Kenya’s National Intelligence Agency (NIS) warned some people not to visit the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi before the bloody siege, a warning that was not received by the 67 victims who lost their lives during the attack.
Buried at the end of a London Independent report about the incident is the revelation that NIS, “did warn the police and officials inside the President’s office before the Westgate siege, but its warnings went unheeded.”
Individual officials with NIS also told their family members to avoid the Westgate mall on Saturday because it would be the target of an attack. A pregnant policewoman was warned by her brother, an NIS officer, not to visit Westgate.
“She has told police that her brother who is a NIS officer warned her not to visit Westgate that Saturday because she would not be able to run,” a senior officer said.
Evidence of prior knowledge that went unheeded is just one of the many questions that are still circulating in the aftermath of the horrific attack, details about which are only becoming more gruesome.
Doctors who have had the chance to examine victims say that their injuries are consistent with rape and brutal torture, including eyeballs being gouged out and fingers and parts of noses ripped off using pliers.
Dozens of hostages are still unaccounted for, while the fate of the attackers is still being kept under wraps by authorities. An explanation as to why part of the mall collapsed after an explosion in the final stages of the siege has also not been forthcoming, causing mounting public anger.
As we highlighted earlier this week, the attack was carried out by Somalia’s Al Shabaab terror group, which is the African branch of Al-Qaeda, and is ideologically aligned with the same jihadists that the US and NATO backed in Libya and are currently supporting in Syria. The 2011 invasion of Libya expanded Al-Qaeda’s operational capacity in both Africa and the Middle East.