At least 10 terrorists believed to be part of Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, have stormed the luxurious Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on a murderous spree with a reported mission of killing Westerners. The images coming out from witnesses of this massacre are terrifying and you should prepare yourself before viewing them. There is blood everywhere. An escalator filled with young people hands all in the air with a look that they aren't sure if the men with guns are trying to kill them or protect them. One mother with a look of sheer terror on her face lying on the floor trying to shield her baby and child. A family holding hands trying to escape. Another mother running cradling her infant in her arms as fully armored military try to keep the area secure.
The standoff is not over and so far 59 people are dead, and over 175 injured. There are 30 hostages still being held inside the mall that has been terrorized for more than a day.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is grieving not only for his people, but his nephew and his fiancee were killed in the attack. "They shall not get away with their despicable, beastly acts," he said of the terrorists. "Like the cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building, we will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully."
It is believed 10 to 15 members of the Somalian-based Al-Shabaab group stormed the mall from different entry points and began their bloody killing spree. They have now all met up in one part of the mall and have with them about 30 hostages. There were over 1,000 people who managed to escape. This is the deadliest attack in the area since Al Qaeda bombed the US Embassy there in 1998, which killed 213 people.
The mall is a very popular weekend spot for shoppers and those looking to relax with a cup of coffee. It looks like any large mall found all over America with over 80 stores and a movie theater, and it's exactly the type of tactic terrorists look for -- striking fear in people and making them feel they cannot do everyday things like go out with their family on a weekend.
It has been reported that one of the terrorists is a white woman, and it was suggested it could be infamous Al-Shabaab-affiliated "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite. A CNN terrorist analyst feels that would be unlikely. "Typically these groups are misogynist. Their view is the woman should be in a home and shrouded in a body veil," Peter Bergen said. But officials aren't ruling anything out.
The group responsible has sent out tweets, one reading: "The Mujahideen are still strong inside #Westgate Mall and still holding their ground."
Kenyan officials have also brought in Israeli special forces to help. We're keeping a close eye on this story and hoping there aren't any more casualties.
Does this make you fear going to the mall or doing any other kind of every day things?
Image via RT/Youtube