How we survived terror at Nairobi's Westgate mall

What it was like at the Westgate mall, from two of those who survived

28 September 2013


Kenya is one of those places where everybody knows everybody — and each one of us seems to have friends or relatives caught up in the Westgate shopping mall terrorist attack. My friends Simon and Amanda Belcher were on their way to lunch at the mall before catching a film at the cinema. They had parked their car on the top floor and walked past a marquee where a children’s ‘super chef’ cookery competition was about to start when gunfire erupted inside. Simon at first thought ‘firecrackers’. Then they heard shots from the ramp up to the car park. Walking towards them were two slim young men carrying AK-47s with their faces swathed in Arab scarves.

The Belchers ducked down and hid under parked cars, from where they could see what was unfolding. An African nanny and a small Asian boy joined Simon under a Land Rover. Two men were under the next vehicle, where Amanda crawled. Dozens of people, mostly women and children, screamed and ran to a corner, clambering over each other and cowering. The gunmen approached them and — standing feet away from the Belchers — one announced in Somali-accented but good English: ‘Bismillah al rahman al rahim. We have come to kill you Christians and Kenyans because you have been killing our women and children in Somalia. Any Muslims can go.’

‘I’m a Muslim!’ shouted one man with children. They were allowed to leave. Then the gunmen opened fire, using single shots and short bursts, taking their time, executing people one by one.

A man and a woman tried to run past one attacker. Simon recalls, ‘He shot them. Bam! Bam! They went down. That AK has a horrific noise. You hear the thud of bullets into flesh.’ They lobbed a grenade at the cowering crowd and there were more screams. Simon was spattered with shrapnel and a piece of it is still lodged in his liver. The crowd was now a pile of bodies and whimpering children. Amanda slaps her shoulder to conjure the sound of more bullets hitting home.


Claim your gift

All this time the terrorists were standing so close to the Belchers that Amanda could hear them breathing between volleys. The one closest to Simon wore brown cowboy boots and jeans. Suddenly he crouched down and Simon found himself looking into the man’s eyes. ‘They weren’t crazed eyes. There was nothing in them. Cold. I thought, “Are you my killer? Are you my death?” The terrorist stood up again, then lay back down on his back, rolled over and shot me. I let out this groan. I could immediately feel the blood flowing. I twitched and pretended to be dead so he wouldn’t think I needed another shot. The only time I felt scared was when I looked into that guy’s eyes. After that I felt, what will be will be.’

The bullet hit Simon in the abdomen, went clean through his body and then into his right arm and came out in a messy exit wound.

After their shooting spree, the terrorists sauntered off inside the mall to look for more people to kill. This was evidently their floor. Blood puddled around Simon, soaking the nanny and the little boy, who remained silent. Another boy lay near Amanda with a bullet in his leg and next to him was a woman with her arm half blown off. They could hear the wounded groaning, children crying, a phone kept ringing, dogs were barking nearby — and there was the background whoosh of air-conditioning vents which brought screams up from the floors below. With his ear to the concrete, Simon could hear gunshots and muffled explosions. ‘We thought there was a firefight between the good guys and the bad guys. But there were no sirens. No helicopters. And we realised there were no good guys. Just bad guys.’

After 30 minutes the two gunmen walked back out into the car park and there was another big explosion — probably a gas cylinder from the cooking competition. Survivors wailed and shouted. Amanda thought, ‘I wonder if being shot is as painful as childbirth.’ She thought of their children, Sebastian and Phoebe, who are at school in South Africa. She prayed that either she or her husband would survive for the children’s sake. The Belchers are not religious but they both prayed, hard. Simon says, ‘I looked over at Amanda and mouthed the words “I love you.” I thought the last thing I say better be good.’ Amanda thought about Anne Frank in hiding. She thought about Syria — ‘about what people have to go through’.

The two gunmen walked in and out of the building three or four times, hunting for people to kill. ‘We realised this was not going away. They were very well prepared and knew exactly what they were doing. And we thought nobody was going to come and get us.’ Amanda had put her mobile on silent but from the beginning had been texting Tom, a mutual friend. ‘Help we’re hostages at Westgate — Si shot… we need security many shot the men are still here… more shooting just heard grenade too scared to talk…’ The texting went on for an hour and 20 minutes, during which no police arrived. Tom called an ambulance, asked where Simon was hit and what was going on — but it was not until after two o’clock that an Asian Kenyan with a pistol appeared and the Belchers heard him say, ‘It’s OK — run now.’

Simon rolled out from under the Land Rover but could not stand. ‘Leave him,’ said the security man. ‘No,’ said Amanda, who for the first time was able to try to help her husband with a cloth for a tourniquet on his arm. An African man in plain clothes now appeared with an AK-47, looking nervous. ‘Are you with us?’ asked the Asian man. ‘Yes,’ said the African. A photojournalist in a helmet and flak jacket strode up and took pictures of the woman near Amanda who had her arm half shot off. The journalist did not help the woman, and when he saw the Belchers he turned round to snap photos of them. Amanda shouted ‘Fuck off!’ — and he did.


