Westgate Massacre – Al Shabaab Terror in Nairobi

At least 20 killed when gunmen attack Nairobi shopping mall, Red Cross says





55 comments on “Westgate Massacre – Al Shabaab Terror in Nairobi

  1. true to our character, we have let ourselves be lulled into a false sense of security. as we wait for uhuru to do what he needs to do, the westgate conversation is still very much alive in certain parts of the world. ok, this is from MSNBC… credible or not it just got me wondering why our own ‘investigations’ have stalled.



    • Although we will not get to see the full report for a while, this is unfortunate on several fronts. First since Kenya has been unable to provide any credible report, it allow for this vacuum which is then taken up by rumor and finally these reports from other institutions, and since we have nothing else to go by, this becomes the only public account.

      Of course the reported content has a lot of generalization and also largely paints the response as very casual and pedestrian, but we have no one to blame but ourselves. Stuff like poorly constructed buildings etc also doesn’t help but again, who is to say otherwise.

      As for our own investigations, you recall how the teams of forensic experts were given a cold shoulder and simply blocked from participating, which was just plain dumb if pride was driving it, but more than likely was to block the teams from uncovering some dirty little secrets.

      But then who are we kidding, even if we got a credible report from our own commissions, if it doesn’t gather dust on some shelf then it will end up like the TJRC report i.e will be mutilated in parliament or like the CIPEV, will be largely discredited for speaking the truth.


    • the fulll report has been published by a journalist can be found here


  2. cnn has released some more CCTV footage on the attack at westgate

    be advised the content is graphic and disturbing

    from the clip we see the murderous intent of the attackers, who appear to be just 4 in number

    caution: graphic content, disturbing


      • adongo i had seen that clip and was hoping to have time to properly connect the dots. its a great presentation although some of the timelines are fudged to make the story flow. i also hope that the media will finally stop the CCTV so called “exclusive” battle and stop airing people’s loved ones being murdered in cold blood. its a traumatizing experience to repeatedly witness the brutal murder of someone close.

        some things to take away from that footage is that the KDF were caught looting
        the so called cash repatriation happened once they realized that evidence was being collected and was meant to create a diversion, but sadly CCTV footage has badly shamed them.

        also the reason this information leaked was due to the turf wars staged and KDF literally kicked every one else out of the scene. just like the shollei/JSC saga we would never have known this information if they had agreed to work together.

        lastly the confusion surrounding the number of attackers, those killed and those who possibly escaped is getting quite frightening. it appears that the attackers had significant “ceasefire” time to rest, recuperate and plan other things, remember they still had their mobile phones or the mobile phones of their victims to use. and the KDF decided to kill all power to the building so any other activity can only be guessed at.

        finally i dont get why its called a tactical team if all they do is crash two floors down on attackers/hostages, any glue sniffing urchin could have done.

        the respect many had for KDF has been seriously eroded. a purge of their system is required and I do recall awhile back hearing that notorious gangs/militia had sponsored their members into the military and police force.


      • hehehe akinyi, that committee confirms that its hard to argue with someone that talks and burps from the other end of the alimentary canal.

        in my days huko mtaani we would have said, wana shuta points kubwa kubwa


  3. The solidarity that Kenyans have shown was great and everyone needs to be patted in the back for that. I’m however afraid that all this will be thrown out of the window in a matter of weeks if not days and we will go back to our own good selves. Our tribal gear will be put on and name calling from our top leaders will begin. We will go back to our corrupt ways and deprive the country of all the resources need to build a nation. Taming this or that leader will take center stage again. I’m afraid, that’s who we are. In this regard our leader lead from the front with slogans such as “haiwezekani”, “digital”, analogue” etc. We therefore need to ask the tough questions however painful.

    I know that Sonko is one person who seeks publicity whenever and however he can. I also know that he is not one of the smartest senators but I choose to believe him when he says that he reported that there were terrorists in Nairobi to our intelligence apparatus who did absolutely nothing.

    It does not take much digging to realize that the NSIS is more concerned with things that are not really of national importance. This is an agency that is more interested in tracking what the opposition leaders are doing and saying than averting any harm coming to our country. I’m certain that if they have indeed averted any threat to our country, it has been more by accident than any intelligence gathering. As senator Janet Ongera said yesterday, the NSIS is keener on tapping opposition politicians’ phones than securing our borders. Because how do explain the fact that they never bothered to go to the house that Sonko (and witnesses) told them that terrorists were living? This boggles the mind.

    Then we have a police force that is unreformed and a government that is unwilling to carry out reforms in the force. This, coupled with low pay is a bomb just waiting to explode. This is not the first time we have had people from outside attack Kenya. In the North Eastern part of the country bandits roam at will killing people and taking their property then retreating into the safety of Ethiopia and Somalia. The government has simply been unable to deter such occurrences.

    Security should be on top of our agenda. Terrorism need not come as a surprise to us because we have been there before.
    • In 1988 the US embassy in the heart of Nairobi was bombed killing 212 people
    • 1980 Norfolk hotel was bombed killings at least 20 people
    • 2002 there was a missile attack on an Israeli plane shortly after it took off from Mombasa airport, but missed
    • 2002 a car carrying a bomb smashed into the gates of paradise hotel in Mombasa. 13 people died, 10 being Kenyans and thee Israelis.
    • 2012, a small shopping complex on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue was blown up, leaving around 30 people wounded.
    • 2012, masked gunmen stormed two churches in Garissa, south of the Somali border, killing seventeen people including two policemen whose guns they took.

    These are happenings that would make a government think deeply about security of its own people. But that has never been a priority because looking at the above, only the “man on the street” has been affected. The elite have remained as cool as cucumber in their high walled homes with electric fences. They who can influence have been feeling safe until now. The government of Kenya must learn from the events of Westgate that no one is exempt from terror. The work of protecting the people cannot be limited to protecting the elite. I was shocked when parliamentarians suggested yesterday that parliament building be surrounded by a high wall and electric fence with immediate effect. One would have thought that they would suggest that schools, hospitals, markets etc. be secured. It is this kind of selfishness that will precipitate the exact kind of situation we have seen at Westgate.

