As details of the horrific Westgate Mall attack come to light, Al Shabab is using twitter to accuse the Kenyan government of increasing the death toll by using chemical weapons.
According to allegations from Al Shabab, Kenya government forces used chemical weapons in their assault on the building, then carried out “a demolition” to cover evidence and buried 137 hostages. Al Shabab also claims that Kenya Forces shot at hostages hiding on the roof of the buildings in an effort to end the situation. The death toll is still unknown but Kenya claims the dead are all accounted for and the total number is 61.
Al-Shabaab, whose name means “The Youth” in Arabic, first began threatening Kenya with a major terror attack in late 2011, after Kenya sent troops into Somalia following a spate of kidnappings of Westerners inside Kenya.The al-Shabaab extremists stormed the mall on Saturday, throwing grenades and firing on civilians.
The group used Twitter to say that Somalis have been suffering at the hands of Kenyan military operations in Kenya, and the mall attack was revenge. “You could have avoided all this and lived your lives with relative safety,” the group Tweeted on Tuesday. “Remove your forces from our country and peace will come.”
The militants specifically targeted non-Muslims, and at least 18 foreigners were among the dead, including six Britons, as well as citizens from France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China. Five Americans were among the wounded.
The mall attack was the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya since the 1998 al-Qaeda truck bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, which killed more than 200 people.
Security officials in Nairobi always knew that Westgate, which was popular with foreign residents of the capital as well as tourists and wealthy Kenyans, was a likely target for terror attacks.