mount.

Adjoran on September 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Eliminating them as gun-free zones would be a start. Allowing people the means to protect themselves would go a long way to preventing such attacks.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Yowser

Love mall of America….. wake up folks

cmsinaz on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Yep it’s a sitting duck so to speak. There are tons of entrances and the light rail/bus feeds into one of them. I expect to see a lot more city police and a lot less mall cops the next time I go.

gophergirl on September 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Eliminating them as gun-free zones would be a start. Allowing people the means to protect themselves would go a long way to preventing such attacks.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:15 AM

110% correct. But, that’s common sense logic, but these days, ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Fortunately real estate offices are pretty much terrorist free. And, believe me, mine is not a gun free zone.

katy the mean old lady on September 23, 2013 at 8:17 AM

This reminds me of the threat of Indian attacks during the founding days of our country. You never knew when one would come so all able bodied citizens were armed to be able to respond at a moments notice.

Imrahil on September 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I understand accepting refugees from war torn countries but why did we let in so many Somali Muslims when they are the ones causing problems for Ethiopia and the Eritrea region?

celtic warrior on September 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

A mall would need company strength, heavily armed military to guard against this kind of attack. There are only two solutions: Ban the burqa (the attackers came in wearing “women’s clothing”–and that doesn’t mean bikinis), and allow citizens to come in armed.

bophame on September 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM

I don’t see how a shopping mall can possibly maintain sufficient security to defend against an attack from a large force of well-armed terrorists. It just can’t be done in any cost effective way.

Adjoran on September 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Clearly you haven’t seen Paul Blart, Mall Cop. One fat guy with a Segway is a pretty formidible weapon.

The problem with terrorist prevention is that it would involve spying- particularly in radical mosques. How do you think hate groups like CAIR would view that? We are way too PC when it comes to Muslims to counter domestic terrorism. Fort Hood and the Boston Marathon bombing are two examples how this administration is hands-off when it comes to the activities of terrorists killing in the name of the religion of peace.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Fortunately real estate offices are pretty much terrorist free.

katy the mean old lady on September 23, 2013 at 8:17 AM

I don’t know about that. Some demanding clients can be terrors, I am sure.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Clearly you haven’t seen Paul Blart, Mall Cop. One fat guy with a Segway is a pretty formidible weapon.

Every mall needs a Kevin James to kick a little a s s

The problem with terrorist prevention is that it would involve spying- particularly in radical mosques. How do you think hate groups like CAIR would view that? We are way too PC when it comes to Muslims to counter domestic terrorism. Fort Hood and the Boston Marathon bombing are two examples how this administration is hands-off when it comes to the activities of terrorists killing in the name of the religion of peace.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I would be interested to see how Israel defends their malls. I know I should probably google it, but it’s Monday and I’m to damn lazy to do it.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM

110% correct. But, that’s common sense logic, but these days, ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Yeah, when the thin-skinned rat crapped all over the Navy Yard memorial service with a gun control speech he talked about a common sense approach to gun control. I’m certain he meant taking more guns and not letting the citizenry protect themselves.

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 8:25 AM

I understand accepting refugees from war torn countries

celtic warrior on September 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I don’t. If people don’t have any appreciation for America and no desire to become American then I don’t care how war-torn their country is. They don’t belong in America. The primary requirement for ANYONE immigrating to America or being offered sanctuary here is that they are not hostile to idea and ideals of this nation. Just because they might be refugees makes no difference. Let them go to Europe or South America or anywhere else. They have no business here.

We’ve been importing hostile muslims into this nation for a few decades, now, for no reason. This country had the benefit of having had around ZERO muslims through the whole of our existence. There were the laughable Nation of Islam idiots … but they weren’t even considered muslim by the islamic world … until we started importing other muzzies and they figured out that they had a built-in ally in the “belly of the beast”. Other than that, America has always been muslim-free – contrary to what the despicable, lying scumbag third-worlder occupooping the White House claims.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

3 of the attackers are from the US (CNN). Expect something on US soil.

