Classified documents of the UN Security Council show that Al-Shabaab identified the Westgate Mall as a potential target back in 2011 and information about communication between employees of the terrorist group was shared with the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) in 2012 warned of an impending attack.
But it appears that the security services have not responded to the intelligence services and Al-Shabaab terrorists are still planning “Operation Badru Nairobi,” which later emerged as the Westgate attack on Sept. September 2013, which killed 67 people after a four-day siege of the upscale shopping center in Westlands.
Nation.Africa may today, on the eighth anniversary of the attack, reveal a series of leads that intelligence agencies have ignored and the if they had been acted they could have averted the fatal attack.
One such indication was, in particular, an intercepted communication in which a high rang giger Al-Shabaab agent in 2012 interviewed employees in Nairobi for information about a security assessment of Nairobi and in particular operational information about Westlands, including the level of security.
And frequent visits to an Al-Shabaab agent in Westgate, Also on the day of the attack, the mall disclosed a possible target, but none of this information was pursued in an attempt to disrupt the malicious conspiracy.
Failure to follow warnings is mainly attributed to false beliefs in Kenya , “who showed up”. it emerges from a series of failed ambitious plans by affiliates like Al-Hijra that ‘complex and spectacular’ attacks were impossible. “
This information is contained in a pile of documents that Kenya has submitted to the International Court of Justice ( IGH) in the border dispute between the Indian Ocean and Somalia, to support his position that the porous borders have fueled terrorism.
One of the documents, a report dated October 13, 2014 by the Surveillance Group for Somalia and Eritrea, under Security Co Resolution 2111 (2013), S / 2014/726, contains the tell-tale signs of an impending attack that security services have ignored since 2011.
The documents quote “Operation Linda Mpaka,” a Kenyan one Defense Force (KDF.). ) covert operation in Somalia that rocked the terrorist group.
This was before the publicly declared “Operation Linda Nchi” in October 2011, when President Kibaki announced that Kenyan troops would invade the war-torn country, about the militants who rocked Kenya’s tourism sector with attacks on foreigners on the coast.
A series of public statements by Al-Shabaab core leaders and a high-ranking Kenyan “Amir”, the Amir of Al-Hijra in Somalia , all provided strong indications of the group’s attack in Kenya, similar to the Badru operation.
An example of such a credible warning was on January 7, 2012 from Al-Hijra Amir, ‘Abu Zinnirah’ .
In a video warning from Somalia he railed: “But if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help you hem” and categorically stated that Kenya was a “war zone” .
To underline the warnings, the believes Monitoring Group likely that Ahmad Iman with the name “Abu Usama” three months later, Gaidi Mtaani published an article in the Kiswahili magazine Al-Shabaab entitled “Leveling the Scales”.
In it he warned: “… look at how vulnerable Kenya is … we have tourists, malls, bars etc … imagine how we can jeopardize your economy, kill a ‘Mzungu (white person) and everyone runs away … , and offered little or no intelligence warning value, information gathered by the Monitoring Group and routinely shared with two branches of the Kenyan security apparatus, including the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) in 2012, indicated Al-Shabaab’s determination to conduct a major attack in Kenya.
“Credible information from this period confirms that Nior Al-Shabaab commanders were in regular contact with staff in Nairobi via Al-Hijra commanders regarding possible conspiracies / attacks, “the report reads.
This was based on verified information provided by a source to the surveillance group in 2012 in direct contact with Al-Shabaab commanders.
“The Monitoring Group can also confirm that some of these Nairobi-based employees were targeting electronic surveillance by a regional intelligence agency and possibly at least two foreign intelligence agencies were operating in the Horn of Africa,” the report said / p>
At around 8:00 pm on March 30, 2012, a well-known high-ranking Al-Shabaab commander named “Ibrahim” named a “Nairobi employee”. Request for a safety assessment of Nairobi.
“Ibrahim” called again days later to request specific operational information on Westlands such as size, population and security level.
The report revealed this information was known in Kenyan government circles.
According to the report, in April 2012 the monitoring group received confirmatory information from a government official regarding telephone calls from Somalia to a “Nairobi agent” from Al-Shabaab.