A group of survivors now ran down the ramp with the two security men, but suddenly there were more explosions and gunfire. Amanda and Simon, caught in the open, lay next to each other and pretended to be dead. After some more minutes, helicopters appeared overhead and three Red Cross ambulances zoomed up the ramp. Amanda waved. Simon, who was shivering and going into shock, was stretchered into the back of one vehicle, where he was put next to another man called Boniface with a severe leg wound. The ambulance driver then took off down the ramp ‘like Niki Lauda. But he had to keep reversing and going forwards, I think to avoid bodies.’ At the Aga Khan Hospital A&E, Simon was taken into triage. Scores of other injured survivors were coming in, one of them a boy of nine saying ‘I lost my mummy, I lost my mummy, I lost my mummy.’ This boy also lost his 14-year-old sister.


Today Simon has a tube coming out of his abdomen draining bloody fluid into a flask. His bandaged right arm is stiff and he is unable to move his fingers much, but the terrorist’s bullet did not break bones or sever arteries or veins. Amanda sits close to him, feeding him fruit. On the phone to their children in South Africa, their boy Sebastian, 18, said, ‘Mama — if you’ve still got the bullet can you please keep it.’ There is no AK round, of course, because it fragmented as it tore four holes through Simon’s body. Their daughter Phoebe asked Amanda to send a photo of her father — but the parents agreed for now that this was not a good idea.

Both Simon and Amanda stress to me repeatedly that they are proud to be Kenyans. Their origins are British, but Simon’s family arrived here in 1908. ‘Everybody has been so good to us. We are Kenyans, whether we’re Hindus, Christians or Muslims. And we are not blaming Muslims.’ After what they’ve been through, I find it interesting that Simon bears no grudges. Together they run a successful safari company, Royal African Safaris, and they hope to be back at work ahead of the Christmas season. ‘Tourism will take a hit of course — but it will be back.’

The Belchers are putting on a brave face but they are still fragile. What they saw was horrific. They realise that the terrorist attack at the Westgate was not the first and it will probably not be the last outrage of its kind in Kenya. ‘You can’t live in a state of heightened anxiety all the time. You go about your business.’

Aidan Hartley is The Spectator’s ‘Wild life’ columnist, and the author of The Zanzibar Chest.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • george

    There are many morals to this horror, most of which don’t need stating to the person that has three brain cells at least.

    But I do know that, though it is no guarantee, I shall never venture beyond The West. It just isn’t worth it. I have a very nice life where I live. I do not need to be the next booty of savages.

    Allison Pearson, in the Daily Telegraph:

    We have grown squeamish about using the word evil. We feel it’s a little black and white, a bit too judgmental for modern tastes; but what other description will do for the slaughter of Australian architect Ross Langdon and his partner, Elif Yavuz, a vaccine researcher? The couple was shopping for clothes for their first baby, who was due in a fortnight. The two humanitarians died with their arms around each other and the child they would never meet.

    • Jasmine wilson

      What a strange thing to say. The biggest in numbers terms attack ever is the twin towers. The West. I’ve lost count of how many shootings have happened in USA this year…. in the West. More people should be travelling, building empathy, assisting in countries where we in the west have ravaged and then walked away. The West is no safer that is a false security you’ve built for yourself there.

      • george

        I disagree. I am much safer here in Florida than I would be looking at the gorillas (and guerillas?) in Rwanda and Uganda, or taking my chances anywhere in the Arabian subcontinent, or being a conspicuous Western tourist (there’s no real way to be any other kind) in Asia. Similarly, Egypt has been out of the question for ever, in my adulthood. I lived in Qatar for a year as a child. Will never go back.

        And I think you’ll find that any ‘ravagement’ was done more by local tyrants and deluded Leftists than by any culturally loyal Westerner.

        • Jasmine wilson

          Interesting. how many mass shootings have there been in Dubai this year? Zero. How many terrorist attacks in Singapore? Zero. Singapore is so safe you can leave your bag in a restaurant and come back an hour later and no one will touch it. America is suffering from collective ignorance by judging entire countries and their “safety” profiles without leaving the comfort of their local Starbucks where you can take a GUN. It’s insanity. I mean Japan? SAFE! Dubai? SAFE! By the way I’ve been to 88 countries and only been in fear for my safety once when we were car jacked. In USA. But that’s one incident. I don’t judge entire country based on that. Qatar is dull as hell but it is certainly not unsafe. Sad.

          • Karembo

            Could not have said it better. Americans / Westerners and their false sense of security.

          • Jasmine wilson

            I lived in Kenya for a year and never once felt unsafe but more importantly I loved the Kenyan people. Not sure if you are but if so we are all thinking of you

          • george

            So let’s get this straight. When we live our lives within our borders, we have a ‘false sense of security’. But when we don’t have a sense of security and have been attacked many times over (9/11 being only the worst of many years of worldwide anti-American attacks, to say nothing of Benghazi), then we are… what? I think that you and others like you blame us, whatever we do.

