Westgate Mall Survivors Describe Their Encounters, Hiding As Gunmen Moved From Room To Room


To anyone shopping at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, it would
likely have seemed just another store.
But according to a Kenyan intelligence official, the small
shop concealed an ominous secret. It was rented by
the Al-Shabaab terrorists, or their associates, who within a
year would carry out an attack on the upscale shopping
mall.
How the team of terrorists got their weapons and
explosives into the mall without notice is a central part of
the investigation into the attack, which left at least 67
people dead and parts of the upscale mall in ruins.
The Kenya Red Cross said Friday that 61 people remain
unaccounted for. Some could be buried in the rubble of
the partially collapsed mall.
At least five of the terrorists also died before Kenyan
forces were finally able to bring the siege to an end on
Tuesday. The terrorists stormed the building Saturday.
On a Twitter account believed to be run by Al-Shabaab,
the group promised more attacks to come.
“The mesmeric performance by the #Westgate Warriors
was undoubtedly gripping, but despair not folks, that was
just the premiere of Act 1,” according to a tweet posted
Thursday.
Several Twitter accounts attributed to Al-Shabaab have
been shut down in recent days, likely for violating the
company’s rules against promoting violence in tweets.
While Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said
Friday that eight suspects are being held for questioning in
the attack, authorities are increasingly concerned that
some of the attackers managed to escape alongside
fleeing civilians in the aftermath of the initial attack, U.S.
law enforcement officials .
On Thursday, a Kenyan counterterrorism source said that
one of the suspects is an injured Kenyan who was being
evacuated when a machine gun magazine fell out of his
pocket, leading to suspicion he was among the automatic-
weapon toting terrorists who roamed the mall killing
civilians. He is being held in a military hospital, the source
said.
Among the suspects are three people picked up near the
Ugandan border, the Kenyan official who revealed
information about the mall store.
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