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Kenya Unbowed – Remembering Westgate Attack 7 Years Later

Westgate mall attack

As the world commemorates the International Day of Peace today, Kenya is remembering the 2013 Westgate Mall terror attack that left 68 people dead and scores injured.

Seven years ago today, 21st Sep 2013, Al-Shabaab Terrorists attacked Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, in one of the worst terror attacks in the country to date.

A lot of questions Kenyans had regarding the attack have remained unanswered over the years. These include:

  • Why was there such delay and confusion on the day of the attack while Police and KDF commanders argued over who was in command?
  • Why, and in what circumstances, did KDF soldiers fire on the Police Recce Squad killing its commander Martin Munene?
  • Were the terrorists killed or did they escape?
  • If by all accounts the terrorists were either killed or escaped by mid-day on the day of the attack why did it take a further three days for the KDF to ‘clear’ the Westgate Mall? What were they doing?
  • Who was responsible for the massive looting of the Mall?
  • Why, three days after the terrorists had either died or escaped did the KDF blow up the mall with rockets?

SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPORTERS CAUSED SEVERE SECURITY BREACH DURING WESTGATE SIEGE

In 2014, Israeli experts revealed how the use of social media, Twitter, to be precise put the lives of victims and security forces at risk during the September 2013 Westgate mall siege.

According to a study by the Israelis, which was published at Ben-Gurion University on August 25 in the journal Plos One, tweets by reporters, bystanders and witness accounts presented a serious security breach and may have contributed in prolonging the attack.

After monitoring and analyzing tweets throughout the Westgate siege, the experts concluded that live information shared notified the terrorists on the armed response against them, which they were able to use to enhance their reaction.

3 CHARGED IN WESTGATE MALL ATTACK

Three suspects were in 2019 charged for their alleged role in the Westgate Mall attack.  The suspects are accused of aiding the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab.

The suspects, Liban Abdullahi, Hussein Mustafa and Ahmed Abdi were charged with 12 counts, some joint others separately.

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