First of all, I ask my readers to pray for the victims of this most outrageous attack and for the families of those who have died. There is one Australian, a dual citizen who has been named as one of the dead victims. He is an architect and was doing work pro bono in Kenya (meaning he will be sorely missed). His wife was expecting their first child within weeks, but she also perished with her husband. It is not just those who were injured or who have died who were victims of this attack, but it is everyone who was caught up in the whole drama, escaping from the building uninjured. They will have the scars of the attack to bear forever, and they too, need our prayers at this time so that they can heal.
UPDATE: BRITISH SAS soldier was in Westgate Mall with only a handgun, and is credited with rescuing 100 shoppers during the siege. Yes, having a gun on hand can save lives.
From what I am reading, the situation remains fluid, with the Kenyan government claiming that the majority of the hostages have been rescued from the mall. However, some reports indicate that there might in fact be a few that remain inside with the terrorists. The number of dead stands at about 62, which was revised downwards from 68. It is 68 lives too many in my opinion. Hundreds of others have been injured and are now in hospital receiving treatment for their wounds.
Who is behind the attack? There is a rumour that the “White Widow” as she is called is the leader of the attack. The group claiming responsibility is Al-Shabab, which is in effect the same as Al-Qaeda. The White Widow has been active in Kenya and she participated in another attack where people were killed at either a bar or a restaurant. Her husband was one of the London Subway Bombers. She believe fully in military jihad. There are witnesses who have mentioned that a woman dressed in a garbage bag was giving orders, so it is more than likely that she is a part of the assault. I note here that it is possible for her to escape from the building because all she would have to do is remove the garbage bag and look like the rest of the shoppers.
Al-Shabab is active in Somalia. They are more fanatical with the kind of Islam that they want to impose on everyone else than Al Qaeda. They have claimed that this assault on innocent people at a shopping mall is in retaliation to the Kenyan army being in Somalia. It is an excuse. They are the ones causing all the terror and Kenya has the right to defend its borders against them, as well as defending a population that wants to live free!!
The link to Al-Qaeda is significant because this attack has come directly after Al-Zawahiri issued an order to attack the USA, Europe etc. etc. Kenya is seen to be an ally of these other countries, and does in fact work closely with Israel.
What I fear the most is that this attack might be just the beginning of attacks around the world. Our shopping malls are extremely vulnerable to attack. Any ban relating to the possession of concealed weapons actually means that shoppers are more vulnerable because one means of defending themselves has been removed. Someone with a concealed weapon could have easily taken out any of these attackers simply by hiding and then firing at the targets (including any woman involved in the attack).
I live in a country where we do not have a 2nd Amendment, but yes we do have a right to be armed. To be legal we get a license. It is no big deal to us. With the increase in violent crime via the use of guns, as we are experiencing at the moment, I do find myself agreeing more and more with the idea that we should be permitted to carry a concealed weapon. What I fear the most is that with the influx of people from Africa and Middle East, we are becoming more and more vulnerable and we do not have the means to protect ourselves from them.
Last night there was yet another armed robbery. This time it was carried out at a theatre. This might be otherwise insignificant, BUT, there is something else to consider – the people who are committing these robberies have been sending money overseas to Lebanon and to Syria for use by people who are part of Al-Qaeda or the Al Nusra Front. We are in the middle of a surge of these robberies taking place. This means that we could be confronted by violence at any given time because of our own vulnerabilities.
The attack in Nairobi brings home to me the fact that our own shopping malls are vulnerable to similar attacks in the future. We will not be able to defend ourselves from the attackers because of our own attitudes when it comes to gun ownership.