Adjust your bumber stickers, leftists:

Detroit Dead
al Queada still Alive

mankai on September 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Even more incentive for me to conceal carry.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Even in a state with a large percentage of concealed carry, only a small number of people with be armed. You have a pistol, maybe some dependents and possibly one extra magazine. They have bigger weapons, larger numbers and a plan.

The best you can do is use that gun to get away. That is the best you can do.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Yowser

Love mall of America….. wake up folks

cmsinaz on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Might as well change the name to “Mall of The Great Satan”… it already has a giant “kick me” sign hanging on its back.

bofh on September 23, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I would be interested to see how Israel defends their malls. I know I should probably google it, but it’s Monday and I’m to damn lazy to do it.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Hello from Jerusalem!

Nothing exceptional special. The mall parking lot entrance and the doorways are a poor last line of defense. In the past, over a decade ago, several security guards gave up their lives to prevent homicide bombers from getting indoors, where the damage would have been much greater.

Great security begins far away from the malls.

But the problem is Islam. Everywhere.

Shy Guy on September 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

The mall isn’t the right line of defense. The border is the right line of defense. What matters is to turn off the mass immigration tap.

Beslan is the type of attack I mostly fear.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Me too.

David Blue on September 23, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Even in a state with a large percentage of concealed carry, only a small number of people with be armed. You have a pistol, maybe some dependents and possibly one extra magazine. They have bigger weapons, larger numbers and a plan.

The best you can do is use that gun to get away. That is the best you can do.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

I never said I was going to mount a counterattack on the scale of Obama single-handedly fast-roping into the Obama bin Laden compound and double tapping bin Laden between the eyes, but what I carry is maintained to the highest reliability and also intended to protect me and anyone with/around me. I can do a lot of protecting with three 12 round mags. I got the real good stuff back at the house.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

The mall isn’t the right line of defense. The border is the right line of defense. What matters is to turn off the mass immigration tap.

David Blue on September 23, 2013 at 8:31 AM

That’s true but let me give you a hint of the problem that remains.

Shy Guy on September 23, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Good point GG

Yepper bofh

cmsinaz on September 23, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I can do a lot of protecting with three 12 round mags. I got the real good stuff back at the house.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Well, I only carry one spare mag for a total of 14 rounds. The main goal in something like Nairobi is to protect my charges.

All that good stuff back at the house is no help.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:42 AM

That’s a big problem.

Nevertheless the water already in the Titanic matters less than that water stops flowing into the Titanic.

David Blue on September 23, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Enhanced mall secuity would be pretty easy. Stores in the mall should put up large, bright signs that says

Welcome all CHL holders! 10% off your first item when you show your Concealed Handgun License!

michaelo on September 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Invite open carry. They will never attack a place where most of the people are armed. They don’t attack police stations.

Believe it or not a libtard actually telephoned WRKO this morning and made the assertion to Jeff Kuhner that the Navy yard was not a gun free zone, because the guards had guns.

This is the tactic the socialists will resort to. Mr. Kuhner correctly pointed out that the definition of a “gun free” zone was one where the civilians present were unarmed. The typical libtard model where only security or the cops have weapons.

The reject still insisted that it wasn’t. This is the classic type of stupidity that we’re dealing with, that Zero and the rabid clowns take advantage of.

dogsoldier on September 23, 2013 at 8:47 AM

We need more Somali refugee communities in this country./

docflash on September 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Well, I only carry one spare mag for a total of 14 rounds. The main goal in something like Nairobi is to protect my charges.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Good thing for me there are no restrictions in VA on rounds in a magazine. The main goal of my carrying, is to ensure I can protect myself and anyone with me or around me can have a fighting chance to get out safely or remain safe until the cops show up.

RandallinHerndon on September 23, 2013 at 8:55 AM

It’s 1998 all over again.

farsighted on September 23, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Great security begins far away from the malls.

