After the end of Westgate terrorist siege, many question and doubts arise not only about what’s really happened in these 4 terrible days but why Al-Shabaab has attack Kenya and not Uganda. Maybe the answer can be found before September 2011 date of Kenyan Army invasion of Somalia to support the Transitional Federal Government and fight the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
Between 2008 and February 2011 there are strong evidence of Kenyan political and financial support to Al-Shabaab. A 2011 United Nation report says Najjib Balala, Cabinet minister and Amina Abdalla prominent Kenyan lower and Member of Parliament were among prominent Kenyans funding the activities of the Al Shabaab terror group Najjib Balala had admitted to have donated Sh200,000 (1,700 Euro) for a construction of a mosque in 2009. He has strongly denied direct or indirect funding to Somali terrorist group. Anyway Balala donation has been transferred to an account operated by Somali business men linked to Al-Shabaab. On February Kenyan lower and Member of Parliament, Amina Abdalla donated Sh500,000 (4,256 Euro) to unclear humanitarian aid in Somalia. The bank account that has received the donation was lead by a Al Shabaab finance officer, a closer friend of Mrs Abdalla even if his name was recorder on terrorist list. Mrs Abdalla admitted her friendship with the terrorist financer during an interview with the UN Monitoring Group. However, she denied knowledge that the funds were being used to help the terrorist group believing she was contributing to reconstruction of a mosque.
Mr Badala and Mrs Abdalla Al-Shabaab finance support may be not isolate cases but part of Kenyan Government geo strategy before his invasion of Somalia officially done in October 2011, in reality started on August 2011. The modest sums could be the tip of the iceberg of more important funding. President Kibaki Government from 2008 – 2010 was considering the terrorist group Al-Shabaab as an unofficially alley in order to strength the security in the volatile borders between Kenya and Somalia. Somali Islamic group assured order and avoid Somali warlords illegal traffic on Kenyan border in change of Kenyan promise to don’t joint AMISOM forces (at that time composed only by Ugandan and Burundian armies) and permit import export activities under Al-Shabaab control. More consistent funds maybe transit in Al-Shabaab bank accounts during the two years.
A more sinister deal underlined by UN report was the agreement reach to tolerate Al-Shabaab recruitment in Kenya. According to the report, the terror group, which has close ties with al Qaeda has established extensive funding, recruiting and training networks in Kenya and recruited between 200 and 500 Kenyan youths between 2009 and 2011. This mass recruitment has been confirmed by Eritrean and Ugandan troops fighting in Somalia. Military reports record at least 150 terrorist Kenyan Jihadist prisoners, majority of them Kenyan youths from non-Somali communities. Parallel to Jihadist recruitment to fight in Somali Al-Shabaab has signed an ally treat with the militant Kenyan group Al Hijira without the knowledge of Kenyan Government in order to create a fifth column inside the county in case the unofficial alliance between the parties will broke up when on August 2011 Kenya Army started military cover actions in Somalia against Al-Shabaab. In October Kenyan army officially join AMISOM in the war against terrorism in the Horn of Africa country.
The secret alliance and funding system broke up meanly for three reasons: Al-Shabaab since the beginning of 2011 were in desperately need of funds to fight Ugandan and Burundian armies and decided to don’t respect any more the agreements made with Kenyan Government, starting illicit traffics on Kenyan border that rapidly create insecurity. The other two reasons were the regional and international pressures received by Kenya to join AMISOM fight in Somalia and the strategic need from Nairobi to protect his oilfield collocate on Somali border. The Kenyan authorities starting from August 2011 blamed Al-Shabaab a series of kidnappings of foreigners and the murder of a British tourist. Somali terrorist group have always denied involvement. Al-Shabbab alliance has been replaced with Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe warlord and his militia Ras Ramboni. Madobe was in control of strategic sea town of Mogadishu before Al-Shabaab arise, and his coming back supported by Kenyan Army. Recently the warlord has declared the independent state of Jubaland increasing the tension with Somali Federal Government.
Westgate terrorist attack authors may be Al Hijra militant and not Al-Shabaab militiamen according a CNN inquiry. Kenyan al Hijra militants are suspected to have been responsible for several of the small-scale terrorist attacks that have hit the country. Founded in Eastleigh mosque in 2008 al Hijra took advantage of growing radicalization among a minority of Kenya’s 4.3 million Muslims to build a significant presence in Nairobi and Mombasa. A recent crackdown against Al Hijra by Kenyan army and US Special Forces has weakened the group.
