Doubts Raised by NYPD Report of Kenyan Reaction to Mall Attack

A Kenyan policeman walks through the remains of the Nakumatt supermarket in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.
A Kenyan policeman walks through the remains of the Nakumatt supermarket in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

A previously confidential investigative report carried out by the New York Police Department was released to the public on Tuesday regarding the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, in September.

In it, NYPD counterterrorism unit officials assert the brazen day-time assault was carried out by a mere four to five people, not 10 to 15 attackers, as Kenyan authorities have maintained.

The NYPD report, entitled ‘Analysis of Al Shabaab‘s Attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya,’ brings into question not just the number of attackers the Kenyans estimated were involved, but several other aspects of the Kenyan narrative, too. The department sent members of its counterterror unit to Kenya in September to aid in the investigation and to learn from it.

NYPD spokesman John McCarthy told NBC 4 in New York on Sept. 23 in a statement just two days after the Kenya attack that, “We keep track of events across the globe as they unfold and we adjust our counterterrorism efforts accordingly,” following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The department’s counterterrorism bureau was established in 2002 by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The violence in Nairobi, which left at least 67 people dead and another 200 wounded, was compounded by confusion during the Kenyan police and military response. According to the NYPD report, “Poor coordination and lack of effective communication between police and military commanders resulted in the military troops firing on members of the police tactical team, killing one officer and wounding the team commander.”

Further, few of the plainclothes law enforcement first responders displayed any visible law enforcement identification, such as a badge, arm band, ID card or a raid jacket, making identification as “friend or foe” extremely difficult for other armed first responders.”

None of the regular guards who worked at the mall on a daily basis were armed or carried communications devices.

And as for the Kenyan police, the report said, “(a) typical Uniformed Kenyan Police Officer is not well as well equipped as their western counterparts, typically only carrying a long gun, most commonly an AK-47 style rifle with a folding stock, loaded with a single 30 round magazine. They do not carry handguns, wear body armor, gun belts, or have portable radios to communicate.”

But far graver than the identification issues was the fact that armed private citizens and security company personnel who happened to be on scene were also responding, creating an additional layer of confusion for police and military forces, the report said. However, in some instances there were “ad hoc” teams formed between the private citizens and police.

To date, none of the gunmen – radicals aligned with the al Shabaab militant groups from Somalia who are in turn affiliated with al Qaeda – have been positively identified, and it is believed they may have even escaped and could still be alive.

But Kenyan officials have maintained they were probably killed when part of the mall collapsed due to an explosion caused by the Kenyan Defense Forces, but no DNA evidence has been found so far to validate this claim, the NYPD report went on to state.

All they used were a few AK-47 rifles, with a supply of ammunition, along with hand grenades and cell phones to communicate while roaming the mall, searching for victims. To create chaos, they live Tweeted the event from several Twitter handles.

According to the NYPD report, CCTV footage captured the four assailants casually stalking the mall.
The greatest aspect the report the NYPD laid out was that the Westgate attack is a scenario that can be cheaply carried out, and worst yet, repeatedS

Source: MintPress News


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