But the problem is Islam. Everywhere.

Shy Guy on September 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

http://www.cairchicago.org/2006/12/08/chicago-muslims-react-to-alleged-mall-bomb-plot/

Taqqiya. There are a lot of “lone” wolves in that wolf pack.

Fallon on September 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Have they released the name of the American(s) killed and injured?

Blake on September 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Sure ain’t over since there is a lot of small arms fire coming from the mall at this very moment on live TV.

Viator on September 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

http://www.cairchicago.org/2006/12/08/chicago-muslims-react-to-alleged-mall-bomb-plot/

Taqqiya.

Fallon on September 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

“Count wem, Jim, count ‘em!”

Shy Guy on September 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Last year a mall here had a shooting, as did a mall in SLC a few years ago which I was reading (didn’t know) was a terror attack by jihadi?

How many of these things are dry runs? (well, not so dry)? If I remember correctly the Clackamas mall shooting last year was by a mentally ill man, much like, allegedly, a lot of the recent shootings. 2 people died. But the Navy yard, the CO movie theater, the Clackamas shooting, even Gabby Giffords, all show the behavior of Americans when attacked.

I fear Beslan the most. It seems to me there are a ton of soft targets here, and a lot of would be attackers. It certainly feels like we are in the lead up to an event to me.
One more thing, that shocks me, the Kenya thing is still going on? That’s a 2 plus day attack. Prayers for the people involved. I can’t imagine and I hope it stays that way.

ORconservative on September 23, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Wait…I thought Al Qaeda was on the run.

2lbsTest on September 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Wait…I thought Al Qaeda was on the run.

2lbsTest on September 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

They are … as in “hit and run”.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 23, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Wait…I thought Al Qaeda was on the run.

2lbsTest on September 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Depends on the AQ franchise. WE’RE ARMING SOME OF THEM!

Happy Nomad on September 23, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I understand accepting refugees from war torn countries but why did we let in so many Somali Muslims when they are the ones causing problems for Ethiopia and the Eritrea region?

celtic warrior on September 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

It’s the mindset of Islam that’s the problem. In their online posts, the al Shahaab terrorists (or “militants” as the LSM insists on calling them) are still trumpeting that this is payback for Kenya’s war against Somalia.

Their method of “payback”, according to the Telegraph, is to ask a hostage what the name of Mohammed’s mother was- and kill anyone who doesn’t give the right answer, since they are obviously a “kuffar”. (BTW, the correct answer is “Aminah bint Wahb”.)

Kenya sent military units into its border area with Somalia to stop cross-border raids by Somali terrorists, ranging from cattle stealing and elephant and rhino poaching (ivory, and rhino horn- the latter is considered an aphrodisiac in the Far East, and like most placebos is a luxury item fetching a high price) to kidnapping women for rape and slavery plus just killing people and burning their villages for the sheer hell of it.

The Somali response? Resentment of Kenya objecting to their depredations.

Somalia’s president is in Columbus today; one of his reasons for being here is- yes, you guessed it- to rally support from African-American groups to pressure Kenya to stop resisting. (Mayor Michael “I’m Not A Radical, I Just Don’t Like You” Coleman is, predictably, hosting the shindig.)

The Somalis literally can not comprehend that others might object to their actions. Because the Holy Qu’ran says that, as Islamic Holy Warriors, it’s what they are supposed to do. And “infidels” (i.e., everybody else) are supposed to be grateful for the “attention”.

Anyone who says “violence only begets more violence” and “we must negotiate, not fight” does not understand Islam. And certainly not the brand practiced in the Horn of Africa.

The Kenyans understand it. All too well.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

After this replay of Mumbai, American retail centers across the country should be rethinking security plans forthwith.

I’m not much of a mall guy. Sorry to say, maybe it’s only when a nice suburban mall in middle-America gets terrorized will most of America finally rise up and demand a correction to the notions about the religion of peace and open borders.

