Why Would Somali Militants Attack a Kenyan Shopping Mall?

The U.S. government and the establishment media are in a quandary. How are they to explain the heinous attack on a Kenyan shopping mall by Al Shabab a militant Somali group with links to al-Qaida which left 59 innocent civilians dead and another 175 injured, with the victims ranging in age from  2 to 79 years old? After all, since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, U.S politicians of all stripes have repeatedly hammered home the message that “fundamentalist” Islamists hate us and want to kill us simply because we are free and prosperous. But Kenya is neither. According to the  Index of Freedom in the World that attempts to measure economic, civil, and political liberties, Kenya ranks 91 out of the 123 countries included in the index. As for prosperity, based on the CIA World Factbook 2012, Kenya’s per capita GDP was estimated to be $1,700 per year which ranks 192 out of 225 countries.

Could it be that Al Shabab was telling the truth about the reason for its murderous assault yesterday when it tweeted: “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now its time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.” After all 4,000 Kenyans troops invaded and have been occupying part of Somalia since 2011. But then this raises the uncomfortable possibility that terrorist attacks by militant Muslim groups on the U.S and its interests throughout the world were not motivated by envy and hatred of our freedoms and high standard of living. Maybe, just maybe, Ron Paul was right and they were provoked by incessant U.S. meddling in the Middle East since World War 2 through numerous wars and economic embargoes including on food and medicine and the billions of dollars sent to payoff and prop up tyrannical and oppressive regimes that do U.S bidding, e.g., the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt.


  1. Prashanth, I believe that your post has it figured out. The real goal of Islam is not peaceful co-existence, but slit throats of all who do not believe. Will you give up American secular society for one that expects either dhimmitude or death? This seems to be the methodology being employed. WSDIII

  2. It’s not all about interventionist blowback. There’s a lot in the mix — anger at the U.S. for colluding with Arab leaders who lock up Islamists, Islamic fanaticism, irredentism, cultural stultification, poverty, etc. When Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual godfather of jihadis, visited the U.S., he was mortified at the loose morals he saw at a church social. He was a fanatic, and he did in fact hate the U.S. in part for its freedoms. The weirdest part of “blowback” to me has always been the way, intentionally or not, it’s willing to crown an ideology like that as a legit populist expression of Arab grievance, especially at a moment when Egyptians are busy putting the boots to the Islamists in their own midst. Revenge for U.S. intervention may have been part of 9/11, as well as other attacks, but part of it was also striking a blow at the world’s hyperpower, which spreads its filthy church-social morals among the ummah, to show the locals that the mujahedeen were capable of great things. That’s in AQ’s mix too — winning over Muslims to the cause of reclaiming Islamic lands from the west and Arab secularists for a new caliphate. Under “blowback,” though, the magic bullet is U.S. interventionism. Its not all about U.S. Interventionism though. In fact there are many answers to the question, “why do they hate us and why do they attack us.” Pinning it all on U.S. Interventionism is lazy quite frankly, IMO and ignorant of the fact that the jihadist mindset has been in attack mode for thousands of years.

    • If Qutb hated America for its freedoms, even only in part, he would be the first person I’ve ever heard of who hated America for that reason. Can you document it? As far as I can tell, the concept of hating America for its freedoms was invented by American statists as a defense for their interventionist policies.

      How could the jihadist mindset have been in attack mode for thousands of years. Islam hasn’t been around that long. And, we will never know whether or not interventionism is exclusively the reason for terrorist attacks against American targets until America stops intervening. For now, I think the best indication that interventionism may be the exclusive cause is the fact that Iceland, Ireland and similar non-interventionist nations have not met with jihadist attacks.

  3. Well, this tells a different story:

    “An Indian man was shot when he failed to answer a question on Islam asked by Somalian terrorists who were holding hostages after killing 68 people at an upmarket mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

    The heavily armed gunmen belonging to al Qaida-linked Somali militant group al Shabab, reports said, were trying to weed out non-Muslims for execution by interrogating people on their faith or asking them to recite the ‘Shahada’.”


    • But that isn’t why they did it, otherwise why bother to specifically choose a Kenyan mall if the motive was to merely kill non Muslims ? they could have chosen any country to do that in.

      This attack fits with Robert Pape’s theory about suicide bombings/attacks (which is what this essentially was, you don’t carry out these type of attacks and plan to live to tell the tale) are almost always linked to military occupations.

      So the question then becomes how do you prevent these attacks from occurring ? well, that would mean a change to a non interventionist foreign policy, and that is why the government never tells you the truth about the motives behind these attacks, because they don’t want to change foreign policy, they’re having way too much fun and making way too much money for the military industrial congressional complex to stop now.

      The war on terror is presented as a cure for terrorism, but all we are doing is treating symptoms, the real answer is prevention, stop it at the source, end our military interventionism and stop creating enemies.

      • Yep. You got that right. Of course best cure to address the problem underlying interventionist foreign policies is to have no foreign policies by having no government. Up with Voluntaryism. Down with State violence.

  4. Terrorism is Thug Advertising
    .. ..
    Waheed:  Join Al Qaeda or Islamic Jihad? How to decide?
    Achmed:  Al Qaeda is in the news. They’re happening. Let’s try there.
    .. ..
    03/01/10 – Cato by by Julian Sanchez
    “Terrorism is primarily a symbolic act. Terror groups execute sensational attacks as PR stunts. They don’t love blowing up airplanes; they do it to establish their own credibility versus more locally focused Islamist groups. They compete for recruits with such groups, whether violent or peaceful.”


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