Sunday, September 22, 2013

Somali Muslims Slaughter Non-Muslims in Nairobi Mall

British nationals were last night ‘undoubtedly’ caught in the terrorist atrocity in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, which has left at least 43 people dead and 200 injured at a shopping centre, said Foreign Secretary William Hague.

It has now been claimed the terrorist organisation responsible for the horror was Tweeting updates while it carried out its attack on the Westgate Shopping Centre earlier today.

Mr Hague said a British rapid deployment consular team was on its way to Kenya and the Government will chair an emergency Cobra committee meeting.

But he could not confirm if any British nationals were killed or injured. The Foreign Office confirmed that British consular staff were already at the scene and were visiting hospitals where the dead and injured were taken.

Fierce gunfire could be heard coming from inside Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall on Sunday, an AFP correspondent at the scene said, adding that two wounded Kenyan soldiers were evacuated from the complex and taken away by ambulance.

France's president said that two French women were killed. Two Canadians were killed, including a diplomat, said the Candadian prime minister. Four American citizens were reported injured but not killed in the attack, the State Department said Saturday.

Around 68 casualties were taken to the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi, said a worker at the hospital. Bancy Wanjiru added that among them were six white foreigners whom she believed were British nationals.

The terrorists stormed the Westgate Mall and sprayed shoppers with bullets. Witnesses said the attackers told all Muslims to leave as they were only after non-Muslims.

Witnesses recount Nairobi massacre

Those shoppers who tried to leave were asked by the  Somali Muslim terrorists to name the Prophet Mohammed’s mother. If they failed to give her correct name of Amina they were shot dead, said one eye witness. After Muslim shoppers had left the mall, the terrorists reportedly threw grenades and fired AK-47s.

Muslims were let go unharmed by Somali terrorists.
Last night, the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab, which is linked to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said the atrocity was revenge for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

According to the website Slate, the terrorists had been Tweeting progress while it carried out its attack.
Al Shabab said on Twitter: ‘The message we are sending to the Kenyan govt & Public is and has always been just one: remove all your forces from our country.’

The shootings came as British-born Jermaine Grant was due to go on trial in Mombasa. He is accused of plotting a bombing campaign against tourist hotels in Kenya with several accomplices, one of whom is Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, widow of the 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay.

The terrorists were yesterday holed up in the shopping complex with as many as 30 hostages, many of whom are thought to be white Westerners.

'They shot my baby in the face with a gun that stands taller than him': Mother of 3-year-old boy shot in the jaw as he played at Chicago basketball court pleads with shooters to surrender

A number of the gunmen’s victims are thought to be  children. As the atrocity unfolded, at least two dozen people were wheeled out of the complex on stretchers and in shopping trolleys.

Desperate shoppers could be seen running away as security forces surrounded the building and made an arrest.

Unharmed Muslim and a wounded Asian American.
Charles Karani, 41, an IT engineer, said: ‘I hid under a car with my daughters, and I saw the men line up maybe 40 people and ask them who was Muslim, and if they were to prove it by saying the name of the Prophet’s mother. Those who got it wrong were shot.

‘There was blood everywhere. Two ladies under the car with me had gunshot wounds on their legs. Another Indian gentleman was hit in the face by a bullet but he seemed not to be gravely hurt. Other people for sure are dead. I saw four people lying, not moving. A grenade was thrown and it rolled near us, my daughter said, “Papa, there’s a grenade” – but thank God it didn’t go off and I kicked it away.’

The gunmen wore white bandanas, Mr Karani said, and appeared to work in teams, each taking control of a different floor of the five-storey building. He also said officials had confirmed to him that the attacker they arrested was a Kenyan Muslim convert.

Relatives of Kenyan president among dead in shopping mall attack

Last night Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to pass on his condolences and pledge that Britain was ready to provide assistance. Mr Kenyatta said in a televised address that security forces were in the process of 'neutralising the attackers and securing the mall' but he said it was a 'delicate' operation.

He urged Kenyans to 'remain calm and vigilant' and asked them to donate blood to help treat the injured. And he vowed: "We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get to them and we shall punish them for this heinous crime."

Mr Hague would not confirm whether any casualties or hostages were British. However, Sir Simon Fraser, head of the diplomatic service, indicated that Britons were involved. He tweeted last night: ‘The Foreign Office and British High Commission working hard on Nairobi shooting and hostage crisis to help all involved esp Brits.’