    I was talking to a friend of mine from Ethiopia, a former fighter pilot, who was shocked at how easy the terrorist just walk into Kenya and do their evil. He said that Ethiopian forces have been in Somalia many more times than Kenya. In a nutshell he told me that whenever terrorists from Somalia attack Ethiopia, the government acts decisively and with massive force. He even told me that there is a buffer zone between Somalia and Ethiopia since the Oganden war. They don’t take anything for granted. Kenya must do the same. Police our border better for I’m sure that this guys never entered Kenya through JKIA.

    Another important thing is to look at how we hire our intelligence personnel. As long as it’s based on tribe than competence then we will have problems. The Intelligence, Police, Military and CiC all come from same ethnic group. This is not good for the country however you look at it. We must change this.

    So westgate is over but terrorism is not gone.

    I will come back to how Uhuru handled the situation later. Especially his first address that came close to 12 hours after the siege had started.


    • @Mzee, an addendum;

      Sonko’s statement is interesting, had he been an opposition politician, we would have dismissed him as one out to smear the government’s name. Going by his recent antics, Sonko seems to be close to Uhuru and the power honchos of the Jubilee government, I would therefore conclude he would not issue careless and reckless statements that would paint the leadership in bad light. In short Sonko could be telling the truth.

      Our terrorism fighting ability leaves a lot to be desired e.g.

      Fazul; mastermind of the 1998 US embassy bombing was able to walk in and out of the country at will; he was nabbed and killed in Somalia a supposedly failed state.
      One of the guys responsible for the Moi Avenue shopping complex was arrested when he entered Tanzania, another one was arrested after entering Uganda. These guys were able to live and infiltrate our society without being detected, yet are immediately arrested when they are in another country.

      We are aware that dirty money from Somali pirates and illegal levies imposed by Al Shabaab were laundered in Kenya working in cahoots with high ranking government officials. Some of these al shabaab elements are running businesses in our country and firmly planted in our country and we wonder why Ethiopia, which as you mentioned has attacked Somalia, has a big population of Somali refugees and an even bigger (than Kenya) population of ethnic Somalis is never attacked.

      Some people have also been telling me (don’t know how true the claims are), the current frosty relationship between Jubilee and the West notably America has affected intelligence gathering. American agencies have played a major role in fighting terrorism in Kenya, Jubilee keen to demonstrate their “look east” policy have deliberately cut back on ventures carried out with the West.


      • Andrew,
        I get you bro.
        Perhaps you nailed it when you mentioned the ”look west” policy that’s will sooner or later destroy our country. The Chinese bring an immediate “feel good” atmosphere but long term they are disastrous.

        Kenya cannot rely on Ugandans, Tanzanians and Somalis to arrest people committing atrocities within its borders. We claim to be richer, bigger and better than the three countries yet we can’t match them in terms of security.
        If we cannot arrest simple criminals e.g. those that killed Mbai or Oscars foundation guys, how can we arrest or even stop criminals from well-oiled machines such as al-Qaeda?

        We must understand that the enemy from without is more vicious than one from within (if there is such enemy from within).

        In Kenya everything is thrown under the carpet. Yes we speak out when it happens, the government then pretends to care after than nothing is done and life goes on. Don’t tell me that Westgate will change anything; I would be genuinely surprised if things changed. Mark my word, not even one head will roll.

        Rwanda has been accusing us of hiding the king of genocide Kabuga yet our government takes such accusation in stride never caring.

        Tribal appointments are killing the very fabric of our society yet we will defend this with our lives.

        If we cannot contain simple crime in our towns how can we fight international terror? Why is it that you safely walk in Kigali in the middle of the night while you cannot do the same in Nairobi? Was Kigali not more dangerous than Nairobi just a few years ago? What has the government done there that we are unable to do? Why can I stroll in the middle of the night in Djibouti and not walk safely in Mombasa , Kericho or Kisumu?

        Corruption is destroying our country yet we applaud when that very corruption favors us. Take the supreme case ruling of presidential elections as an example.


  4. Heheheheee!! Now, this is REAL success folks!!! Intentionally blowing up and collapsing three floors to flush out a couple of terrorists while putting at more risk the lives of some tens of hostages is akin to killing a mosquito using a sledge hammer! It is called cowardice. Well trained and fed Kenyan soldiers cannot even face some rag-tag undernourished Somali terrorists. What a shame!

    “RT @cobbo3: Kenya Prez Uhuru says three floors at #Westgate collapsed in explosion. Bodies of hostages & terrorists buried in the rabble. 5 hours ago”

    We’ve ashamed and defeated Westgate attackers, President Kenyatta says after four-day siege

    President Kenyatta has said the four-day siege at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi is over.

    “We have ashamed and defeated our attackers,” President Kenyatta said during a televised address to the nation Tuesday.

    “We have been badly hurt, but we have been brave, united and strong. Kenya has stared down evil and triumphed. We have defeated our enemies and showed the whole world what we can accomplish.”

    The President said five terrorists had been killed “with gunfire” while 11 others were in police custody.

    “Our losses are immense,” he said after revealing that 67 people had lost their lives in the attack.

    Of these, 61 were civilians while six officers “had made the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty”.

    A total of 240 people were injured.


    The President declared three days of national mourning during which the national flag will fly half-mast…………………………………………………………………………………….



    • einstein

      I have seen that story in the Kenya papers and the information from Red Cross that there are about 64 missing people. Red Cross have actually proven more reliable in their information than the useless and shameful government and police. I just wonder why the criminal president doesn’t come out and clarify on what exactly is happened inside that mall or if the death toll is expected to rise.


      • Folks now that things are settling down we are back to the old Kenya of endless unanswered questions.

        We already heard from Mzee about the Sonko stuff.


        The comments from Kenyans speak for themselves in that Star story. Nobody ever takes Sonko seriously but it seems Sonko did talk to NSIS. Whether those were the eventual Al Shabaab terrorists we cannot know. What is emerging clearly is that the NSIS is so compromised and so incompetent on matters of real national security as to be utterly useless. NSIS as presently constituted is more of a political weapon for the oligarchy than an instrument for national security. It is laughable to hear Uhuru’s new(old) idea of Nyumba Kumi. That will soon be a money magnet and a useless security tool.