          • george

            Typical Leftist.

          • Jasmine wilson

            Yes because that is an eloquent answer to anything you don’t agree with. Idiot.

          • george

            To the contrary: I’m very bright, very courteous, have a sound political education and pay attention to the news.

            I don’t waste time offering yet more evidence to commenters that have no use for evidence, as is made clear by their comments. If the first lot of evidence made no headway with you, why would mine?

            Also, I don’t have time for people that see only evil in America and who criticize the West while giving the rest of the world a free pass and seeing — or having nothing to say — about the evil there at all.

          • Jasmine wilson

            You don’t care for anyone who criticises USA? Well that’s your MO as a country. For the record I think I think it’s an amazing country full of wonderful people. But the lack of introspection, lack of willingness to reform what is embarrassingly out of date is just v sad.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Talking of MO, same old, same old. Used to be the lone, deranged gunman with a magic bullet. You think Israel/US would come up with something more original. But hey, if the gullible Muppets buy it, why change? Infiltrate a group of head-banger radical fanatics. Provide support and logistics thus to make their attack more deadly. Psyche up the mug-punters for the pending attack on Iran via Syria or Somalia.
            “Don`t believe anything until it`s been officially denied”

          • AbdulCrunch

            So true, that many Americans are not introspective, because of a “customer is always right” credo. However, those who do
            have a spiritual bent, range from meditative types to charity-conscious secular & religious groups that meet the needs of U.S. citizens, and especially, children in the U.S. and abroad.
            Our Internal Revenue Service has now become selective on what political & religious groups it will tax exempt, to the point it is punitive, and conspiratorial to conservative groups versus very rewarding to those that support the current government.

          • george

            Might be clearer if you said: ‘conspiratorial AGAINST conservative groups’, i.e. those that want 1) lower taxes, lower government debt, and a stronger economy; 2) less government interference in their daily lives, also known as liberty; 3) a genuine national defence.

          • AbdulCrunch

            Thanks, George. That does clarify things.

          • mrfartwell .

            Dubai is safe unless you are one of the essentially-slaves who builds or cares for the palaces of the elite. If you are from Bangladesh, the Phillipines, etc., then watch your step!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Philippines, one “p” two “l`s”.

          • mrfartwell .

            I count three “p”s in your spelling. I’m sure the families of the dead appreciate your spell-checks.

          • Toby Esterházy

            “Jackthesmilingblack” is one stupid Japanese Lefty pedant and troll from the Daily Fail who likes to pick on others’ spellings (and tenses) without adding much substance to any debate.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You try and help the less fortunate and get insults and abuse for your pains from those with “I`m never wrong” as their middle name.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Never had a problem in Japan, but then I`ve only lived here for 30 years.
            Jack, Japan Alps

          • Daniel Maris

            It’s fine as long as you don’t mind the Sarin gas attacks on the tube and the weirdo predators who bury young women in sand.

          • george

            Good: I hope they keep you.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Still buying into the Authorised version?

        • AbdulCrunch

          I like the Greek Bible manuscripts that are 1,800 to 1,900 years old myself. Translated the Book of John, because it was required by the professor, and I like it , too!! Any English Bible translated worth its salt has the Greek and Hebrew words to compare with English for authenticity, and modern vernacular. I tried to find Homer or Socrates that’s close to 2,000 years old, but it can’t be found. Those Greek translations are more like a few hundred years old, and others close to 1,000 years. They have found Canaanite inscriptions used by Hebrews that are close to 4,000 years old, based on Phoenician script. If the Bible had not mentioned the Hittites, they would’ve been a mystery in the 1800’s, when an archaeologist found ruins in present day Turkey. The Book of Job called the Earth a circle, or sphere, in modern English, never a “flat earth”. St. Thomas Aquinas recorded that astronomers, and mathematicians calculated that the earth is a round sphere, during the Middle Ages. The Authorized Version is a translation that has given us many expressions in English, that many have forgotten where they came from. We learned to translate the word “baptizo” according to the clothing trade, which meant to immerse the fabric until it is dyed completely, and that is an allusion to the Flood of Noah, burial in the ground
          to cover the dead body, and washing away one’s sins. We also clarified John 3:16–For God so loved the world, that He gave His one-of-kind, unique, Son. that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal Life.

      • Curnonsky

        You can’t be serious – the bloodthirsty thugs gunning down the defenseless in Kenya were driven to it by a lack of Western empathy? Funny, but that’s not how they put it at the time according to eyewitnesses.

        This is the sort of sanctimonious, left-wing tripe that has paralyzed the West for so long, and its only result is more attacks. Is it not possible that the rest of the world is not motivated solely by the obsessions of the Euro-left? Is it just conceivable that they don’t actually want your empathy – they want your head?

