Broadcasting locally on Philadelphia’s 990 AM WNTP this Monday, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed joined conservative radio host Bill Bennett to react to the recent al-Shabaab terrorist attack which claimed the lives of more than 60 people in a Nairobi shopping mall.
Mohamed rejected al-Shabaab’s claim that the attack was meant as retribution for Kenya’s decision to move against the al-Qaeda affiliated group in the Lower Juba region in mid-October of 2011 following its defeat in Mogadishu at the hands of Transitional Federal Government forces and their African Union allies.
“Well you know what they will always find a reason…it has nothing to do with our incursion into Somalia. In fact the reason we went in was because they had committed very many crimes on our territory. They had taken tourists hostage, killed some. They were committing acts of piracy off our shores. And so this was actually an international effort to see whether the al-Shabaab could be stopped once and for all.” she charged.
“So it has nothing to do with that. This is an al-Qaeda operation actually. It’s not even just al-Shabaab; it’s an al-Qaeda operation. The leaders are from al-Qaeda not al-Shabaab. It was too well coordinated to be this rag-tag, you know, small militia group in Somalia. So this was much more coordinated. It was well-organized. We tend to believe that it was in the making for awhile. So really, I mean, it’s convenient for them now to tie it to the fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia.” Mohamed continued.
When queried as to whether she believed al-Shabaab/al-Qaeda was dwindling in influence Mohamed responded, “…I think this was the last kick from a dying horse. I think they feel cornered. We have bitten them in Puntland, kicked their ass totally. They may be operating in other parts of Somalia. We are hoping that with international cooperation and coordination we’ll be able to deal with that as well. Therefore we know for sure that we have dealt them a very heavy blow in Puntland. And we will continue. We are not going to stop.”
“This is...going to make us pause a little. We will bury our dead. We will mourn. We will come together as a nation. We're unified in this fight against al-Shabaab. And in the end we must win it, not just us but together with our partners. As you know the terrorists that are in the north today are from different nationalities. There are Americans there, there are British there. There are others, those that died were from different countries. We have Canadians; we have Kenyans…So basically this is a fight. It’s a global fight against a global enemy.” she added.
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