Terrorism in Kenya
Terrorism Africa News
There is a Swahili proverb that states, “When two bull elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.” So has been the experience of terrorism in Kenya. The East African country has been turf on which terrorists have struck non-Kenyan interests in the past, leaving many Kenyans dead and property destroyed.
US Embassy Bombing
The whole world is aware of the bombing of the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies in August 7, 1998 in which hundreds were killed and many more maimed for life. The bombings were attributed to members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). The bombing was believed to be in retaliation for the United States torturing and extraditing four of their members to Albania for trial and imprisonment.
Israeli Hotel Bombing in Mombasa
Another case of terrorism in Kenya was the bombing of the Israeli owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, in November, 2002. A red Land Cruiser slammed through the gates of the hotel, crashed into the lobby and blew up. The target was the Israeli tourists who had just arrived on a charter jet from Israel. Yet, of the thirteen who were killed, ten were Kenyan employees of the Paradise. Nine of which were traditional dancers who were entertaining the newly arrived guests. A Lebanese jihadist group called the army of Palestine claimed credit for the attack.
Nairobi’s Norfolk Hotel Bombing
Way back on New Year’s eve 1980 the PLO was behind the bombing of Kenya’s famed Norfolk Hotel, killing twenty and wounding more than eighty. Some among the dead and many of the wounded were Kenyan employees of the Jewish owned hotel. In claiming responsibility the terrorists said the attack was in retaliation for Kenya’s allowing Israeli military planes to refuel in Nairobi during their raid to free Israeli hostages at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, four years prior.
In the years since the attacks outlined above, Kenyan security forces have undergone extensive training and have collected massive intelligence, but in a country were Christians, animists and Muslims live side by side in relative peace, they have a difficult job ferreting out possible threats. Now that Kenya is directly involved in fighting al-Qaeda linked, al-Shabaab, in Somalia one can only wonder if the next experience of terrorism in Kenya will be a massive retaliation for that involvement.