        Secondly the chain of mass murders and acts of terror including state terrorism is sinking the nation into utter lawlessness. We had the Tana River where 103 were killed and now we have reports that the killers included police officers and members of the armed forces. The report was released a few days ago. We will not hear about it from Uhuru and his bumbling mob running state security apparatus.

        We had Baragoi where more than 50 police officers were gunned down. The government took cover about that by targeting their own Waiganjo, the so called fake cop. That has been buried.

        We had the national disaster at JKIA which was blamed on electric wires.

        Everyday Kenyans are being killed in Wajir, Moyale, Garissa etc and nobody really cares. It is the same everywhere.

        Now that Al Shabaab targeted the heartland of the elites in Kenya it has at least brought some attention and flags were lowered foro the first time in a long time and there was a minute of silence in parliament.

        We have actually seen the great side of Kenya as a country where people care for each other. That is great. Just last week when a woman who faced horrific acts of terrorism in the burnt Kiambaa church appeared as a witness at the trial of Ruto and Sang, another group of terrorists, call them internet Al Shabaab went to war against her forcing the judges to take her testimony in camera to shield her from vicious Kenyans who wanted to skin her alive. That is the ugly Kenya we all know so well.

        So which Kenya will we have tomorrow. The great country we saw this week or the ugly one we saw last week.

        One thing is certain. There are those who are going to try to milk this tragedy dry to try to shield Uhuru and Ruto from the emerging nightmare of ICC trial now that the moves to vaporise the witnesses has not completely succeeded. That move is already underway. It will be tough to try to shield the PEV terrorists using the excuse of AL Shabaab terrorists. That is coming.

        In my view Al Shabaab is more or less a Jua Kali terrorist group at this time. They had the publicity that they cherish by holding Kenya hostage for four days running. It is the best thing that has happened to them in a while. What Kenya has to do is to make sure the country does not become Al Shabaab’s favourite play ground. It must look very lucrative for them. The security system is corrupt like hell. There are soft targets they can hit and get the publicity they crave.

        The Nyumba Kumi nonsense is not going to help the country. It is absurd to imagine that in this day and age when most people are constantly mobile you are going to have chiefs recording names and details of all their neighbours. This is not the 16th century when everybody was confined to a grass thatched hut in some village. Urban folks are the modern nomads. They live everywhere. Uhuru needs to get a grasp of modern security needs of the republic. Talking about “shaming” Al Shabaab will not help.

        These guys are ragtag but they are determined and they are looking for a foothold. That is what they must be denied in Kenya. They are placing their bets and the Westgate tragedy must have excited them to no end. They are going to try to pull another one.

        The security system in Kenya has to be restructured and refocused on security and leave political foolishness out of the system. Easier said than done. I know that.


      • Adongo,
        I agree that Al Shabaab is more or less a Jua Kali terrorist group at this time. They pinned down our security forces for 3 days, what does that say about the leadership of our forces? Jua Kali perhaps?


      • Mzee,

        The point I was trying to make in my post there was that Al Shabaab had the nation on its fingertips way before they invaded the mall. Once they got in there it was a field day for them.

        Reliable information is that this whole thing was planned for months. They got their weapons in there and must have secured them. They seem to have scouted the entire mall. The lies from the Kenyan police emerging at the beginning of the operation to the effect that the attacking mob blasted their way into the mall from cars on the day of the attack seems to be bad fiction.

        Also it seems once the Al Shabaab deadly shooters were in the mall our security counter attack was largely clueless. The police, the army and the paratroopers seemed to have no chain of command and everybody was fumbling around probably hoping that after a few shots the terrorists will run out of ammunition and be sitting ducks. Then things got really crazy and we still don’t know what really happened. I suspect there is going to be a lot of cover up in this whole tragedy. That Ole Lenku guy who has been completely inept in the whole operation is now promising that the forensic report will be out in 7 days. How does he know? File that in the rubbish section.

        The problem that I was pointing out is that Kenya has all the ingredients to be very lucrative for Al Shabaab. The reason I call them Jua Kali is that a few years ago when I had a chance to talk to some Somali academics here in Toronto very familiar with the scene on the ground they gave me the inside dossier and that was just when Kenya was invading Somalia. I posted that piece in Jukwaa where I was a member at the time. Check it out and see where Al Shabaab is coming from.

        Bottom line is that Kenya has to deal with this thing very seriously because we are the last frontier for Al Shabaab and they know it and the country with its indemic security problems may be just what Al Shabaab needs.


    • How Kenya Defence Force brought terrorists down


      NAIROBI; KENYA: On Monday morning, an unknown number of terrorists holding an unidentified number of hostages at the Westgate Mall started with prayers early as 6am, and chants of “Allahu Akbar.”

      Except for a sporadic exchange of gunfire with security forces, hours passed as anxiety among families waiting for their loved ones to be released piled up until afternoon, when the terrorists noticed helicopters hovering in the air.

      The terrorists, whose tactics involved a suicide-cum-mass casualty attack in response to the sight of helicopters, started shooting at surviving hostages and throwing them off the building.

      The Kenya Defence Force (KDF) was initially unsure of how to respond. Although they had surrounded the mall, they did not know the number of militants or even the remaining number of hostages.

      Initial attacks were chaotic as the chain of command between the police and military not only worsened things but also resulted in the military shooting dead a General Service Unit commander.

      The Standard has established that the attack was preceded by months of tactical reconnaissance, a well-done study of the layout of the building and the terrorists reportedly operating a shop at the mall and living in a rented apartment nearby.

      When the KDF soldiers pushed into the building, one of the terrorists blew himself up, leading to a huge fire that caught parts of the building, especially the Nakumatt supermarket. The terrorists then started burning mattresses and throwing them to lowers floors, resulting in heavy smoke.

      After some time, the roof and parts of the supermarket began caving in, trapping the hostages.

      “We received a call to go and put out the fire,” a Nairobi City Council firefighter said. “We feared for our lives but the soldiers assured us of our safety.”