        • Jasmine wilson

          No that’s not what I said read it again sweetheart. They are evil and its unforgivable but just raining down bombs on another country ain’t working is it? It’s becoming eye for an eye and we are all going blind.

          • Jasmine wilson

            Too many Americans sit in cuckoo land quoting the bible at anyone who will listen and saying solution is just bomb everything. Well guess what? That’s not working is it? I’m no left wing liberal but I do know when two failed wars have left you looking utterly stupid and killed thousands we have lost moral ground. But make no mistake what has happened in Kenya is unforgivable

          • Curnonsky

            So the problem is Americans who quote the Bible (“turn the other cheek”)? Yes, for the Left Americans are the root of all evil, aren’t they? Remember that when you are pinned down under a car by al Shabaab (and don’t forget to empathize!).

          • Jasmine wilson

            Turn the other cheek?? Jesus isn’t it more eye for an eye y’all now let’s go shoot some school kids its ok its in our constitution y’all…. Peace out it’s like talking to a brick wall

          • Curnonsky

            Just sad.

          • AbdulCrunch

            I see your brick wall, Sister, and match you with full house.
            The shooters in the U.S. news by and large are leftist, and criminals will not register their guns. The shooters also go to “gun free” zones, such as theaters, malls, schools, and oh, navy yards. The media has consciously ignored many instances where the concealed carry licensed had stopped murderers. The most gun-controlled cities like Chicago, New York, and many others, have more criminals with guns than the police. Across the world, as in the U.S., there is a cultural gag order that censors a pattern that the Liberals ignore anyway, except to yell “racist”. In Iraq & Afghanistan, the rules of engagement allow nationals in those countries to be hired as military contractors without proper vetting, and then they turn their guns on Europeans & Americans, who are not permitted to protect themselves unless they are shot at, and survive. 73% of military deaths in those “friendly” attacks have happened in the last 5 out of 10 years. Jesus did say that “one who lives by the sword, will die by the sword”. However, at one point, during their initial evangelizing, he mentioned carrying a sword in order to protect the group from robbers. That is wisdom, and is not hypocritical. In Syria, foreign “freedom fighters” are taking priests, charity health workers, bishops, and Syrian Christians to either shoot, rape, dismember, or behead.
            Thirty years ago, I joked with Arab & Iranian friends that there are good old boys & rednecks in every culture, but you had better hope the good old boy is your friend.

          • AbdulCrunch

            Industrial emperors have greased the palms of wartime U.S. Presidents up to present day, perhaps since World War I. We Americans tend to forgot some of those, when they shower the citizens with benefits that make them have amnesia. Our hush money is Social Security, work programs, medicare, food
            stamps, school & home debt forgiveness. Forgot bankruptcy! The U.S. has small business loans for qualified immigrants, and financial aid mentioned above to political refugees. Yes, I would say that the U.S. would qualify as cuckoo for more than what you would say is Bible-based, but actually profit-based. Ask the profoundly rich, and they have helped Soviet Russia, Communist China, and yes, Europe, Africa, & the Americas, when it comes to bombs, guns, plane, ships, and soldiers.

          • AbdulCrunch

            I like your eye for an eye–going blind statement, which is very indicative of human nature at its core, and in its many flavors. The Crusades were push-back for Christian pilgrims being robbed, raped & killed on their way to the Holy Land, which is the same as Islam anywhere siding with one of their own that is being attacked. I get that identity thing each group uses to justify attacking each other. A Nestorian Christian advised Genghis Khan on how to conquer fellow Muslim lands. Khazar
            Turks decided to become Jews based on asking Muslims and
            Christians on who to become…it was a pretty smart story. It was Mohammed’s wives that became furious when he chose a
            Coptic Christian slave girl as a favorite. Can’t make this up!!

        • george

          Note also the complete lack of interest in what the article is about — the lack of expression of any concern or sympathy for the victims of barbarity. I really do wonder who is coming on these blogs, at times. They can give themselves a name, but the other day a friend of mine completely outed a supposed Westerner as a jihadist (on the evidence of his own exchange with a fellow antagonist).

      • AndrewMelville

        “Ravaged”. Are you insane? The word you mean is civilized. As we can see, in many of these foreign dumps, the lesson did not stick.

        • monty61

          A few missionaries may have gone to ‘these places’ (I assume in this case you mean Africa) with humanitarian considerations but most westerners went to make their fortune, principally by exploiting these societies and their countries’ national resources (often with a gunboat at their backs) much to the enrichment of those who put up the capital for the ventures back in Europe and the US. You don’t need to live in a stew of generational guilt to recognise that, but recognise it we should.

          Let’s also regocognise our more recent (post 1945 & ‘independence’) interference, installing and maintaining ‘our’ despots lest the Soviets install theirs. Sickening and unjustifiable as it may be, the some of the blame for the brutalisation of these ‘savages’ (a word I don’t necessarily disagree with) is down to western actions.

          • Colonel Mustard


          • AndrewMelville

            Monty, there is nothing wrong with going to a foreign country to make a fortune. I believe it is called trade and is the foundation of most of the wealth in the world. Without it we would all be subsistence farmers starving on and slaving over our individual half acre plots.

            When the westerner traders (or those from any other part of the globe) arrived in foreign parts they usually found some other elite with whom they dealt. In Africa for example there were native chiefs and very often Arab traders.

            Frequently in the 18th and 19th centuries the backwardness of the native economies and technologies led to western governments getting drawn into the government of those societies. There were some bad apples – such as the Belgians in the Congo – but overwhelmingly the results were good. In the case of the British Empire almost wholly so. The only seriously bad part was too rapid withdrawal which left some fair vile thugs in charge. A quick survey would should that many of the best features of former colonies came from British rule, and that (sadly) civilization and the economy has worsened since it ended.

            Post 1945, I tend to agree with you. The Yanks foreign policy has been appallingly bad since WW2, although we must give due credit for their winning the cold war. The Brits, particularly lately, have been utterly useless wringing our hands, poodling after the Yanks and working with they to erode our real national interests.

            The Chinese must be laughing up their sleeves. They are rewriting the colonization of Africa right now. All the more effectively for their being totally unconcerned with human rights.

          • george

            I agreed with you up till the point where you started blaming Americans.

          • AndrewMelville

            I like the Yanks, but their record since 1945 has been poor apart from the defeat of the USSR. Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, Afghanistan, the second Iraq war, Libya and now Syria all wasted prestige, treasure and military power for no good purpose or worse to weaken America’s strategic position. I quite like the Yanks but they need to shed the idealism and nonsense about American exceptional ism and develop a coherent strategy for national security.

          • george

            We ARE exceptional. And you and I have had this conversation before, so I’ll leave it at that.

    • davidshort10

      Sorry, but you now are coming across as a bit of a loony. A person’s safety is a combination of that person’s location and his or her sense of awareness of danger and capability of planning and dealing with it. I know I’d be in more danger from a mugging in London where they will take everything from you and still stab you to death despite there being 100pc chance of being caught than say a similar encounter in Joburg. For a start, one’s awareness is sky high. I once broke a rule of presence and behaviour in Joburg and almost got into a serious pickle. Luckily I had pepper spray (illegal in the UK) and the presence of mind to get out of the situation by ramming through the guy’s open passenger door. Luckily I also had a Rent-a-Wreck (not available in the UK) so did not give a damn about the damage. Also, a 50 yard sprint helps in Joburg! A situation like Westgate is a once in a lifetime occurrence for a person – I have been there many times and if I had been in Nairobi last Saturday, the chances are high I would have been there. But people have been blown up by the Provisional IRA in London and other British cities.

      • george

        I’ll say again (further to my comments below) that
        1. I said staying in the West was my choice though it was no guarantee of perfect safety. What you do is your own business.
        2. I support Christians who are horribly persecuted elsewhere — OUTSIDE OF THE WEST, not within it — and the story is about them, not about me.

  • Picquet

    I wonder sometimes what Christopher Hitchens would say about this sort of thing nowadays. I’m sure I’d agree with him.

    • AbdulCrunch

      Allow Christopher to speak for himself in his writings, just by his approach.

  • Roy

    Yet still we have the “west” and its leadership perpetually making excuses for these murderous rampages by mindless Muslim extremists as mere flashes of naughtiness.
    Never appreciating the extent of anti-west bloodthirsty fever manufactured and perpetrated in the Muslim world. Not only this; but still allowing swaths of continuing immigrants from these doubtful friendly nations entering Britain. Continuing a welfare subsidy while the intruders turn to setting up safe headquarters, unmolested by British police, or even a tally of undesirables taking refuge. From where these people can arrange training in foreign shores, ready to be despatched for the next bloody rampage to any part of the world.
    It is a disgrace and a treacherous mismanagement of affairs that Britain should be such an important centre point for such terrifying actions.

    • philipp_sebastian

      Wow ! You really don’t get it !! This type of hate, divisive language is exactly what “breeds” terrorists. What do you want to do with millions of Muslims “smoke them out” (Bush) ?? … Only improving lives and taking away the cause for anger will reduce those mad men and potential recruits from poor youth …. BTW, did you notice that the victims (Belchers) have no hateful words for Muslims. That should give you a sign !

      • Roy

        What makes you think Sebastian, that we must have some sort of responsibility for these unhinged mobs of lawless, debauched, evil minded cutthroats? May I suggest that it is you who doesn’t get it !! Poor youth indeed?? There are enough “poor youth” in Britain of native parentage to take any sympathetic feelings without suggesting we adopt poor youth from countries we have no relationship with, or share a common good. The story above says it all. There are no excuses, there is no one to blame but their own kith and kin and that shambles you might call culture. “This type of hate” you say; what would you expect? Is there not hate on the side of the terrorist mobs? Are we just to say, “naughty boys and girls, please behave”. They deserve what they got, and that was too good for them after the death and destruction they wrought.

        • Mags

          Poor Britton i say!!! Many people have been mistreated from all walks of life and do not go on to harm others…. It is the backwards negative teachings from ignorant extremists that create terrorists not other countries not bowing to there every demand!

      • ItinerantView

        “This type of hate, divisive language is exactly what “breeds” terrorists.”
        This is apprently a statement from Shaykh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, the leader of Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen,the group responsible for the terrorist massacre in Kenya.Make your own mind up,from where he draws his inspiration.


    • elderlyfox

      If Kenya hadn’t beem doing Amerika’s dirty work and interfering in Somalia’s private business, (there is oil there)! then this would not have happened.

      • Roy

        A quick shot in the dark there. Perhaps you should enlighten us further. America has plenty of oil of its own, (if that’s the country you speak of) which it has shown an unwillingness to use.

        • elderlyfox

          Look at the BIG picture. Aim is a one world government led by the owners of the most of the world’s central banks, FED, BOE etc., the quadrillionair Rothschilds etc.

          They needed to place puppets or to destroy: Iraq, done, possibly now failed; Afghan, done, possibly failed, (attempt to block Iranian pipelines etc). Libya, done, success. Syria, miserable failure, sheer panick now from US, Brit, Fr. etc. as their proxy terrs. get slaughtered. Next would have been Iran, so as to leave Russia vulnerable. Then take Russia, internal rev. maybe humanitarian bombing Brits are good at that or.whatever, That all to block the final antogonist’s fossil fuels, that being China. Just MHO.

          • Roy

            I’m afraid your big picture is a mirage and a gross misrepresentation. To think there is a world plan by western bank system etc., is completely over the top. This, for one, assumes a far greater organised intelligence centre than what these countries are capable of, or need, or have such a relationship for such an high minded objective. On the other hand of which you do not mention; is the world domination attitude by the Muslim world. If ever an organisation as the Muslim Brotherhood is reminiscent of the Nazis, they are!! Their spread throughout the western world with no intention of taking on any local attitudes or culture, rather the opposite, they would have us taking on theirs, along with Sharia Law running counter to and illegal under English law is being allowed. The subversion of Europe by Wahabbi Muslim Brotherhood was laid out 35 years ago. And that’s just one of the Devils own organisations. Don’t talk to me about these misconstrued actions of the west when such diabolical radicalisms are being perpetrated by Middle Eastern terror squads. Some of us no better.

          • elderlyfox

            Muslim terror? Then please show me the necessary 110 metres high piles of rubble of the 2 WTCs that should have been there after a building collapse, comprised of MILLIONS of tons of twisted steel girders, concrete, office furniture, lifts, computors, sanitaryware , computors and humans. (20% of the original building height, according to the laws of physics), and, the where were the two steel central columns and lift shafts, of 500metres each, that should have remained standing proud, as the floors allegedly ‘pancaked’ down. That rubble should have taken 2-4 years to clear, with ALL the bodies recovered. None were, only traces of bone fragments. Most of ALL THAT blew away as fine dust. What little remained, was carted off in the same night.

            Open Where Did The Towers Go? by Dr Judy Wood uTube and book. and then tell me the secret Govt. or whatever you wish to call them doesn’t have the brains.

          • Roy

            You are evidently a supporter of Muslim terrorists so to me a complete nut case. You are defending the indefensible, the devil and the deepest darkest recesses of the indoctrinated mind, unable to distinguish the truth, and by spreading your obnoxious delusions do no good to man or beast of this world. `

          • elderlyfox

            I am merely pointing out that 911 was IMPOSSINLE to have been carried out by Muslim Terrs. Many so called ‘attacks’ are false flags.
            In any case I do support secular Dr Assad while you, (Brit?US?) are actively training, arming and funding the real Muslim Terrrrrs.

  • fvgfthyyuutu

    what about muslims in the UK how are we going to deal with them, they doubled in the past ten years and our pouring in?

    Sign petition for UKIP to participate in the 2015 TV General
    Election Debates, over 23,000 have already signed. Please blog, tweet, facebook


  • davidshort10

    George, you might never ‘beyond The West’, but nor did the victims of 9/11 or 7/7 or the Provisional IRA or any number of atrocities that have occurred in ‘The West’.

  • Augustus

    Islam is a ‘religion of peace and tolerance’ say the moderates and apologists. But peace on what terms? Peace in the same way that people often try to romanticize cancer; with pink bows and dances to the music of Dire Straits. Naive escapism, which doesn’t make it any less life-threatening. The goal is to dominate all unbelievers into submission. Anyone who doesn’t understand that ideology is simply running round in political circles chasing their own tails.

    • Claire Bleakley

      The goal is to dominate all unbelievers into submission, excuse me???? Which unbelievers? Resource pillaging dressed up as fundamental Christian missionary radicalism is just as dangerous. If my family was locked up in Guantanamo or Abu Grabid, water boarded, struck by sightless drones on my wedding day or just massacred in my bed by an AWOL soldier all for the mission to rid the world of the Teleban (Muslim extremeists). Are we really so blind and not realise the Christians and Zionists are actually running the regligious line in the hope of hiding the real mission, resource control? Some of these blogs really highlight the essence of Capitalist Borgeoisie tolerance.

      • chan chan

        Heh heh. That’s a funny post. More please!

      • Augustus


  • Guest


    • Bernice

      I live in Africa but can tell you that any Christian country worldwide is a target. Forget the black and white issue, this is about religion full stop and hatred of all western nations and beliefs that are not theirs. This has been a very tragic and shocking event, but it will not end with Kenya, sadly. The moral compass of the world has changed and it is time to stop and remember that this could happen anywhere. We are all threatened as Christians. Heartfelt sympathies for the victims of this barbaric attack. The Kenyan Government and military should be applauded.

      • george

        We are all threatened and I second your comments. However (and I know you were not addressing me) I did say that staying in the bounds of the West geographically was not a guarantee. But to go elsewhere is to play a kind of roulette, some places more than others of course. I simply find that, though I have travelled outside of the West (Lebanon — egad!) as an obvious English person, I have no taste or desire to do that now. I wouldn’t enjoy it, always looking over my shoulder or wondering what near escape I’ve just had.

        • Bernice

          My comments were not aimed directly at you George, but I do hear where you are coming from. My husband worked away a year ago in Liberia, and, yes, he has no desire to return there. There are no guarantees in this world, there but for the grace of God go we. We live in the Western Cape which is a far cry from Johannesburg and Pretoria where crime is endemic and brutal. However, one must never be complacent, no matter where we reside. There are problems brewing here in South Africa and there may come a day that we make plan C ( plan B was leaving Zimbabwe!)

          • george

            I hope you and your husband have a happy time of it, Bernice, in whatever the best Plan is for you. Cheers.

          • Bernice

            Thanks George. We, likewise wish you safety in your part of the world. Cheers.

  • ken tom

    George, you do not want to be the next booty of savages? So let the savages kill them, you do not care. And mark you, you are a civilized atheist!!!

    • george

      You can’t read, can you?

  • george

    Telling that the johnny-come-latelys here would rather take unfounded potshots at me than focus on the empathy of my initial comment, in support of Christians and Westerners in general. We have to wonder who they are and what their motivation is.

  • Daniel Maris

    ‘Bismillah al rahman al rahim. We have come to kill you
    Christians and Kenyans because you have been killing our women and
    children in Somalia. Any Muslims can go.’

    And yet, Cameron still insists this had nothing to do with Islam.

  • Anita Robinson Kroon

    Simon and Amanda – my thoughts are with you at this time. My daughter was born in Nairobi in 1998 when they bombed the US Embassy so I can feel the ordeal you have gone through

  • Chris

    small but peculiar detail I noticed – in every picture of the Kenyan so-called security forces, presumably police or army or whatever, they are all carrying different rifles – from AK’s, to R5’s, to G3′, to FN’s. Sort of gives it that ‘African touch’, aka ‘a f..k up’.

    • Daniel Maris

      Completely racist. I think the Kenyan security forces acquitted themselves pretty well, all things considered (we have seen the bravery of officers) – at least as well as the special German security forces who took a vote during the Munich hostage crisis not to attempt to rescue them because they (the security forces) would be at too much risk.

      • ConstablePlod

        Knee-jerk PC reaction, Daniel.
        You could always skip over the offensive bits and read the guts of Chris’ observation, these troops, on the frontline of the war on terror, are ill-armed and ill-prepared.
        We’ve come a long way since 1972.

    • ConstablePlod

      Well spotted Chris. It appears the soldiers here are simply ill-armed, undisciplined and ill-prepared. The lack of uniform arms and even their stance as they run into action (or run for the cameras?) goes a long way to explaining why reaction times were so abysmal.

      With hundreds of billions spent annually on “the war on terror,” a couple of tens of millions devoted to training for the countries on the front line, would be a great investment.
      Perhaps training is one area the former British colonizers could offer assistance.

      • Chris

        Agree with you entirely ConstablePlod…….there is no lacking in courage when they are properly trained and led that I can attest to.

  • Philip

    Let me advice this terrorist you will not achieve your objectives earlier ask forgiveness from. GOD you can’t KILL his creatures as you quote his name. For any act you do there’s is a penalty. I believe the. blood and tears of those innocent young babies is an evidence before GOD. GOD if you hear my prayers give terrorists heavy punishment forever

    • ConstablePlod

      With an entire universe to take care of, I doubt very much God has the time, or the inclination, to respond to your prayers, especially via the comments section of The Economist.
      The root problem with these terrorists is that they, too, think they speak directly to God. They, through their holy men, who apparently have direct lines through to God, think these acts of violence and terror are what He wants. Much like you think God will deliver the punishments you feel they deserve, they are delivering the punishments they think we deserve.

