The Westgate Center is described as a rather posh shopping mall most often frequented by foreigners and well off locals. Images from the site reveals a scene any westerner could find in their own metros. Now courtesy of AQ linked Islamist terrorists,Al Shabab, live images of the center may serve as a scene of things to come.
Kenya has in many people’s eyes surpassed South Africa as the better global partner via its domestic and international policies. One such policy where it clearly has passed the RSA is attempting to play a constructive and very active role in regional conflicts. One such case is its involvement in Somalia which has been claimed as the reason for this terror strike.
The attackers who clearly acted in a manner consistent with a well planned operation also drove home a double-sided wedge. Eyewitnesses are quite clear so far in reporting that the militants separated the public into Muslim and non-Muslim groups. Muslims got to run away and everyone else was fair game. Official reports speak of 39+ killed with the injured numbering 150. As of this posting it appears the attackers are either hiding or dead inside the shopping mall with security forces and military blanketing the place. The other side of this wedge is that Kenya is very likely not to take kindly to this attack on their soil. Even though the target appears to be above many Kenyans economic realm it isn’t the kind of thing advancing societies take well. I imagine it could cause a very reflexive retraction but I doubt it.
As for this being a scene of things to come. I would say this marks a return to a purer terrorist attack scenario. This is not open warfare in a well-defined war zone,even a recovering one such as Afghanistan and Iraq which have seen recent renewals of violence. No Africa is a prize that we have all known the Islamists have desired. Mali and Yemen are examples of this and of how the responses trend.
Will this mean future purer terror assaults coming to western metro’s? I don’t want to make that call but I think there are many places that could indeed see the potential tip to reality.