Monday, September 23, 2013

Kenya Reeling from Shopping Mall Attack

The World from Public Radio International with a brief but worthwhile report from Nairobi, Kenya as the shopping mall siege continues.

News outlets continue to report the Somalia-based al-Shabaab terrorist group as responsible for the attack at the high-end Westgate Mall.

Simon Tisdall of the Guardian writes here about what might be going on within al-Shabaab to spark this attack, namely a brutal power struggle:

At first glance the Westgate atrocity simply looks like a vicious reprisal for successful military operations undertaken in southern Somalia by the 4,000 Kenyan troops attached to Amisom, the 18,000-strong African-Union-led, UN-backed peacemaking mission. A statement by al-Shabaab said as much, and threatened more of the same until the "Kenyan invaders" withdrew.
But Westgate also looks like a chilling statement of intent by Ahmed Abdi Godane, the al-Shabaab leader, who consolidated his power in June in an internal coup. Among four top commanders who were executed by Godane were two of the group's co-founders, known as al-Afghani and Burhan. Al-Shabaab's spiritual leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, fled for his life, and was subsequently detained by Somali government forces.
The rest of the piece is worth a read.

For more on al-Shabaab see, Al-Shabaab: the Rise of a Youth-Led Islamist Movement.

Hundreds of people queue to donate blood to the injured victims of the attack on a shopping mall at a temporary donation centre at Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi September 23, 2013. Photograph: Noor Khamis/Reuters


  1. This tragic event remind me of the terrorist attack in 9/11 because the main causes of this event was the struggle of power within the al-Shabaab group. I still don't fully understand why the US-born al-Shabaab commander Omar Hammami was shot by Godane's alliance. Is it because his power has an influence of what the al-shabaab is planning to do?

    While reading the links posted, the one thing that stood out the most for me was the ethnic divides in Nairobi. The quote, "A lot of people who were interviewed when they were giving out blood were saying, 'You know I just gave blood. My blood has no color, my blood has no race, my blood has no religious denomination. And so there's a unity aspect there that a lot of people didn't expect."This reflect how America is somewhat still divide between "the white and black" but at the end of the day, our race doesn't matter and we are seen as one nation under god.

  2. Thank you, Lee. I'm trying to understand more myself, which is why I'm posting all the links. I am so happy you're reading them...we're far away, but the world is interconnected; we must strive for understanding.