Hague condemns 'callous and cowardly' terrorist attack in Kenya

The Westgate Mall is in the upmarket Westlands suburb of Nairobi and is popular with Westerners. Al Shabab had previously warned it would target the mall.

Another eyewitness who gave his name as Jay, said: ‘They were not speaking Swahili. They spoke something that seemed like Arabic or Somali, but I’m not sure as I don’t speak those languages. I saw people being executed after being asked to say something.’ He claimed that he had seen 11 bodies inside the mall.

Ombati Cyrus, a local Kenyan journalist who was among the first at the scene, said that he  saw around 30 bodies being dragged out of the shopping centre in trolleys and stretchers. He added: ‘The majority of bodies I saw were white. I heard that the terrorists targeted whites deliberately. The terrorists were Arabs or Somalis.’

Police helicopters circled overhead as armed police shouted ‘get out, get out!’ and scores of shoppers fled the building. Smoke poured out of one entrance and witnesses said they heard grenade blasts.

It is believed that the UN – which has one of the biggest operations in Africa in Nairobi – warned last month that the threat of an ‘attempted large-scale [terror] attack’ in the country was ‘elevated’.

Witness Patick Kuria said: ‘We started by hearing gunshots downstairs and outside. Later we heard them come inside. We took cover. Then we saw two gunmen wearing black turbans. I saw them shoot.’

Hannah Chisholm, a Briton  visiting Nairobi, said she and 60 others barricaded themselves into a large storeroom. She told the BBC: ‘We kept running to different places but the shots were getting louder so we barricaded ourselves into a large storeroom. There were children hiding with us, as well as someone who had been shot.’

Mr Hague said in a televised speech last night: ‘Our thoughts are with the people of Kenya and with innocent people who may be caught up in this.

‘This is clearly a complex attack, clearly a terrorist attack and a particularly callous, cowardly and brutal attack targeting innocent people of all ages and so many different backgrounds. There are undoubtedly British nationals caught up in this and so we should be ready for that and be aware of that. Again, we don’t have any sufficiently precise details at the moment. It is a fast-moving situation and it is still going on at the time we are speaking.’ 

According to the Sunday Telegraph, a pregnant woman was among several Britons caught up in the attack. Terrorist gunmen remain at the scene and police officers supported by the army are still fighting to bring the situation to an end.

Sky News has reported that the US State Department has confirmed US citizens are among the casualties, and French news agency AFP has said two French citizens were among the dead. A young boy is believed to have been among those killed.

At a news conference, Internal Security Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo said 'terrorists and threats have been present in Kenya for quite some time now'. The army, including special forces, have now been drafted in to help police flush out the gunmen.

There were unconfirmed reports of two large explosions, with several smaller explosions. Two people were reportedly injured on the road.

'We have officers at the scene trying to get out the group shooting inside. They have not been located,' a senior police official said. 'Officers are approaching the situation with caution because there are innocent civilians inside,' he said.

Armed police arrived on the scene nearly half an hour later and could be heard shouting 'get out, get out' as scores of shoppers fled the building. Smoke billowed out of the entrance, which was believed to have been caused by the grenade attack.

Dutch embassy employee Rob Vandijk said he had been eating at a restaurant in the shopping mall when gunmen threw hand grenades inside the building. People began to scream and drop to the ground, he said, as machine gun fire rang out across the busy mall.

Officials have not given the exact death toll as police and gunmen are continuing to exchange fire, but reporters said they had seen at least 15 bodies. Police say that attackers are holding seven hostages in the building, and other people remain hidden inside.

'I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,' said another witness.

Kenyan soldiers were also deployed to take part in the operation to bring the shopping complex back under control. Police helicopters circled over the building as sporadic gunfire could be heard more than two hours after the attack was launched.

Police cordoned off the roads surrounding the mall in central Nairobi's Westlands neighborhood. Manish Turohit, 18, who escaped after hiding in the parking garage for two hours, says he saw gunmen with AK-47s and vests with hand grenades on them inside the centre.

Police initially believed the attack was an attempt by about ten armed men to rob a shop. But Elijah Kamau, a witness, told AP that the gunmen had announced that they were targeting non-Muslims as they began their attack at the centre.

Some of those who escaped were 'challenged to recite a Muslim prayer and were then let out', according to Allan Sayers, who contacted MailOnline and said he was in the Westgate mall five minutes before the attack.

Mr Sayers said people were still in text and phone contact with some of the hostages. 'There are still many hostages still inside and reports of many more dead,' he said.

Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue said it was a terrorist attack and the Kenya Ministry of Interior has said the shooting may have been an 'attack by terrorists'.

'They don't seem like thugs, this is not a robbery incident,' said Yukeh Mannasseh who was on the top floor when the shooting started. 'It seems like an attack. The guards who saw them said they were shooting indiscriminately.'

Somali's rebel group al-Shabab vowed in late 2011 to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya's sending of troops into Somalia to fight the Islamic insurgents. The Somali militant group al-Shabaab had earlier threatened to strike the mall, as it is a popular destination for the city’s expatriate community.

One victim said that he had been shot by a man who appeared to be Somali, while others noted the gunmen were speaking in a foreign language. 'The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. There are definitely many casualties,' Sudjar Singh, who works at the shopping centre, told AFP.

'I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,' said another witness.

Errol Fernandes, a Kenyan businessman said: 'There were two guys – they came in from the car park on the roof. One had dreadlocks, he had an AK47 and was firing randomly. 'I just ran into the café kitchen and then we all hid in the refrigerator, until we were told to run out of the fire escape. I'm sure there must be many dead and injured.'

An AFPTV reporter said police and security guards were trying to secure a multi-screen cinema complex inside the mall where many had taken shelter. The reporter said she saw at least 20 people rescued from a toy shop on one of the upper floors of the building.

A shop manager who managed to escape said it had appeared 'the shooters had taken control of all the mall'. Attacks by Somali Islamists in Kenya often involve gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades, with targets including bars, nightclubs and restaurants in various parts of the country.

There was a suspected al-Shabaab attack which left five dead and three injured at a restaurant in the eastern city of Garissa in January, and in August last year one person was killed and six more were left injured in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi on the eve of a visit by Hillary Clinton, then the United States secretary of state.

Last month 18 of the 19 US embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa were closed after a message between al Qaida officials about plans for a major terror attack was intercepted.

The Foreign Office says it is 'urgently looking into' the incident and has echoed Kenyan police with warnings to Britons to avoid the area. Foreign Secretary William Hague said: 'We are in close contact with the Kenyan authorities on the ground in Kenya and at ministerial level in the United Kingdom.

'The prime consideration at present is the welfare of members of the public caught up in this incident.' Concerned British nationals are advised to monitor FCO travel advice and to contact 020 7008 0000.
'All Muslims leave' order... then gang target victims who can't name Prophet's mother: Britons caught in crossfire as masked gunmen slaughter 43 in Kenyan mall and terrorists blog attack live on twitter
* Foreign Secretary William Hague confirms British citizens are caught up in the terrorist attack in Nairobi
* The US State Department has also confirmed Americans were at the shopping centre
* Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to 'hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to'
* Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has links to Al-Qaeda, has now claimed responsibility for the attack
* The terrorist organisation released a statement saying it warned Kenya to remove troops from Somalia
* Hostages are being held by at least five attackers still in building
* The army and special forces are helping police flush out the gunmen
* Upmarket mall is a favourite shopping spot for expats and wealthy Kenyans
* Police opened fire after gunmen launched attack at midday today
* Security guards wheel out bodies in shopping trolleys from Westlands Shopping Centre
* Witness says attackers told shoppers non-Muslims were the targets of the masked terrorists

Five Somali Immigrants From USA Among The Dead Terrorists

The FBI is investigating claims that up to five of the terrorists who killed 68 people in a despicable attack on an upmarket Kenyan shopping mall are Americans, as the Kenyan military reported that it had rescued hostages and secured 'most parts' of the center following the two day standoff.

Sources close to terror group Al Shabaab told CNN on Sunday that nine extremists had been named on their Twitter account along with their nationalities and allegedly included U.S. citizens. The account has now been suspended by the site.

And just before sundown Kenya Defence Forces posted on its Twitter account that 'most of the hostages have been rescued' and that security forces had taken control of 'most parts of the building' - however, the operation is still continuing and only a small number remained under the control of the militants.

The dramatic assault, which began shortly before sundown, came as two helicopters circled the Westgate mall, with one skimming very close to the roof.

They added that four military personnel were injured in the operation and officials attached to the defense forces did not elaborate how the hostages were freed or if the extremists were in custody. Some gunmen are reported to be currently holed up in a supermarket in the shopping mall complex.

The revelation that Americans could be involved in the terror atrocity came after a large explosion today rocked the upmarket mall where as many as 15 Islamic extremists had been holding the hostages a day after attacking it, killing at least 68 and injuring at least 175 people - including five Americans.