      The firefighter said he heard several women wailing as a result of the smoke. By Monday evening, the troops had surrounded the basement, first, second and last floors of the mall. “However the heavy smoke forced us to retreat,” one of the soldiers said.

      Meanwhile, a massacre of hostages was also taking place.

      As Monday night set in, drivers of vehicles including those of the police, military, ambulances and fire brigade were ordered to move them away from the besieged mall.

      This reporter, who remained awake the entire night, was busy tracking every step of the operation.

      At 1am, the first military trucks with additional troops moved slowly and quietly towards the mall. It was followed later by a pick-up truck. There was no more vehicle movement towards the besieged mall for the rest of the night.

      At 3am, the troops started rehearsing for the final assault, braving a drizzle. The final assault started at about 5.45. When the attack started, the terrorists are said to have concentrated on killing as many hostages as possible.

      Positioned snipers

      At the front of the building, the terrorists are said to have positioned snipers and booby-trapped the entrance. KDF decided to launch an attack from various sides of the building. By the time the KDF men were going in, they claimed that four of their men had been killed and seven injured. The military has not officially confirmed this.

      Since they did no real-time intelligence on where the terrorists were, they adopted a shoot-to-kill strategy. “Our orders were to shoot and kill anyone who looked like a terrorist,” a soldier told us.

      KDF men moved quickly to take control from the ground floors until the third floor, where they faced heavy resistance leading to the use of artillery. As early as 7.08am, about an hour after the start of the assault, KDF had taken over the first, second and third floors. At 7.57, two big fire engines moved towards the mall.

      There was a sporadic exchange of fire going on for a while. By 8.45am, KDF was yet to gain control of the fourth floor.

      Almost one and a half hours later, KDF managed to take over control of the whole mall after reportedly shooting all the terrorists.

      At 11.42am, two Indian men carrying heavy suitcases were escorted out from the side of the mall. Five minutes later, military trucks and Land Rovers started arriving at the mall.

      At about 11.50am, we noted the first 30SF Battalion and 20 Para men coming out of the mall having completed the job.




    • This what I was talking about! It was unwise for the KDF to have blown up the place with so many hostages still inside the building. Now we are talking of hundreds of hostages dead most of whom might have been killed by our own KDF!! The Commander in Chief is a complete idiot!!! A real ‘Kalongolongo’ government is in power in Kenya!

      Mystery of 71 missing persons as Nairobi’s Westgate Mall siege ends

      NAIROBI; KENYA: Forensic investigators sifted through the rubble at the Westgate Mall as questions lingered about the fate of dozens reported missing at the end of the deadly four-day siege.

      Authorities had indicated the terrorists had hostages inside the upscale shopping complex during the standoff, but authorities, curiously, appeared to avoid the matter or give inconclusive responses after prodding.

      President Kenyatta on Tuesday night said three floors of the building had collapsed and “there were several bodies still trapped in the rubble including some terrorists.”

      On Wednesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said although some bodies could still be trapped in the rubble, the number of the dead “is not expected to increase significantly.”

      Officially, 67 people — 61 civilians and six security agents — were killed during the attack after gunmen struck the shopping complex on Saturday morning firing indiscriminately at shoppers and staff.

      But the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) reported a death toll of 69, and added 63 were recorded as missing. The Government has blamed the inconsistency on a possible “double count” by aid workers. However, the last update given by KRCS yesterday afternoon points out that “the number of persons reported to KRCS as missing has risen to 71.”

      Other than being involved in forensics, according to the Times of Israel, the role of Israelis in the Westgate Mall situation has not been clear.

      On Monday, Israeli defence officials confirmed a team was dispatched to Nairobi within hours of the hostage crisis, but said that armed fighting units were not part of the delegation.

      On Wednesday morning, soldiers from Langata’s Maroon Commandos were among the last combat units to leave the mall after the final assault early Tuesday.

      Other teams that took part in the operation were the Kenya Defence Forces’ 75 Artillery, 20 Para, 30 Special Forces and 40 Rangers Strike Force unit.

      “We left behind a team of Israeli experts who came with small dogs with big ears to start carrying out forensic (investigation),” said a soldier involved in the final operation.

      The terrorists are said to have stuffed most of the bodies in specific rooms that were close to the source of the fire and where part of the building caved in.

      “It might take several days to retrieve some of the bodies that might have been trapped in the debris,” said another soldier.

      On Tuesday after soldiers defeated the terrorists, one of the KDF soldiers described a “scene from a horror movie”.

      “There was blood everywhere. Some bodies were burnt and others rotting,” he told The Standard. In some rooms, bodies were strewn on the floor, added the soldier, who declined to be named as he discussed the sensitive operation.

      Yesterday, those who spoke to The Standard demanded a list of people killed or injured during the Westgate Mall siege. “Where can I go to find a complete list of Kenyans killed or injured at Westgate? I have a friend there that I have not heard from,” Ike Okafor enquired from The Standard last evening through e-mail.

      Another mystery surrounds the terrorists – although officials estimated them at between 10 and 15, only five were reported killed after Special Forces stormed the building.


      There are questions as to the whereabouts of the rest, although authorities say 10 suspects are in custody.

      By the time we went to press yesterday, a loud explosion was reported in Wajir town. However, The Standard could not immediately confirm what caused the explosion.

      Earlier yesterday, forensic experts scoured the debris at Westgate Mall to identify bodies and secure vital evidence. Foreign teams from Israel, US, Canada, Germany and UK joined the operation.

      Authorities said the priority was debris clearance to facilitate immediate recovery of bodies.

      Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said the process, which involves fingerprinting, DNA and ballistics examination, would go on for the next seven days.

      Lenku gave an update of the situation flanked by the Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi, Inspector-General David Kimaiyo, Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and her Foreign Affairs counterpart Amina Mohamed, among others.

      Authorities said they were yet to establish the identities of the terrorists. “We have also been asked about the presence of a woman among the terrorists. We cannot conclusively confirm the identity of any of the suspects until the forensic investigations have been concluded,” he added.

      On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired an emergency Cabinet meeting and another by the National Security Council.

      Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia said the special NSAC meeting was “to push for a revitalised national and regional counter terrorism strategy and disaster management.”

