Sunday, September 22, 2013

Israel assisting Kenyan forces in Narobi Hostage Drama

From the novel Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. :  

Baba would enlighten me with his politics during those walks with long-winded dissertations. "There are only three real men in this world, Amir," he'd say. He'd count them off on his fingers: America the brash savior, Britain, and Israel. "The rest of them – " he used to wave his hand and make a phht sound " – they're like gossiping old women."
Patriarchy and sexism aside, it appears that Israel again is proving its mettle.There are unconfirmed reports that Israel has sent a team to aid Kenyan forces in an attempt to free hostages in Nairobi's Westgate mall. Gunmen lay siege to the mall  midday Saturday, tossing grenades and firing automatic weapons,  killing at  least 68.  Victims ranged from 2 to 78. Among those confirmed dead are Kenyans, and French, Canadian and Chinese nationals.  Four American citizens were injured, according to the U.S. State Department.   The al Qaida linked al Shabaab group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

From CNN

The operation ticks the boxes that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri listed in a message published just over a week ago.

1. Ensure the target is Western. The Westgate Mall has several Israeli establishments and is popular with expatriates. Those killed include three British citizens, two French nationals and two Canadians, their governments said. In his September 13 message, al-Zawahiri warned against attacks on non-Western states unless the regime was part of "the American forces." Kenya, with its long tradition of pro-Western governments and close relationships with Western militaries, fits that bill.

2. Take hostages where possible. Al-Zawahiri recommended taking "the citizens of the countries that are participating in the invasion of Muslim countries as hostages so that our prisoners may be freed in exchange."

3. Try to avoid Muslim casualties. Al-Shabaab claimed on its Twitter feed that the gunmen escorted Muslims out of the mall, before turning on the "disbelievers" inside. Witnesses said the gunmen at the Westgate tried to identify Muslims by asking shoppers the name of Mohammed's mother. They shot those who didn't know.

“This will end tonight — our forces will prevail,” the police command center said in a Twitter post. “Kenyans are standing firm against aggression, and we will win.”

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