Sunday 22 September 2013

Terrorism returns to Kenya

The latest, sickening atrocity by Islamic terrorists looks as if it's comparable to the depraved attacks in Mumbai in 2008. 

A hostage situation is still going on, following the targeted murder of dozens of innocent people in a busy shopping centre in Nairobi - the victims (including children and elderly people) selected simply for being non-Muslim.

The confusion in some of the reporting as events unfolded yesterday is entirely understandable. It hardly needs saying that it takes time for journalists to get a handle on a massacre as it's happening, and that fresh details keep emerging. 

One detail emerged just around midnight, if the BBC's online reporting is anything to go by. An update at 23:50 (BST) added that the mall "is at least in part Israeli-owned", thus adding another layer of bigotry to the motivation of the terrorists. 

From the New Year bombing of the Norfolk Hotel in 1980 [by an Arab group 'protesting' against Kenya's allowing Israeli troops to refuel in Nairobi], to the 1998 embassy bombings [by al-Qaeda] and the 2002 attacks in Mombasa [targeting an Israeli-owned hotel and an Israeli-owned plane], Kenya has had more than its fair share of mass, murderous terrorism.

The BBC are, as ever, calling the perpetrators "militants" and avoiding the use of the word "terrorists". So, too, are ITV. That may make some people feel queasy (and angry), but they are going to keep on calling them that no matter how often people like us complain about it. They think they are right to do so. 

Decent people around the world are now holding their breath and hoping against hope that the hostage situation ends much better than it seems likely to end. Hope is all we've got at the moment.

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