Nairobi attackers flee through lax security

‘Lax security let Nairobi attackers flee’

Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:10:03 GMT

The New York police investigating a deadly siege at a partly Israeli-owned shopping mall in the Kenyan capital in September have said in their report that the attackers may have escaped due to lax security.

The New York police released the report about the four-day siege at the Westgate mall in Nairobi that killed at least 67 people, including three British nationals, two French women, two Canadian citizens including a diplomat, a Chinese woman, two Indians, a Ghanaian poet, a South Korean, a South African, and a Dutch woman. Several Americans were injured in the attack.

Kenya’s security sources had said that the four attackers died in a final standoff with Kenyan commandos, but local media expressed doubts about these claims.

The New York police report said the attackers were seen last time on the mall’s CCTV system on September 22 at 00:54 hours, 12 hours after the start of the assault.

“It is unknown if the terrorists were killed or escaped the mall. A major contributing factor to this uncertainty was the failure to maintain a secure perimeter around the mall,” it said.

Somalia’s al-Shabab fighters claimed responsibility for the assault and warned the Kenyan government to withdraw its troops from their country.

On September 25, al Shabab leader Ahmed Godane confirmed that the group was behind the attack on the mall, saying the raid was in retaliation for the Kenyan military’s invasion of southern Somalia in October 2011.

“Take your troops out or prepare for a long-lasting war, blood, destruction and evacuation,” Godane said in an audio message posted on an al Shabab-linked website.

Kenya has more than 4,000 army soldiers in southern Somalia, where they have been battling the al-Shabab fighters since 2011.

The Kenyan troops are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that gets training and equipment from the United States.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

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