      Officials also fought off claims of intelligence failure, saying the Government had foiled several terror plots in the recent past.

      “The Government has received many terror alerts over the last two years, and prevented them without the knowledge of Kenyans. This was unfortunate,” Interior PS Mutea Iringo tweeted Wednesday.

      Today, the Director General of the National Intelligence Service Michael Gichangi is expected to appear before the National Assembly Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations where the Westgate crisis could feature.




    • UhuRuto should just resign. We cannot have two top Kenyan terrorists leading Kenya!! Did Uhuru sacrifice his own nephew so as to be able to bargain with ICC and the rest of the world? Just read this and please tell me where the buck stops!! Simply sickening.


      Thursday, October 10, 2013 – 00:00 — BY PAUL ILADO AND KAMORE MAINA

      PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has admitted that the Westgate operation was bungled. The president made the admission on Sunday afternoon when he visited the police Recce Squad members at their Ruiru base and treated them to lunch. The President also left behind half a million shillings that was used to buy bulls to give meat to all police officers in Nairobi.

      “The President told us that he knows something went wrong at Westgate but we should not be discouraged from performing our duties,” said a senior Recce squad officer. Uhuru vowed to constitute a thorough investigation but did not explain or single out who in his view messed up the operation.

      Today Cabinet is expected to approve the setting up a Westgate commission of inquiry into the attack that left around 100 people dead.The Westgate Commission will have three members, two assisting counsels and two secretaries.“It will have 20 terms of reference,” said a source.Police now believe there have been only four attackers at Westgate.

      Uhuru reportedly decided to visit the Recce squad and treat them for lunch because its members were feeling unhappy after the KDF took over the Westgate siege on Saturday afternoon four hours after the operation began.

      “He was very sorry about the turn of events but encouraged us to put that behind us and continue to defend our country as he seeks to establish facts about the attack and the operation,” said another Recce squad member.

      The Ruiru based Recce squad is an elite police unit trained to guarding VIPs, including the President and his Deputy, and also to handle hostage cases.

      They were called to Westgate an hour after the attacked started and, together with armed civilian reservists, managed to contain the terrorists inside Nakumatt supermarket on the ground floor of the mall by late afternoon.Together with the civilians, the Recce squad rescued hundreds of people from inside the mall.

      However they were then ordered out by KDF and other security agencies who took almost an hour to get going.“Before the changeover there was a friendly exchange of fire between us and KDF. KDF shot dead one of our officers who had done so much earlier and in retaliation our officers also shot dead three KDF officers. This incident caused a lot of tension and we left Westgate in protest,” said a Recce officer who was at Westgate.

      Police, intelligence and the army have been engaging in blame games over the four day siege which wrecked Westgate and in which 80 shops were looted.

      Security agencies are yet to show bodies or photos of any terrorist killed in the siege. Some international forensic teams who flew into Kenya to assist in finding out exactly what happened returned home last week in frustration after they were not allowed full access to the mall.

      Police now believe there may have just been four attackers after scrutinising CCTV footage although other attackers may have sneaked out in the early stages pretending to be shoppers.

      CCTV footage from the Queensway branch of Barclays Bank on September 6 showed one attacker depositing money into the account of a man who sold the vehicle KAS 575X used to ferry the terrorists to the malls.

      Hussein Abdi was also seen in the CCTV recovered from the Westgate mall on September 21. He is a former GSU policeman sacked in 2010 after being involved in violent robbery.

      Abdi, from Mandera, reportedly travelled to Somalia last year and returned in January 2013. He is the tall man seen on CCTV firing at security agents with an AK47. Later he is seen limping and taking phone calls.

      Phone records provided by mobile phone companies indicated that Abdi called several numbers in Dadaab and Somalia during the siege.

      CID have also zeroed in on Mohammed Hussein whose ID was used to register the number used to make the calls to Somalia and Dadaab. Hussein was seen with Abdi in the Barclays CCTV but not in the footage recovered from the mall.

      Police now believe that the attack was planned in Norway and Somalia. They have written to the Norwegian embassy in Nairobi seeking its assistance in locating a Somali refugee who now resides in Norway.

      Sources said the man flew to Kenya in August and headed to Somalia through Garissa.“He is very well known in Daadab.We believe that part of the planning was done at the camp” said a detective.

      So far, 40 people have recorded statements with the Anti Terror Police Unit. Only a 16 year old Form Three student from Murang’a Road secondary school who was arrested on Tuesday and a driver Ali Hassan Gitonga have been detained.

      Yesterday Gilgil police said they were holding a mobile phone dealer caught with seven mobile phones allegedly looted from Westgate mall.

      “The suspect now says that two men left behind some phones for repair but he does not remember them,” said Gilgil OCPD Serah Kok.

      “We have one suspect in custody and we are investigating the source of the phones before taking further action,” said Naivasha DCIO Martin Mbaya. Gilgil town has several army barracks and some soldiers there were involved in the Westgate rescue operations.



        • And when it comes to such military operations whether in Somalia or at Westgate, it is always soldiers from the lesser tribes like the Luos and the like who are put on the front line to die for the nation while the soldiers from the major tribes like the Kikuyus and Kalenjins are allowed to chill and escape death but claim victory achieved by the brave soldiers from the lesser tribes! What a failed state my country has become!!


      • There is no evidence given so far to prove that any terrorists were killed. That is bad enough, but it is not near the statement made in the article that KDF soldiers were killed by GSU to get even for the killing of a GSU officer.


        • John

          These tales are stranger than fiction. I mean how does (did) killing 3 KDF soldiers in retaliation help the situation? More importantly who gave the command for Recce to shoot the KDF soldiers? And what has happened to the KDF soldier(s) that shot the Recce commander, and also what has happened to the Recce officers that shot the KDF soldiers?

          If this is not a nightmare, I don’t know what is.

          Note also that somewhere in that story, one of those attackers is a former GSU officer. Explains why he knew his way around so well.


        • this is beginning to take a very frightening direction

          there were very few attackers (no more than 4) taking part in the “siege” part of this attack

          the guy seen praying looks different from the earlier “four” identified. hope these security guys have better images to look at


        • This is quite exasperating,


          So out of all the suspects, not a single one has turned out to be any of the attackers. So no bodies, no suspects, no leads. I guess its bout time to just shoot about anyone and claim he was a terrorist.

