Why Did Al-Shabbab Stage a Terrorist Attack on Kenyan Soil?

21-09-2013 19-03-38

Al-Shabbab, an organized terror network, has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack at yesterday’s Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi in which 39 people are known to have lost their lives and more than 60 others injured. As the dust settles, the big question on the lips of many Kenyans is why Al-Shabbab targeted Kenya and why Westgate shopping mall turned out to be the target of choice.

For pundits who have been following Kenyan politics, the Al Shabbab attack was long overdue. Kenya has been fighting a proxy war for United States in Somalia since the days of former President Mwai Kibaki. After a series of NSIS stage-managed grenade attacks in Nairobi which were blamed on Al-Shabbab without evidence, the Kenyan government invaded Somalia, allegedly to pursue terrorists. In the process, the Kenya Defence Forces killed innocent civilians, women and children as the government seized on the attacks to declare victory against Al-Shabbab and the liberation of Somalia from terror gangs. As a punishment, Al-Shabbab descended home yesterday and the terror group left no doubt that it had paid Wakenya a visit.

This is because as the crisis unfolded, Al-Shabbab sent a message through their Twitter handle @HSM that the Kenyan government “is pleading with our Mujahideen inside the mall for negotiations”. The message added that “there will be no negotiations whatsoever at #Westgate”.

Another sign that points to Al-Shabbab’s involvement is the fact that the terror group members were not interested in stealing anything from Westgate but in killing people. Secondly, they identified Muslims by requesting hostages to cite an Islamic prayer or to read an Islamic text before being released. In any case, Al-Shabbab has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, something they never did with past grenade attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.

To underline the main reason behind the attack, the group said in a tweeter message that “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.” If this shift is long-term, then Kenyans are in for a lengthy period of blood-bath, deaths and destruction of property.

Another reason which may have led to the attack can be linked to the government’s handling of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) secessionist movement in Mombasa. While talking tough, the Jubilee government has been busy, harassing and killing innocent Muslims in Mombasa in the name of wiping out MRC members which has also been labelled a terrorist organization by the government. For Al-Shabbab, the attack of Muslims at the Coast is yet another evidence of persecution of Muslims by the government of Kenya. For this reason, a major terrorist attack in Kenya was just a matter of time.

Another quarrel Al-Shabbab has with the Kenyan government is that since the grenade attacks began especially in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenyans of Somali origin (especially those resident in Eastleigh in Nairobi) have been under attack, harassed by security forces, intimidated, arrested by police or tortured while in police custody. In fact, it is an open secret that Kenyans of Somali origin are treated as second class citizens in their own country while they have the “potential terrorist” stigma which has consistently been planted on them by the government through a collaborative media. Added to this group are real Somalis who have sought refuge in Kenya following destabilization of Somalia due to lack of a strong government, Al-Shabbab activities and, most importantly, Kenya’s war of aggression against Somalia which began 2 years ago. The cumulative ill-treatment of Kenyans of Somali origin and bona fide  Somali nationals in Kenya, Kenya’s war of aggression in Somalia and indiscriminate killing of Muslims (and their leaders) in Mombasa by the government is what brewed the Al-Shabbab attack on Kenyan soil.

Why Westgate was targeted
Westgate shopping mall may have been the target of choice because its clientele are the filthy rich class of Kenyans together with their equally opulent expatriate counterparts. Traditionally, Islamic terrorists usually target Western nationals or enterprises, prime business establishments owned by “the enemy” or American military installations. Westgate is known to house a series of Israeli-owned businesses and given the on-going conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, disrupting Israeli-owned businesses while killing the rich members of the Kenyan society and their expatriate counterparts in revenge for Muslim deaths at the hands of the Kenyan government could have been a good motivation for staging the attack at Westgate.

Sad as it sounds, Kenya has no security capabilities of stopping terrorist attacks especially in Nairobi and if the al-Shabbab leadership has decided to stage operations in Kenya, the country’s population should be bracing for even more vicious attacks. Talk by Uhuru Kenyatta that the government “will hunt down the perpetrators wherever they turn to” is empty talk. Why?

Despite the dramatic nature of the attack, complete with armed terrorists exchanging fire with security officers and the army, a witness speaking on TV said that he saw one of the terrorists changing clothes before joining them in walking majestically out of the mall. Instead of detaining everybody who was leaving the Mall for screening to ensure that no terrorist escaped, Kenya’s security left the door wide open.

To stop the terrorist attacks, Kenya should pull out of Somalia where the government has been spending billions of tax payer’s money on a hopeless war while more than 10 million Kenyans are faced with starvation. Secondly, the government must stop harassing law-abiding Kenyans of Somali origin or any Somali national who has sought refuge in Kenya. Thirdly, the government should stop harassing and killing innocent civilians in Mombasa in the name of hunting down MRC members.

Kenya has too many internal problems which the government ought to be addressing instead of engaging in adventurous operations in Somalia where the government has been claiming false victories. The Westgate attack is a direct consequence of Kenya government’s provocative activities, both in Kenya and in Somalia. It is the same price the Americans and the Israelis continue to pay by way of terrorist attacks on American and Israeli targets, both at home and abroad. As long as the government remains blind to the main cause of terrorism in Kenya, another terrorist attack is just a matter of time, probably with greater casualties and much more serious damages than what was witnessed at Wesgate.

