Kenyans horrified by the deadly attack on a shopping mall by Islamic jihadists now face the prospect that the perpetrators likely escaped and may be reorganizing for another attack, according to local reports.
The terrorists, apparently linked to the bloodthirsty al-Shabaab terror organization, ordered Muslims to leave the mall and then started killing those left behind, according to witnesses. There were reports of torture and other atrocities blamed on the Muslim attackers.
Now, according to CitizenNews in Kenya, the attackers possibly knew the mall so well they used an escape tunnel that leads under the parking lot to another establishment about 100 yards away.
According to the CitizenNews investigation, that means the terrorists could be roaming free and planning another attack.
Reports indicate the terrorists had sublet a shop in the mall and from there staged their deadly assault. The jihadists also reportedly controlled lighting in the mall, creating a handicap for authorities who occasionally were left in the dark.
Eight suspects are being questioned, but three others that were questioned already have been released, according to Interior Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku.
According to the Kenyan Post, detectives now are saying the al-Shabaab terrorists likely escaped through the tunnel from Westgate Mall to the nearby Nakummatt Ukay Mall.
“According to impeccable sources from the intelligence community, [authorities] did not kill any Westgate terrorists after all, because there is no sign of any of them in the debris even after combing the rubble for days now,” the report said.
The London Guardian said that intelligence sources had been told of an impending attack on Nairobi the day before the terrorists started their massacre of innocent shoppers.
“We cannot say that this attack comes as a surprise,” Farah Maalim, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, told the newspaper. “The possibility of something like this happening, and of failures in the Kenyan intelligence community, has worried us for years.”
The Guardian noted that the terrorists in al-Shabaab have been weakening in Somalia, their home, but have been strengthening in Kenya.
“Al-Shabaab is getting global support. It does not belong to Somalis any more. They have a strong network, and they are going from China to Chile, from Khartoum to Canada,” said Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisaman, a specialist at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. “They want to Islamise the whole world, they have a global agenda and are getting advice and recruits from everywhere.”
Investigators from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Britain are helping Kenyan authorities in the investigation of the attack.
Reports say al-Shabaab leaders claimed the violence, saying they carried out the attack to punish Kenya for sending troops into Somalia to fight on behalf of Somalia’s citizens and residents.
The nation’s parliament is planning a hearing on the attack.