Israeli Experts Help Kenya With Probe of Bloody Nairobi Mall Terror Siege

American and British Investigators Also Involved — Toll at 72

Nairobi’s Tears: Flowers pile up outside Nairobi’s main mortuary as Kenya begins three days of national mourning for the victims of the Westlands mall terror attack.
getty images
Nairobi’s Tears: Flowers pile up outside Nairobi’s main mortuary as Kenya begins three days of national mourning for the victims of the Westlands mall terror attack.

By Reuters

Published September 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

U.S., British and Israeli agencies are helping Kenya investigate an attack by Islamist militants on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed at least 72 people and destroyed part of the complex.

After a four-day siege, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday troops had defeated the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group that targeted the shopping centre popular with prosperous Kenyans and foreigners. He declared three days of mourning.

The attack has highlighted the reach of the Somali al Shabaab and the capabilities of its crack unit believed to be behind the bloodshed in Westgate mall, confirming international fears that as long as Somalia remains in turmoil it will be a recruiting and training ground for militant Islam.

The militants stormed the mall, known for its Western shops selling iPads and Nike shoes, in a hail of gunfire and grenades at lunchtime Saturday. The attack ended on Tuesday when Kenyan troops detonated explosives to get through locked doors inside the mall as they searched for militants or booby traps.

“We have moved to the next phase,” Interior Minister Joseph ole Lenku told a news conference.

He said that alongside U.S., British and Israeli agencies, Kenya was also receiving help from Germany, Canada and the police agency Interpol in the investigation.

He said he did not expect the death toll of 61 civilians, six members of the security forces and five attackers to rise significantly, and that the only bodies still likely to be found were those of slain assailants.

Three floors collapsed after the blasts and a separate fire weakened the structure of the vaulted, marble-tiled building. Officials said the blaze arose from militants lighting mattresses as a decoy.

Kenya has said 10 to 15 attackers launched the raid. Ole Lenku said the investigation would seek to ascertain if there were any females among the assailants, as some witness accounts suggest, and would also see if the groups had rented a store in the mall prior the attack as part of their preparation.

Al Shabaab said it launched the assault to demand Kenya withdraw its troops fighting with African peacekeepers in Somalia. It said hostages were killed when Kenyan troops used gas to clear the mall. Officials dismissed this as “propaganda”.

Kenyatta has said Kenyan forces would not leave Somalia.

“We have ashamed and defeated our attackers,” he said in his televised address on Tuesday.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.