Why are members of the GOP not treating immigration as a vital national-security issue.

BuckeyeSam on September 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’d like a man on the street question to be

“Have you ever heard of Beslan?” Followed by “What happened in Nairobi this weekend?”

I’ll bet the answers are “I don’t know” and “The Emmys were streamed there.”

ORconservative on September 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Why are members of the GOP not treating immigration as a vital national-security issue.

BuckeyeSam on September 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Sticks and stones will break our bones but Congress Critters fear being called names like “racist” and “bigot”.

Fallon on September 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I rarely visit Mall of Twin Cities Gangs, but when I do I’m carrying big heat. Yeah I know there are “No Guns” signs on the door, I always seem to be looking at the floor when I enter.

How about this: Ban the little douchebag bangers infesting the place like lice and I’ll start looking up again when I go through the doors.

Bishop on September 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Are we sure this is terrorism? Workplace violence maybe? Let’s not jump the gun here.

BKeyser on September 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Even in a state with a large percentage of concealed carry, only a small number of people with be armed. You have a pistol, maybe some dependents and possibly one extra magazine. They have bigger weapons, larger numbers and a plan.

The best you can do is use that gun to get away. That is the best you can do.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

You do not have to have a large number of CCW holders to have a deterrent effect. From my submarine driving days – in the mind of the enemy fleet commander, submarines are everywhere, because they are invisible. It is the same with CCW holders.

Mr Jihadi can always be on the lookout for cops. But, while he is rounding up hostages (such as the Kenya situation) he can never know from which direction he will be killed from, as long as there are CCW holders lurking in wait.

SubmarineDoc on September 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Additional security here will be useless.

As soon as a guard sees a bunch of people in Muslim garb walk into a mall, he will suppress any suspicions and blame his own “racism.”

PattyJ on September 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Sooner or later this sh*t is going to get really ugly. When the American people finally give CAIR something to whine about. The longer the government and its PR outlets the MSM continue to promote fantasies about Islam being a religion of peace, and that the biggest thing we have to fear is intolerance, the worst the explosion is going to be when the American people finally get tired of having this smoke blown up its collective backside. I may not know much about cannons, but I’m pretty sure that the tighter you pack the charge, the bigger the boom is going to be.

smellthecoffee on September 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

After this replay of Mumbai, American retail centers government officials across the country should be rethinking security plans immigration policies forthwith.

But they won’t.

Cleombrotus on September 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Speaking of Israel and mall security: they’ve got skin in the game in Nairobi.

smellthecoffee on September 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Can’t wait to see the back of his idiotic a$$..

melle1228 on September 23, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Not me. I can’t wait to hear, ” Will the defendant please rise.”

Cleombrotus on September 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

The best you can do is use that gun to get away. That is the best you can do.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

I disagree.
If it’s a group attack, like Kenya, whatever I’m carrying is only what I start with, and hopefully there are other CCW holders around me to help out. Take out one or more of the terrorists, and grab their guns – just like Alexis did at the Navy Yard – and use their own guns against them. That kind of tactic can work both ways…

Besides, I’d rather go down in a gun fight with the Muslims than become an unarmed hostage and let them carve my head off with a butcher knife.
And if I’m armed, I feel I would have some responsibility to do something, rather than run away and leave others to have their heads carved off.

dentarthurdent on September 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

How does a mall defend against this kind of terrorist attack without looking like a prison?

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Can’t happen here, we have a seasoned organization of Mall Cops that will take care of it quick.

slickwillie2001 on September 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Beslan is the type of attack I mostly fear.

cozmo on September 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Me too.

David Blue on September 23, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I feel strange openly stating my fear, because what if they hadn’t thought of it yet? But imagine 4 attacks at the same time at each of the Final Four arenas.

They might check fans’ bags, etc., but do they check every vendor, every player, every water boy? Every medicine kit? Every Nike show and every microphone?

cptacek on September 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

:s/show/shoe/g

cptacek on September 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM