Al-Shabab Defends Nairobi Attack

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In short
Al-Shabab, the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist rebel group, has explained its intentions for attacking Kenya, as the siege at Westgate Mall in Nairobi entered day three.

 Al-Shabab, the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist rebel group, has explained its intentions for attacking Kenya, as the siege at Westgate Mall in Nairobi entered day three.
 
The terrorist organization had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Saturday that has so far claimed 69 lives and left 175 nursing injuries.
 
Sheikh Abulaziz Abu Muscab, the Al-Shabab spokesman for military operations, spoke to Qatari-based TV channel, Al Jazeera in an interview explaining why the group attacked Nairobi now. He also provided insight into al-Shabab's relations with the Mombasa Youth Centre, a group the Kenyan government designated as a terrorist organisation.
 
Sheikh Abulaziz said they did not attack Kenya immediately after the country deployed in Somalia because Nairobi was expecting the attack. He said the best time is to attack when they are least expected. In 2011, Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi to fight al Shabab in Somalia. The Kenya Defence Forces troops, part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), now control southern parts of the war-torn country including the strategic port of Kismayo.
 
Sheikh Abulaziz says they chose Westgate shopping mall, a place where tourists from across the world come to shop, where diplomats gather and Kenya's decision-makers go to relax and enjoy themselves. He says Westgate is a place where there are Jewish and American shops.
 
Asked about civilian deaths, the militant leader said Kenya should first be asked why they bombed innocent Somali civilians in refugee camps in Gedo and Jubba regions.
 
Abulaziz however claims that not all the casualties in Nairobi were killed by his fighters. He says there was an exchange of gunfire and that there is no evidence it was al shabab bullets that killed civilians.
 
He says the decision for Kenya to withdraw its troops from Somalia remains in its hands, but that similar attacks will be carried out should Nairobi choose to remain in Somalia.
 
Abulaziz also attacked President Uhuru Kenyatta, branding him “the worst criminal who is talking about tens of people killed at Westgate while he's responsible for the deaths of thousands of people when he was running for the presidency.