Kenya authorities 'warned' of mall attack

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Kenya authorities 'warned' of mall attack

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As investigations continue into the mall attack in Nairobi, reports have emerged that the Kenyan government was warned of an attack.

Israel sent intelligence reports advising of the high risk to their business interests in the country. The Westgate Centre was part-owned by Israeli businesses.

Kenyan newspaper The Nation alleged that officials were warned of the risk on September 13 and 20. It was on September 21 that gunmen laid siege to the mall, killing at least 67 people. Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is not the only headache for the government. Some say the security forces’ heavy handed approach may have contributed to the car park’s collapse, possibly killing those trapped inside.

Kenya’s Red Cross has had its operations hampered. At a press conference on Friday, the secretary general Abbas Gullet said:

“The operation at Westgate is not complete. So we’ve been told to stand by, to be called as and when the forensic work is done, pathology work is done and completed and when it’s safe and secure even for humanitarian workers and others to go in.”

Many questions remain unanswered in the mall siege. So far eight people have been arrested.

The head of the National Intelligence Service will face a grilling in front of politicians this Monday, to respond to growing public concern over their country’s lack of preparedness for terrorist attacks.