However, regional intelligence suspects that Al Hijra where still able to conduct complex terrorist operations like the Westgate attack. Regional experts joint CNN affirming that Westgate attack has been conduct not by international commandos but by well trained Kenyan al Hijira militants. “It is altoo convenient for Kenya to put the blame for the atrocity on a foreign based group rather than look for home grown movements. Meanwhile the British press has been obsessed with the possible role of a 29 years old woman Samantha Lewthawaite, relatively little attention has been taken of at least as plausible a threat which is posed by a Kenyan movement known as al-Hijra,” says Martin Plaut journalist and Great Lakes Region Expert. Al-Hijra utilization can confirm the very well known tactic adopted by Al Shabaab that utilize his Somali fighters only in country side and non Somali East Africans group for regional terrorist attack like the one in Uganda on July 2010 claimed by Al-Shabaab but physically executed by Allied Democratic Force (ADF) a Muslim Ugandan terrorist group.
After Westgate attack many questions are arising on terrorism attack and the evident cover up operation done by Kenyan Government. News contradicting the official version are emerging from escape witnesses and medias. On 15 terrorists involved in the attack five has been killed and eleven suspects has been arrested on International Airport according Kenyan security forces. Kenyans medias have underlines that there is a strong possibility that 10 on 15 terrorist were able to escape. Some witnesses claimed to have seen terrorist leaving the mall with fleeing civilians.
The suspect of internal complicity of Westgate security service is almost certain. Britain and Israeli experts suggest the terrorist group had rented a shop insie Westgate some months before and used it to stock an heavy military arsenal that has permit them to resist to the assault for over 80 hours. This arsenal has been introduced piece par piece during several weeks. Kenyan Government is trying to hide the real number of victims, officially: 61 dead and 175 injured. On Twitter Al-Shabaab claims to have killed 137 persons; Red Cross is speaking about 75 dead and 71 other peoples still missing. The Government remains on its position affirming that all hostage has been rescued. We are the People Kenyan association is asking to know how many hostages were really rescued and where they were taken. Still now many families have not news about their parents fate inside of Westgate or the possibility to identify the bodies. We are the People association has publish on net a list of 85 question about Westgate attack. Several links of this list have been deleted.
British experts’ reveals that three floors of Westgate have literally collapsed during the final assault due by one explosion make by terrorist and by Kenyan security forces in order to gain the access inside the building. Several bodies still hide under the rubbles. Kenyan government prefer don’t speak about this argument. Another mystery is about the 29 years old British woman suspect to have organized the Westgate attack: Samantha Lewthwaite On September 25 Kenyan Government has informed she was killed in the action. Now it seems that she was able to escape or she was not directly involved to the attack but only to its organization. Kenyan Government has request to Interpol to issue a wanted person alert in order to individuate and arrest Mrs Lewthwaite.
Meantime it has been declared three days of national mourning, Kenyan Government is deeply concern to exploit Westgate terroristic attack to reinforce the anti ICC campaign in order to halt the President and Vice President trials or to make enough pressures to the Court for favorable verdicts. Kenyan Government has request the assistance of Ugandan President in the name of the recent political and military alliance between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to handle east DRC war, and East Africa Community political unification.
President Yoweri Museveni, speaking to the UN world leaders at the international function on Wednesday September 25 has take the defense of the elected leaders of Kenya persecuted by International Criminal Court “The ICC, in a shallow, biased way has continued to mishandle complex African issues. I was one of those that supported the ICC because I abhor impunity. However, the usual opinionated and arrogant actors using their careless analysis have distorted the purpose of that institution. They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like. What happened here in 2007 was regrettable and must be condemned, however, cannot address those events. The ICC should stop…Kenya is recovering. Let her recover,” President Museveni stated.
Rwanda will utilize its position of non permanent member of UN Security Council to stop ICC Kenyans leaders’ trial. On October Presidents Museveni and Paul Kagame will organize a African Union extraordinary meeting, promoting a mass outlet of African countries from Rome Statute and ICC.
Kenyan President and Vice President’s defense lawyers have requested to Hague Court to permit their clients to be present only to the trial open and closure. ICC has firmly refused the request imposing the physical presence of the two Kenyans leaders to all the trial sections. ICC judges have refused Mr. Ruto defense request for the trials to be adjourned after three weeks following the terrorist attack in Nairobi. Only few extra days have been granted to Mr Ruto in order to permit him to to attend an interdenominational prayer service on Tuesday at KICC for the victims of the Westgate Mall attack.