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September 24, 2013

Kenyan President Declares Siege of Westgate Over; Can't Confirm Presence of Americans, Britons in Terrorist Cell

Just to put a bow on the last post.

The freshest word -- I think -- from Kenya is that the siege is in fact over, with five terrorists dead and another 11 in custody.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday night declared that the four-day-long siege of an upscale mall in the capital by Islamist militants has ended with the deaths of five militants and 11 in custody. He announced three days of mourning for the more than 60 people killed in the attack, a death toll that is expected to rise with the recovery of more bodies from the mall, he said.

“As a nation, our head is bloodied but unbowed,” Kenyatta said in a televised address. “We have shamed and defeated our attackers.”

Kenyatta said that he could not confirm whether American and British citizens were among the heavily armed jihadists who stormed the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall on Saturday, carried out the massacre and seized hostages. But he promised a full accounting of what happened, adding that experts are conducting forensic tests to determine the nationalities of the assailants.

Earlier Tuesday, confusion had reigned as Kenyan officials asserted they had control over the mall, while the militants — who reportedly come from multiple countries — insisted they had the upper hand.

...

Throughout the past couple of days, Kenyan authorities have proclaimed the siege as nearing the end, and terrorists have claimed that all the Brave Mujahideen who shoot unarmed women and children were still alive. There were also reports of explosions after the government had declared the siege over, but they say those were cases of safe destruction of suspected explosive devices.

So why did it take so long to root the terrorists out? Because, the Kenyans say, they were trying to protect civilians (who were being held hostage by the terrorists).

And because a mall can make for a defensible battleground.

Yet the militants, who executed a sophisticated and well-planned operation and are heavily armed, remained resilient. The mall, a labyrinthine 350,000 square-foot complex, has been an invaluable asset, affording the militants food, supplies and numerous hiding places.

And while the president can't confirm the Americans and Briton presence, a general says:

[T]he militants inside the mall were “clearly a multinational collection from all over the world.” He added, “We are fighting global terrorism here.”

It is believed the terrorists were animated by Kenya's use of troops against Somalia's terrorists... such as Al-Shabaab.

The New York Times' very smart, very nonpartisan, very thoughtful Nick Kristof knows exactly why this all happened: Because Bush.


I'm so glad we have an Elite Media which provides us with such elitely nuanced thinking.

American Malls Raise Their Alert After Nairobi: Of course. As I mentioned, PurpAv has written of Zawahiri's urging of such smaller scale attacks to "paralyze" the West economically.

The fact that a similar attack was carried out in Kenya is alarming.

DHS is urging American malls to step up their security in a move that is being hailed as a "grandstanding and cynical cover your ass" exercise.

No really. What exactly do they expect mall owners to do?

So like if this happened in the US Obama and DHS can say, "Hey, we told them to 'take steps' or something."

The Department of Homeland Security is urging shopping malls in the United States to increase security in the aftermath of the carnage wrought by al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate over the weekend in Nairobi, Kenya.

Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, told The Daily Beast on Monday that the department contacted shopping malls on Sunday to check on the precautions they were taking against mass shooters.

Of course, the presence of armed citizens might serve as a deterrent, or, if not a deterrent, at least a mitigation of the harm.

But that's of course something the DHS wouldn't consider.



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posted by Ace at 02:08 PM

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