Kenyan Cabinet Was ‘ Warned in Advance’ About Possible ‘Westgate-Style’ Attack


Kenyan cabinet

The ministers of the Kenyan government had reportedly been warned of a possible attack before the al-Shabab terrorists stormed the Westgate shopping mall on September 21 in an attack, in which atleast 67 people died.

Reports have claimed that leaked intelligence briefings detailed plans for attacks in the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, with four cabinet ministers and the head of Kenya’s defence forces allegedly warned about such an attack.

According to the BBC, the government dignitaries informed of the attack include Treasury Minister Julius Rotich, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku, Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohammed, Defence Minister Raychelle Omamo and Kenya Defence Forces chief Julius Karangi.

The report mentioned that the ministers were briefed and informed of ‘increasing threat of terrorism and of plans to launch simultaneous attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa around September 13 and 20, 2013’, adding that the warnings were first made in January and then again from the beginning of September.

The report further said that al-Shabab leaders had begun singling out Westgate and the Holy Family Basilica for attack early this year, with a senior intelligence official saying that the government had been casual in its approach to the briefings it received.

Westgate is partly Israeli-owned, the report added.

Source: Business Standard

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