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Did Kenyan soldiers have their way at Westgate?

NAIROBI — Two opposing narratives – a difficult job in difficult circumstances vs. appalling ineptitude and callous avarice – exist at either end of a spectrum of uncertainty that has filled the information void surrounding events at Westgate.

Who is Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane?

NAIROBI, Kenya — With the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Somalia’s Al Qaeda-aligned Al Shabaab militants have elevated themselves from dangerous national insurgency to transnational terrorist threat. The driving force behind the change is Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane, aka Abu Zubeyr, who this year has led an internal purge and assumed total control of the organization.

Militants 'rented' shop in Nairobi's Westgate Mall

Senior security sources told BBC News that as renters in the mall, the militants had access to service elevators that enabled them to stockpile weapons and ammunition, allowing them to re-arm quickly during the attack.

The 'known unknowns' of the Nairobi terrorist attack

NAIROBI — Days after the end of the Westgate Mall siege, many people are wondering what exactly happened. But there are very few answers. How many attackers were there? What happened to them? How did the siege end?  

What's next for terror-struck Kenya? 3 Questions with GlobalPost's senior correspondent in Nairobi

NAIROBI — On Sept. 21, gunmen reportedly linked to the Al Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia launched what would be a days-long assault on an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Kenyan authorities announced the operation's end Tuesday night. But what's next for this East African nation in the wake of such an assault? GlobalPost's Senior Correspondent in Nairobi Tristan McConnell was on the scene throughout the crisis and, in this brief interview, he helps us make sense of the senseless.

Westgate fallout: Kenya's 'island of peace' disrupted

Analysis: The Westgate Mall attack is a reminder that interventions, such as Kenya's invasion of Somalia, carry risk, particularly when they're perceived to be doing the West’s bidding.
Kenya mall shooting3Enlarge
A policeman carry's a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. (SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenya's late internal security minister, George Saitoti, once said, “Kenya has been and remains an island of peace, and we shall not allow criminals from Somalia, which has been fighting for over two decades, to destabilize our peace.” After the Westgate Mall attack, that island seems painfully far off.

Westgate terror: Britain's 'white widow' may have played role in assault

JOHANNESBURG — As Kenyan forces work to secure a Nairobi shopping mall after a four-day siege, speculation is growing as to the identities of the assailants — and whether a mysterious British woman might be among them. Samantha Lewthwaite, 29, the widow of one of the men who carried out the suicide attacks on London’s transit system in 2005, was already wanted by Kenyan police for her alleged role in a terror plot.

Scenes of terror: Nairobi attack survivors hid for hours, waiting to die

NAIROBI — A survivor of the militant assault on Nairobi’s Westgate mall says Kenyan police inside the complex abandoned civilians after gunmen first launched the attack Saturday.

Westgate attack: Al Qaeda-style militants draw Kenyan recruits

NAIROBI, Kenya — An unknown number of people are still being held hostage inside an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi, more than 48 hours after Islamist militants armed with guns and grenades, launched an assault on the complex Saturday. Al Shabaab, or The Youth in Arabic, is known to have recruited foreign fighters from places like Afghanistan, Chechnya, Europe and the US. But the majority of the group’s foreign recruits come from Kenya. 
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