Seven years ago, on 21 September 2013, four Al-Shabaab militants stormed the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing 67 during the ensuing four-day siege and demonstrating the movement’s reach outside Somalia. The terrorists struck one of Nairobi’s most serene shopping malls at the most unexpected of times.
The extremist Islamic group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the incident, which it characterised as retribution for the Kenyan military’s deployment in the group’s home country of Somalia. Many media outlets also suspected the insurgent group’s involvement in the attack based on earlier reprisal warnings it had issued in the wake of Operation Linda Nchi from 2011 to 2012.
It is said that a crisis brings out the best or the worst in people; the terror attacks in Nairobi has brought out the best in Kenyan society.
If the aim of the terrorists was to sow fear, despondency and disunity, it failed. The trending hashtags #KenyaUnbowed say it all
Terror attacks continue to be rare events in Kenya. And that is because of the behind the scenes efforts by our security forces to keep us secure. For every attack carried out there are many more nipped in the bud.
In March last year, the police had foiled a potential suicide attack involving a van full of explosives that would have brought down buildings and killed hundreds of people over a radius of 250 metres had it succeeded.
Netizens have lauded KDF and Intelligence ‘s brilliant undercover work, that continue to nip these kind of plots in the bud.
Terrorism remains a global threat and presents a challenging test for intelligence and law enforcement agencies worldwide. No country is immune. Kenya has done remarkably well in preventing numerous other attacks.
The fight against extreme terrorism is a combined efforts. Citizens have a huge role to play and if you find anything suspicious, do something to save lives.
On several occasions, we have experienced situations, which revealed the unity & love among Kenyans regardless of diverse religious & cultural beliefs.