      The world would be a lot better off if we all stopped believing in Bronze Age fairy tales and accepted the reality of $hit happens, even big $hit like the universe and evolution.

  • Austin Barry

    Surely, the tipping point has been reached.

    Cameron should identify Islam as a clear and present danger, proscribe further significant immigration from muslim lands, place a moratorium on mosque and Islamic centre building and generally make this country a cold, very cold destination for members of this death cult.

    We’ve had enough.

    • george

      Hear hear. But more likely, Cameron — and no single politician — will, of his or her own accord, proscribe anything. It’s time for the British people to make it clear that this is what we/they (I’m English, too) demand.

  • Paul

    We do need to educate people all over the world that it is incorrect to hurt and kill others, and any religious support of war, offensive defense, or any other type of aggression is simply murderous. The Internet has finally brought us tools which we can use to get closer to doing this. Yet as a planetary populace we are still too stupid. Some cite racist reasons for the idiot ideology, because they hide behind their own, justifying the Christian crusades as “pushing back”. Sure, there’s an element of an “eye-for-an-eye” retaliation in all of this. Sure Westerners were bad to your dad, so that gives you the right to kill my neighbor’s kid who doesn’t even know what a Muslim is or whether Somalia is in this solar system, or not? The Bible and Qu’ran both describe hypocrisy and hatred, as well as love and peace and what foods you shouldn’t eat on certain days. The mythology, whether rooted in good intention, or not, is no justification for the murderous evangelism and racist ignorance that both of these multi-headed organizations perpetuate. Embrace your spirituality. Reject leaders that mention any diety and also support murder or torture in any instance. This includes the majority of world leaders, I’m sure, but certainly religious ones. Certainly anyone attempting to enlist you into violence. This “terrorism” is nothing more than religious “pushing back” by Islam. it will continue. I woe the ramifications of the international coalition that will be required to stop it. I have very little faith that a grass-roots humanitarian response can prevail. Maybe in another 300 years. I certainly do not expect it to happen within anyone’s lifetime that is alive by the date this message was originally posted. 28 Sept 2013 CE

  • Daniel Maris

    Remember Cameron saying that the attack had nothing to do with Islam or religion? Well here’s what the leader of the terrorist group says (thanks to Jihad Watch – don’t expect this to appear the BBC or ITV news):

    TRANSCRIPT: Speech of HSM Leader, Shaykh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, regarding the #Westgate Operation

    All praise is due to Almighty Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and
    victory is for the Muttaqeen (the pious believers) and there is no
    animosity except against the oppressors, and may peace and blessings be
    upon the noblest of Prophets and Messengers. As for what follows:

    Allah, the Exalted, said:

    “And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they
    invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, and make our feet firm
    and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.

    So they routed them by Allah’s Leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut
    (Goliath), and Allah gave him [Dawud (David)] the kingdom and Al-Hikmah
    (Prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did
    not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed
    be full of mischief. But Allah is full of bounty to the ‘Alamin
    (mankind, jinn and all that exists)

  • AlexanderGalt

    It’s amazing that after all these years very few people seem to get it.

    This week alone there have been several attacks beyond anything the IRA achieved in 30 years.

    It does really ally go back to the founding of Islam. That’s why ordinary Muslims either approve or keep quiet if they don’t.

    The secret is that the terrorists are good Muslims.

    There’s a great take on that in a post called: “Muslim Terrorism Is Different” at:


  • http://www.DNotice.org/ Dean Jackson

    The article reads, “All this time the terrorists were standing so close to the Belchers that Amanda could hear them breathing between volleys.”

    LOL! What a load of trollop. The pictures speak for themselves, staged photos, where the photographers, in plain sight and feet away from the terrorists are clicking away with video phones, but the “Islamists” don’t care!

  • Chris Daborn

    Aidan, thank you for your
    gift of words to put the tragic and terrible events of Westgate into a clear
    and terrible account for the world to understand the enormity of the crime
    committed. We remain with so many questions but your account at the very least
    gives us an understanding of what, for the grace of the various gods, could
    have been faced by my wife and I. What kind of mind altering techniques were
    these killers subject to that enabled them to slaughter innocent and helpless
    children, women and men? Why did it take so long for any kind of effective
    armed response, when the warnings of such an attack have been ongoing for more
    than a year now? Where are the remaining 31 missing and the much reported
    hostages, and if dead in the rubble – who was responsible for their deaths? How
    was it that so many shops were looted, some stripped bare, when apparently only
    security personnel had access? How many killers were there and how many
    escaped? Why is the heightened security at the malls now being effected not backed up by strategically placed armed guards?

    Perhaps the endemic corruption in our political, security and business elite has finally come home to roost – but the spectacle of them squirming under the blanket of “not being in the national interest to divulge” when questioned is one, I hope, the upcoming generation registers and that one day a country with transparent and respected institutions emerges.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here