Okoth Osewe

7 comments

  • Has Nairobi Become A War Zone

    NSIS Chief General Gichangi Must resign now!!He has been sleeping for so long!
    I am no stranger to the general disuse and mental dilapidation in Kenyan officialdom, but the farcical display during the inferno at the airport has had me riled to a new depth I had not thought possible over another national manifestation of the customary ineptitude and incompetence.
    in2eastafrica.net/delayed-response-to-jkia-inferno-exposes-kenyas-soft-underbelly
    —The fire more or less burnt itself out! 5 am to 3 pm!
    —200 askaris –mockingly flashed across world TV sets to ridiculing commentary– with heroic leaking buckets battling the blaze at the nest of th
    e goose that lays the golden eggs. (Daily horticultural airlifts to Europe, and sky-truck loads of tourists that come through this airport, are a significant addition to the ever leaking treasury of the republic of incompetence aka Kenya.)

    Our display of suicidal stupidity, and or fatalistic nonchalance, punctuated by a quixotic dash to the scene by his excellency to join the swelling ranks of the helplessly gaping public, have cracked the bottom of my cynicism and jarred me to some exquisite anger!

    I just hated the sight of the commander in chief biologised at the scene, as if he were some pathological arsonist glued to his scene of the crime, or some vile pyromaniac, staying around to satisfy a seedy need as he gapes at the awe on the faces of the excited onlookers. I grimaced in horror at his helplessness as his house –or the house bearing his father’s name burnt down. The perfect mirror image of an emaciated and incapacitated African child, resigned to his sad fate, as it hazily takes the form of a vulture drawing ever near for the meal, and kill.

    Now, that was the picture I had of his excellency as he went through the motions of the man in charge of destiny —his foot soldiers armed with scoops in a water shortage
    And the following measures are ad hoc. Done on the spur of the moment without an overall overhaul program of the whole business of running linked ’emergency services’ —Fire fighting, ambulant medical intervention, general health-risk assessment [chemicals released into the enviroment].
    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000090537&story_title=uhuru-dismisses-any-acts-of-terrorism-in-jkia-fire
    I AM DONE WITH THAT! AND MORE!
    I am like the native who traveled the ocean, had his eyes opened to what sharks can do, and no longer can go back to sleep, trusting in baba na mama and in the wisdom of old in the feudal paradise.

    So what is to be done?

  • Modern Times Oppeneness

    Time for Civilization to Lecture/Pressurize /Advice /Awake/the sleeping Kenya govt run by Criminals themselves Namely Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto >In this time and age(1) Oppenenessis a Must!(2) The Muzzling of Press Freedom and information is long gone ! Especially when a Country (Nations HeadQuaters) Nairobi is under attack (The Citizenns needs aacces to information.But Since Uhuru&Ruto came to Power through Mass Rigging military might and Power of Money >The Press/Mass-media has been Muzzled and has been Singing /Uhuru Kenyattas (Ukasuku-Kasumba) Its a big &huge challange for Mass-media in Kenya to allow itselves to be tamed like Primitive govt slaves when it comes press freedom oppeneness(accountabilty and credibility) mass -Media in Kenya especially All FM radios ,big commercial newspapers must wake up and stop boot-lickingUhuru&Ruto Matakos!
    The Kenyan media seemed to rely only on Kenyan official sources to reveal the news on what is happening. Amazing how they refused to do their own thinking. This has changed the dynamic of the reporting —for instance, while many inside the mall had modern devices which can communicate in various ways, the Kenyan media obeyed the order for information stop, meaning lt was to foreign media one could tune for live coverage even from the inside of the mall!

    Meanwhile Nairobi police said it was a suspected robbery! while radio stations outside the continent were already reporting a hostage situation and a killing spree, targetting non Muslims! —Live feed from inside the mall!

    It was also the foreign media that came up with the first dramatic photos from inside the mall —I attributed this to the number of expatriates inside whose first instincts were to contact their ‘home’ media, and not our local houses. But then I thought, how about the rich Kenyans inside with their apps? they surely must be feeding the Kenyan newspapers who then must be censoring, unlike foreign media, making a killing on adverts as hits on their web pages shot the sky! —a popular story is just business when you are not emotionally involved.

    Then the shock came to me when a Kenyan media house quoted the BBC in London. The BBC was quoting a Nairobi red cross official, visible on a live-feed on Kenyan TV! I couldn’t suppress the self-question, if the Beeb was paying better and so had the first take!NOTE>Kenya mass-media should wake-up from their Niggerism thinking and Civilize> Government Comes and goes >Yesterday it was Kibaki Today is Uhuru Kenyatta Aka ICC indictee!

  • Hii Mkamasia Hajui Wa-Kikuyou

    Ruto Askes Icc to Adjourn His Case So That He Can Come Back From the Hague.
    very interesting indeed.. the Hague will blink and i see Ruto not going back to ICC ever. Ruto Tuliza boo hiyo yako huko Hague>Uhuru &gema has already sacrificed you on the Cross! Kaa Huko!Mkamasia!

  • Bring Your Views (Kenya Security In Coma)

    Could it be an inside Job >Lets study this Video again & again?Watch the Video carefully Interview this fluent speaking (Muhindi/Mwarabu) aka Asian Living in Kenya >What are your Views???

  • Uhuru Kenyatta and his Hope-less un-reliable , un-realistic sub-Goverment Thinks/Believes/Sorrounded by GEMA-Kikuyu and Kamatusa elites can blind ,fool, and play with western civilized world>
    http://www.kenya-today.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s