          Now what was that about “Intelligence”, if we cant even get details from video footage right. I don’t know about you guys, but this thing is totally screwed up. Maybe it will end being another electrical fault like the JKIA incidence.


  5. Well folks get ready for insanity

    So the response by government is to fall back to the very same old colonial relic of a structure that was primarily used for oppression of the natives

    It appears for every two steps forward we leap centuries backwards

    These provincial admin structures were supposed to be done away with, but now will be used to monitor/police people in their homesteads.

    Am beginning to understand devolution to mean devilution to fit more comfortably with state sanctioned oppression. I cannot see how chiefs will implement that directive in a civil manner

    On the one hand in villages (where no terrorist really goes to hide because they would be so easy to spot) chiefs will lord it over the peasants

    But in high density places (where criminals find it so easy to hide and merge) like the major cities, no way the chiefs can even begin to enforce that. they cannot even effectively police mukuru kwa njenga and similar for petty criminals.

    Anyway, reforms ndiyo hizo


  6. I have a bad bad feeling about this incident. not being insensitive but I think we have been snookered big time. too many coincidences and a lot of things don’t add up.

    anyway, ‘ICC politics’ aside. may I wish speedy recovery to those injured, comfort to the traumatized and condolences to those whose relatives have been sacrificed.


    • Check this out, very pertinent questions


      According to Westgate insiders, the hostages saw horror before they were summarily executed. Reports of gross torture, rape, mutilations, point blank executions, in reality it was like a butchers shop. Victims include tens of children.

      Eventually decision to rocket bomb the premises was made by the CIC after Alshabaab sniper took out 6 KDF personnel with no end in sight. The extremist, who by that time less were reportedly less than 20% alive from the initial attackers, seemed to have a steady supply of ammunition, probably stored in their little mobile shop.

      This to me sounds worse than war crimes. The uncoordinated government response, delayed presidential press conferences, etc, etc. Heads must certainly roll in Kenya security apparatus & ICC ought to be invited into this investigation since it appears security intelligence in Kenya has serious leaks ( probably with Alshabaab co-conspirators) together witha other criminal gangs, what’s known as Ngorokos.

      I weep for this county


      • Phil,
        Thanks for the questions.
        I must say that the questions raise even more questions.
        Seems that Kenyans don’t believe their government.
        This is government good at public rallies and sloganeering than acting for the wanainchi. Surely, the biggest problem is corruption that is rampant and perpetuated by tribalism. And oh yes, we have “tyranny of numbers”.
        Don’t be surprised to hear that Tanzanian, Ugandan or even Burundi police have arrested the terrorists while we cannot.

        Where was Uhuru Kenyatta on the first day of the attack? Why did he not address the nation promptly? And when he finally did, close to midnight, almost 10 hours after the attack had started, he looked dazed and bewildered. Why?


  7. Kenyan military personnel watch and wait as their fellow soldiers move into the Westgate shopping centre complex at around 5pm on Sunday. Chain of command issues and poor communication between police and military were said to have delayed the counter-attack.

    this one guy you dont wanna mess with

    not sure what would scare more, the armored vehicle or a smile from this dude

    one bad dude


    • TNK,
      Well well well.
      The man is somehow confirming that we had relaxed our guard even after invading Somalia to restore peace. Our intelligence must dig for more from this man by which ever means.


    • I have just the last hour or so talking with some Kenyan friends who have their own independent sources or maybe their own ways of thinking. Maybe this was not negligence by the intelligence forces but perhaps turning a blind eye to things that could serve other interests. A person cannot always know where his or her relative will be at a given time, and some people can even if hey did might accept a sacrfice of there relatives. Let us wait and see how this will be claimed to affect the ICC cases. Then depending on the claims we can


  8. I don’t see why Ruto must be in Kenya. He aint the commander in chief. Uhuru should be able to handle the situation. He has enough men and women on the ground for that. The trial of the two had been staggered because of such a situation. Once upon a time arap Moi ruled without a VP for close to one year.


  9. folks

    looking at the high profile status of many of the casualties creates a worrying picture. previously these terrorists have targeted pedestrians in less affluent areas such as bustops, matatus, downtown pubs etc.

    in the past two years there have been many casualties but perhaps due to their low profiles, have been quickly forgotten

    the casualty list that will be released after this event will be alarming by how many high profile deaths and injured which includes several diplomats, academic scholar, uhuru’s family, leading businessmen, top leaders etc have already been mentioned.

    it is clear that these terrorists have marked out high value targets. the NIS and other security organs need to pay attention


    also do not dismiss the terrorists twitter handle and investigate any claims they are making


  10. Information from people in Kenya indicate that the body count will escalate as there are many unaccounted people and bodies laying inside the mall also that the terrorist are threatening to blow up the place. Fortunately, I understand the Mossad and CIA not Chinese, are now on the scene and helping in the rescue operations as the Kenyan security are clueless.

    One can only sympathize with Kenyans and those caught up in the situation and all condolences go those affected and that have lost their lives.

    But how long will carnage like this and on the Kenyan roads–this year alone over 2500 people have died on these roads. with all other incidents like the JKIA fire.
    They all show one and one thing; total breakdown and chaotic institutions that do not even gather intelligence or respond adequately, despite them being well funded by the tax payers like the NSIS which is current focused to destroying ICC case and protecting the two criminals in power at the expense of the victim.

    This carnage also shows the hypocrisy of the Kenyan people who are now shedding crocodile tears for the victims compared to what has been happening to the PEV victims. so lets hope these victims will not start being told to forgot and move on.

    It is also rather shocking that nobody seems to be pointing fingers and call to account the worst terrorist among Kenyans like the criminal president and his deputy and the MPIGs who have failed to do their jobs to protect and improve the institutions meant to protect and improve Kenyans lives. Currently these terrorist are busy stopping any police reforms.


    • You have made many points that I entirely agree with. It is indeed a very sad affair for those who have been affected and their loved ones, but there are many other issues that link to this.


