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Kenya Cabinet Was 'Warned Of Westgate Style Attack'
 
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28-Sep-2013  
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Kenyan government ministers received warnings of a possible attack before al-Shabab gunmen stormed the Westgate shopping centre, reports say.

Leaked intelligence briefings detailed plans for attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa, according to Kenyan media.

Four cabinet ministers and the head of Kenya's defence forces are said to have been informed.

At least 67 people were killed after al-Shabab stormed the mall on 21 September.

Briefings were given to the ministers "informing them of increasing threat of terrorism and of plans to launch simultaneous attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa around September 13 and 20, 2013", Kenya's Daily Nation quotes counter-terrorism reports as saying.

The warnings were first made in January, according to the newspaper, and again from the beginning of September.
Dossier

A dossier from the National Intelligence Service - amounting to more than 8,000 pages according to Kenya's Standard newspaper - also suggests the Israelis issued warnings that buildings owned by its citizens could be attacked between 4 and 28 September.

Westgate is partly Israeli-owned.

The Daily Nation reports that Kenyan intelligence had established that al-Shabab leaders had begun singling out Westgate and the Holy Family Basilica for attack early this year.

Government figures said to have received the intelligence briefings include Treasury Minister Julius Rotich, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku, Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohammed, Defence Minister Raychelle Omamo and Kenya Defence Forces chief Julius Karangi.

The head of the National Intelligence Service, Michael Gichangi, is due to be questioned by Kenyan Members of Parliament on Monday.

An unnamed senior intelligence official told the AFP news agency that the government had been casual in its approach to the briefings it received.

"There is no way one can say there was no intelligence on this attack because those reports started trickling in from late last year. And they were specific with targets including Westgate."
 
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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