Kenya had mall-attack warning
By Candice M. Giove and Post Wires
September 29, 2013 | 1:48am
The Kenyan government came under fire Saturday amid accusations that officials ignored intelligence reports before the Nairobi mall bloodbath last week.
A Sept. 13 report leaked to the country’s newspapers reveals both Kenyan and Israeli intelligence officials warned
of a possible terror attack on the Westgate Mall.
The report had been sent to the country’s army chief and foreign and defense ministers, said senior security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“There is no way one can say there was no intelligence on this attack because those reports started trickling in from late last year. And they were specific with targets including Westgate,” one top security official said.
The document indicated terrorists were planning to take over a building and “probably hold hostages.”
Beginning Sept. 21, al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al Shabaab stormed the mall and slaughtered 67 people. Scores of people are still reported missing.
The shopping center, which has long been considered a target, is frequented by expatriates and wealthy Kenyans.
“Briefs were made to them of increasing threat of terrorism and of plans to launch simultaneous attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa at around Sept. 13 and 20, 2013,” according to the leaked report.
The Israeli Embassy also warned Kenyan officials of a possible raid between Sept. 8 and 28.
Meanwhile, the State Department reissued a travel advisory for the country in wake of the deadly attack. Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the move, calling it “unnecessary” and urging Washington to withdraw it.