  11. Condolences to all that have been affected.

    As a nation we are not prepared for such a disaster.

    Our police are too slow and our intelligence apparatus too weak to counter such attack now and even in future. If this is one of the most guarded public places in Kenya yet this can happen, how about others that have lesser securty?

    The disorganization from the police was there for all to see. Infact the ordinary man on the street was more helpful than the police. Even the often despised and looked down upon watchmen did a much better job.

    But the worst part of it is that we don’t even have a national blood bank. This is something we need to have because blood has to be screened before being given to another person.

    We still dont know for sure if this is Al-Shabaab or just a bunch of robbers. No one has been able to establish that.

    There is more to this than meets the eye.

    But we fully pray for all inside the mall.


  12. looks like what we predicted years back is starting to happen today. we knew that al shabaab or their sympathizers would eventually attack kenyan civilians and this appears to be the case here.

    note that the gunman asked muslims to leave the premises before firing on the crowds

    anyone on the ground in the neighbourhood to provide more detail?

    if this is indeed an act of terrorism, then we can expect more bold acts and kenyans need beware. as we said earlier on, those guys sitting on a desk harrasing shoppers are not prepared for real terrorists


    • Very sad day for Kenya. More sad when you consider that institutions that are supposed to prevent such incidences ie NSIS have been busy harassing perceived opponents of the regime instead of doing the job taxpayers pay them to do.


      • That a bunch of heavily armed terrorists can walk into a mall in one of the busiest and safest suburbs of Nairobi and take it over (6 hours and counting), killing innocent civilians at will, tweeting from the scene about their conquests…. Exposes the pathetic security situation of Kenya as country.

        It took the police nearly two hours to mobilize & arrive at the scene. The Inspector a General himself arrived at the scene probably three hours after the first grenade was lobbed at the entry of Westgate… And it was not until 4pm that he released a statement, not an authoritative one, but just one to warn media and social media users to avoid speculation and posting images for the scene of crime. I find that stupid since lack of substantive information is what is feeding the rumor mills.

        Up to this moment 9pm Nairobi time, I am having to rely more on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera than our own authorities here. No knows exactly who these people are and what their motive is. The CiC has not said anything since the siege started and Kimaiyo is not inspiring any confidence either.

        Sad day yes, but do we have accountability?


      • Folks,

        This was tough for me. My son woke me up and told me something bad happened in Kenya. He has a bunch of his friends at home today so I could barely get to the net. When I did I saw the tragedy at the Westgate Mall. Instantly I remembered that is where we used to go a couple days a week when were in Nairobi last year when we stayed at Riverside. I was horrified. And so was he. He asked me to call our buddies there. I did and they are safe as far as we can tell now. This is just bad. Check later.


    • `
      When the budget of NSI (intelligence) is mostly misappropriated into defeating the ICC cases –including paying for Hague-bound trips for idling MPs, spying CORD politicians including governors, propagandizing the devolution referendum, and bribing IEBC staff, what is left for real intelligence gathering?

      Furthermore, I am yet to be convinced this is not a false-flag operation engineered by the very same spies. There is a lot of pressure from the international community that some sharks probably want to diffuse — at the cost of blood and lives of innocent wananchi.

      Did someone want to urgently force sympathy calls from London and Washington DC?

      This is the kind of immoral government that can do just that…through extrajudicial means.


      • It is not enough for Uhuru to tell us that he also lost relatives in the attack, rather we want to know what the NSI is doing with the taxpayer’s money if not for intelligence gathering purposes!

        Uhuruto, please keep the NSI and the rest of the security forces out of your personal politics for the sake of the security of the nation of Kenya!!!

        What is going on in the country? If Kenyans are not dying on the roads, they are getting killed by local armed thugs or some rag-tag terrorists from God knows where! We are a failed state, period!

        I have lost close members of my family in Westgate attack says Uhuru

        Nairobi,KENYA; President Uhuru Kenyatta adressed the nation on Saturday night about the Westgate Mall attack that left 39 people dead, and said measures were in place to punish the culprits.

        In his statement the president said that his govenment will provide neccessary help to support the affected families to help them get back to their normal life.

        Uhuru also added that he has also lost close members of his family and joined Kenyans in extending his deepest condolence to the victims’ families. He also wished the injured quick recovery.

        Uhuru said that his government is ready to defend the nation and is determined to hunt down the perpetrators. He however called upon Kenyans to remain calm and vigilant, adding that the public should volunteer to donate blood and provide information that will help track the attackers.



      • Keep your eyes on this ball. Lots of unanswered questions.

        Why refuse commando help from Western countries, and claim situation is under control yet terrorist still have control of mall?


      • ICC to decide on William Ruto’s request for adjournment following Westgate terror attack

        By Bernard Oginga

        The International Criminal Court ( ICC) Trial Chamber will on Monday hear a submission in which Deputy President William Ruto has requested for deferment of his case to enable him return to Kenya and deal with the Westgate terror attack.

        The request has been submitted by Ruto’s lead Counsel Karim Khan.

        In his submission, Khan noted that Ruto being the Deputy President is the principal assistant to the president in his duties as the Head of State and Government, Commander In Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and the chairperson of the National Security Council.

        “Accordingly, in the immediacy, Mr Ruto as the serving Deputy President of

        Kenya is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties which include participating in security briefings and consultations,” read the request.

        The request by the DP’s legal team is seeking an adjournment of trial proceedings until such a time that the security situation would have resolved itself or an order issued by the Trial Chamber.

        The Trial chamber will hear that request on Monday 9:30am Kenyan time.



      • Job, this was also part of my initial thoughts. I hope we are not being too cynical, but if we are it just shows the state that Kenya has sunk into. Therefore we should remember that “a serious threat to peace” is grounds to go to the Security Council with a request for deferral under article 16 of the Rome Statute.


      • Timing, timing, timing!!!!

        Kenyatta asks to interrupt presence at ICC

        President Uhuru Kenyatta has submitted a second request to be excused from ‘continuous presence’ at the ICC trial.

        The defence has requested that the court should instead make use of a video link in instances where the President will be physically required to be at The Hague.




