1 May 2014

Kenya: Westgate Mall Siege One of Biggest Terror Attacks

Nairobi — THE terror attack at the Westgate Mall, which killed 67 people last September, features prominently in the United States' Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

The United States cited the link between Al Shabaab and the Islamic militant al-Qa'ida (AQ) sect.

"The AQ core's vastly reduced influence became far more evident in 2013.

AQ leader Zawahiri was rebuffed in his attempts to mediate a dispute among AQ affiliates operating in Syria, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant publicly dissociating their group from al-Qa'ida.

"AQ affiliates routinely disobeyed Zawahiri's 2013 tactical guidance to avoid collateral damage, seen in increasingly violent attacks against civilian religious pilgrims in Iraq, hospital staff and convalescing patients in Yemen, and families at a shopping mall in Kenya, for example," stated Tina Kaidanow, United States Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland conducted the Statistical Annex to Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

The Statistical Annex data set includes violent acts carried out by non-state actors that meet all of START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD) inclusion criteria and Coordinator for Counterterrorism.


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