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Westgate attackers wanted to exploit 'power vacuum'

24 September 2013, 16:30 Leopold Obi

Kenyan leaders believe that Al-Shabaab terrorists, who claimed the Westgate shopping mall siege, wanted to use the presumed leadership vacuum in the country to their advantage.

The attack carried out last Saturday was done at the height of anticipation that both the President and his Deputy would be out of the country. Deputy President William Ruto was already at the The Hague for his trial while President Uhuru Kenyatta was scheduled to attend the 68th UN summit in New York, USA.

“These despicable terror gangs believed they could attack the country while both of us were away,” Deputy President William Ruto remarked.

Ruto condemned the attackers saying, “We have thwarted many such attempts; we are going to up our game and we want them to know that we are ready for them.”

He was speaking soon after his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after he was granted one week leave by the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he was defending himself against the cases leveled against him in connection with the 2007/2008 postelection violence.

The terror group’s anticipation however hit a dead end after President Kenyatta snubbed the United Nations general assembly saying that the two principals could not be out of the country at the same time.

Kenyan security force, and military helicopters have now launched a 'final assault' on the city’s first ever 24-hour shopping mall where Al-Shabaab militants are holding about several people hostage.

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