“The surveillance group is also aware of another potential indicator and warning regarding possible useful information that may indicate the attack on Westgate Mall,” the court records continued.
This was the suspect, however also cumbersome activity by “M”, a well-known Al-Shabaab / Al-Hijra-related logistician.
In 2013, “M” played a marginal and liaison role in a conspiracy to remove explosives from Tanzania nac h to transport Kenya to the elections in Kenya on March 4, 2013.
“In addition, since 2012 the Monitoring Group has been monitoring the regular and suspicious routine visits by” M “to the Westgate Mall, including weekend visits “, the documents reveal.
On September 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm during the Westgate Siege, a close associate of Ábu Zi nnirah, the Barawe-based Amir of Al-Hijra and a Facebook Employee of “M”, sent the following message to “M”: “Sister, u ok? Please tell me that there is no coffee for 2 days. “
On the second day of the siege at 9:12 am,” M “replies:” Walkm slm, Alhamdulillah, had just left Westgate with my coffee and filming began. Alhamdulillah. ”
That afternoon, September 21st, a group of armed assailants (and most likely an unarmed auxiliary cell) stopped outside the main entrance to Westgate Mall and drove a Mitsubishi Lancer with the registration number KAS 575X.
They immediately started throwing grenades and shooting bystanders. Then they stormed into the main shopping mall to indiscriminately attack shoppers.
The four armed terrorists were Mohamed Hassan Dhuhulow, Khatab Al Kene, Umar Al Mogadish and Omar Nabhan. They besieged the mall for four days.
Hours after the attack, Al-Shabaab pleaded responsibility through its official Twitter address.
The Monitoring Group’s report explained the terrorist operation, in Somalia conceived, planned by a United Nations refugee camp and executed from Eastleigh in Nairobi, signaled the widely anticipated operational relocation of the Somalia-based terrorist group.
It marked a move away from “soft targets” towards “ complex and spectacular “large-scale attacks outside Somalia, utilizing, where possible, a combination of al-Hijra resources (in Kenya) at the peripheral level and the operational discipline of al-Shabaab core amniyat-like agents.
Two mission planners in Somalia, Abdukadir Mohamed Íkrima ‘and Sultan Mohame Sandhre Úkash, have been linked to the attack.
The Monitoring Group concluded that one of the reasons for the Wa One of the targets of Westgate was the high number of Westerners who visited it daily.
Cruc An important aspect of Al-Shabaab’s trade in preparation for the Westgate attack has been the exploitation of lax procurement procedures of cellular connections in Kenya in 2013.
To date, the Monitoring Group has been able to identify at least eight cell phone numbers issued by Kenya and a network of numbers potentially linked to Somalia.
These numbers are either marked with the ” Infantry attackers “(who stayed at Westgate Mall September 21-24, 2013) or part of the Assault / Promotion Tier attack.
Tried one month after the attack in Nairobi Target Al-Shabaab, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Al-Shabaab’s meticulous and gradual planning of violent attacks involved the relocation of Amniyat-like activists from Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, and possibly the Yemen in the form of the “Bole Rwanda cell” to Addis Ababa, the report says.
This included an Al-Shabaab agent who assumed the identity of a United Nations employee, and another who its membership takes advantage of the Puntland Security Forces and the auspices of the Puntland authorities to conspire against Ethiopia.
The conspiracy, if carried out as planned, would almost certainly have resulted in Al-Shabaab would have broken its long operational impasse in Addis Ababa.
“However, due to the improved security, Al-Shabaab had to carry out a ‘complex and spectacular’ attack on Aug. Canceled October 2013, less than a month after the attack on the Westgate shopping center, ”the report said.
Before the attack on Westgate, Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Directorate of Military Int elligence (DMI) has demonstrated its capabilities both analytically and operationally by containing, according to the documents, much of the “complex and spectacular conspiracies” of Al Shabaab.
“Based on the monitoring group’s own investigations in the In the course of successive mandates, however, it became known that properties of Al-Sh abaab, many of which had been disrupted by the Kenyan security authorities, also served as potential intelligence indicators and warnings pointing to the Badru operation in Nairobi. ‘