        By Kurian Musa and Wilfred Ayaga

        NAIROBI; KENYA: A witness claimed one of the terrorists escaped from the scene by joining victims who were being rescued by security forces out of the Westgate Mall.

        Abdul Ratiff claimed one of the gunmen managed to walk out with them after he changed his clothes on the second floor after hurling grenades at people.

        He claimed he tried to alert the police that one of the gunmen was in the group but they never paid attention.

        “I saw him as he changed his clothes and he later walked out with us as police arrived. I tried to tell police he was one of the attackers but I was pushed away,” said the witness.

        The witness said he had hidden in a Bata Shop inside the mall from where he saw the gunman change clothes.

        “I saw him, a strong-built man. He was not a Somali. He was an Arab.

        I hid and I could see him change clothes. He wore a maroon, long sleeved shirt and jeans,” he said. “At 4pm (Saturday) as we filed out, I saw the man. He followed us raising his hands up as though he is one of us,” the witness said.

        “I shouted to the police that this is the man. But the police shouted back: get out,” he said.

        “I had gone to buy a soda. I heard bullets, people running away. I went to first floor, then to the second floor but saw people rushing down. “

        “I was at the first floor when I had the first gunshot and as I turned, I saw staff at Art Café being shot. It is then I escaped through the fire exit,” a guard who refused to be identified said.

        “I saw three people dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles. They were shooting at us,” another witness said.

        The rescued persons were ordered to march from the Westgate Mall to the nearby UKay Centre where they were asked to identify themselves.

        Inside the UKay Centre, police were stationed to question and screen them for more information. In the confusion, there were some who managed to walk away without being questioned.

        All the survivors were ordered to leave while raising their hands. This proved to be difficult as some of them were in shock and couldn’t do so. Tens of ambulances were on standby to carry the injured to hospital.

        Some of the victims were shot while inside their vehicles, in shops within the mall, the parking yard and on the staircases.

        Among the dead was a mother and her daughter who were seated in their car in a traffic jam outside the mall. Their bodies were removed from the car by Kenya Red Cross boss Abbass Gullet himself.

        Witnesses said they saw at least 10 attackers but the exact number could not be established.

        The siege continued all through the night and police said the gunmen were holed up inside the supermarket on the first floor.

        They were hiding in a corner that sells mattresses where they would shoot at them and hide.

        Meanwhile, Kenya Red Cross personnel led by their boss Abbass Gullet were in the forefront rescuing the injured.

        And medics at hospitals around Westlands area had a difficult time attending to casualties that were being rushed in by the minute.

        Ambulances from Kenya Red Cross and those belonging to various hospitals within Nairobi worked overtime rushing the injured to the hospital.

        Most of the patients were rushed to Aga Khan and MP Shah hospitals where doctors, nurses and other medical personnel were coordinating efforts to receive them. There were chaotic scenes as nurses and other medical personnel struggled to get their act together.

        Even casual staff had been deployed to help in receiving the patients and transporting them to the emergency wards.

        At the MP Shah Hospital, one of the medical personnel stood at the gate shouting for people to come in and donate blood. And they responded in their hundreds.

        At the Aga Khan Hospital, a large area behind the casualty wards had been set aside for donating blood.

        Some of the casualties were taxi drivers who park outside the Westgate Mall.

        Relatives had a difficult time tracing their loved ones, some of who were either workers at the mall or those they suspected to have been in the vicinity.

        At the Aga Khan hospital, an information desk was set up to help those seeking information on victims.



      • `
        John Dibbley,

        We could be cynical – but for darn good reason. After witnessing the calculated arm-twisting of ICC into accommodating a customized court calendar – which allows Uhuru and Ruto to attend trial at alternating periods — it appears more ceding ground is being forced. It is not farfetched conspiracy to point out that any “serious threat to peace” is grounds for mounting a credible request for deferral of the ICC cases. From the look of things, that is where someone wanted all this to head – to the UN Security Council.

        If there’s something this budding regime is gaining notoriety for – it is its smoothening of rough edges while committing improprieties – from the digital election robbery, new corruption etc. Unlike the sloppy and clumsy Kibaki regime, Jubilee handlers have no luxury for little errors. Apart from their shoddily handled operation on OTP witness intimidation/ bribery/ assassinations – which commenced under the Kibaki regime – new improprieties are yet to brazenly show casual attitude. They will completely hide their hand while committing misdeeds. They may have just forced a badly-needed phone call from London and Washington DC.

        Just last week, China backed AU’s new call for deferral of the ICC cases – after ICC turned down AU’s request for deferral. We all know from the past botched attempts, there must be STRONG grounds for deferral to succeed. Therefore, it is plausible this is indeed a false flag operation – notwithstanding the much publicized invocation of the death (in the attack) of a son to the President’s second cousin. The latter predicament bolsters the argument for keeping the President at home –attending to domestic crises.

        I have no doubt successful police reforms are being blocked precisely because there is a parallel police force (aka Ngoroko) in Kenya, running secretive errands touching on the sensitive matters of ICC, elections (IEBC), and implementation of the constitution – esp. devolution and land reforms. My hitch is they are funded from NSI’s hefty (& non-audited) budget running into tens of billions of shillings annually. It may not be out of their reach to exercise dirty figments – to hoodwink or force a deferral.

        In the meantime, hasn’t the foxy Ruto just been the first beneficiary of the tragic Westgate Mall event? Of course, he couldn’t miss the golden opportunity to piggyback on the event and be excused from trial. In fact, the barefaced Ruto, as if testing the waters, asked the court (through Khan) for an open-ended adjournment “until such time as the security situation in Kenya resolves”. It speaks volumes as to the current mindset and direction of thought. There seems to be strong justification being made for giving the day-to-day duties of a President and Deputy President absolute precedence over ICC court attendance. When this exact predicament was raised during the last Presidential campaigns, it was brushed aside by some quarters. It is now here.

        The real fear is stark. This prevailing “threat to peace” climate is showing signs of providing “perfect” opportunity for temporarily scuttling the momentum of the ICC trial. It appears the only language that ICC softens to is whenever Kenya’s security is under threat. Should Kenyans therefore brace for more bloody tragedies –until a deferral is finally granted?


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