Posted by: Bruce | October 6, 2013

Westgate Mall, Nairobi; of monsters and poison.

On 21/9/2013 a terrorist group called al-Shabab, entered the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Their target; westerners and non-Muslims.

The terrorists lobbed grenades and sprayed machine gun fire at anyone they could find. Children, men and women were slaughtered where they stood or hunted down and executed. At least 67 defenceless people lost their lives at the hands of these cowards. What makes these terrorists tick?

I came across a reference to Al-Qaeda, another terrorist organisation, who are apparently frustrated with the inclination to extreme brutality by al-Shabab; a group they support. A strange observation given the history of Al-Qaeda but I hope the observation is true. Perhaps there is a tiny glimmer of light in the terrorism tunnel.

Elliott Prior - 'You're a very bad man' It’s reported that a 4yr old British boy told one of the terrorists in Westgate Shopping Mall, that he was a ‘very bad man’. The terrorist responded with ‘please forgive me, we are not monsters’.

Well, through the eyes of most people, from any country or religion, you are monsters. In kids stories, monsters cause terror. In real life, at Westgate and other targets, you cause death and terror.

From a different perspective however, and the reason I wrote this post, if the report of this exchange between the terrorist and child is accurate and, this terrorist believes his own words, then perhaps this is another glimmer of light in the darkness of terrorism. He may actually be questioning what he is doing. It relates also, to the next part of my post; the poison that recruits and turns kids into killers.

A person called Makaburi (alias – nickname for graveyard) whose real name is Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, is described as a radical cleric who recruits young Muslims and preaches murder. He is but one of the poisoners in this trail but is currently in hiding being sought by police over his links to the terrorist action at Westgate Mall.

Makaburi - only poisonThis Makaburi, he is also called a Sheikh. I can’t make sense out of this. Calling him a Sheikh and Cleric doesn’t sound logical to me. A Sheikh is at least meant to be an elder; someone with wisdom. A Cleric to me, is a person of religion, of peace.

Why can’t Makaburi, a Sheikh and Cleric, a representative of wisdom and religion, come up with something constructive? Is terrorism and murder the best he can do?

Makaburi says he’d give his life to kill U.S. Pres. Obama. No, I bet he would not.

Makaburi is a manipulator with his own terrorist agenda and poisons the young, very young and vulnerable, to do his bidding. He is a puppeteer pulling the strings.

He, like others of his ilk, carefully choose a part of his religion that suits his needs and provides justification of his actions. It’s reported he has a young son in an Islamic boarding school; will he be recruited along with some orphaned students and join those on the path to terrorism? At what age do some of these kids graduate as killers and how many do so of their own free will?

The following link from is to an article on Makaburi and recruitment. If only half of what happens to some of these ‘recruits’ is true then it is still scary and gruesome, another dimension of this madness. Beheading runaway recruits to ‘encourage’ loyalty is almost beyond belief. It also provides some insight and connection to the terrorist of Westgate who said ‘please forgive me, we are not monsters’.

Words for today;       Psychological manipulation

To change the perception or behaviour of others through underhanded, deceptive or abusive tactics.

More to come;   same blog time, same blog channel


  1. Your post asks the essential question about all of these terrorists and their actions: What are they hoping to accomplish, and why can’t they see that it never works? The only possible answer is that they simply want to kill innocent people and terrify the survivors, and that’s enough of a worthwhile goal for them. If so, the rest of us will never understand.


    • Hi Charles, thanks for taking the time out to comment. and indirectly, assess my post. I think I’ll do a little editing because my prompt to write it came from the ‘not monsters’ comment.
      Agreed that we will never understand, but I was hoping to draw attention to kids drawn in and/or used as cannon fodder either voluntarily or by force.
      The article by BBC mentions some grisly details about ‘enforcing loyalty’ among young recruits.


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