Early Thursday morning Al Shabaab jihadis swarmed into the grounds of Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya with over 815 students stealthily knowing at 5:30 AM that Muslim students would be at morning prayers leaving vulnerable Christian students in their dormitories. The toll during the several hour siege was 147 killed, dozens of others injured and many students unaccounted for. USA Today reported “the White House strongly condemned the attack and said the United States was providing assistance to the Kenyan government. We extend our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed in this heinous attack, which reportedly included the targeting of Christian students,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.”
Watch this AP Report on the Garissa, College siege:
Fox News provided details on the Garassi College attack and siege:
Hours after the assault began, Kenyan security forces cornered the gunmen in a dormitory at the school, and President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech to the nation that the attackers were holding hostages.
“There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building,” Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Sky News. “We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.”
Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said when the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians.
“If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,” he said. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”
A spokesman for the terror group told the BBC that it attacked the school because “it’s on Muslim land colonized by non-Muslims.” The spokesman also said the gunmen had separated non-Muslims from Muslims and had freed 15 of the latter group.
The interior ministry said around 500 of 815 students has been accounted for, but hundreds remain missing. The students at Garissa are predominantly non-Muslim, a source told Fox News.
Police identified a possible mastermind of the attack as Mohammed Mohamud, who is alleged to lead Al-Shabaab’s cross-border raids into Kenya, and they posted a $220,000 bounty for him. Also known by the names Dulyadin and Gamadhere, he was a teacher at an Islamic religious school, or madrassa, and claimed responsibility for a bus attack in Makka, Kenya, in November that killed 28 people.
312 people have been killed in Al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya from 2012 to 2014. Thirty-eight people were killed and 149 wounded in Garissa in the same period, according to police statistics.
Bursting into their residences, these Al Shabaab killers used the same terrifying method perfected in September 2013 to kill innocent non-Muslims at the Westgate Mall massacre. They asked whether they were Christians or if Muslim asked them to recite verses from the Koran or the Shahada-the profession of faith. If they responded as Christian they were summarily shot. Most of those Kenyan students at Garissa College murdered by the al Shabaab attackers were Christians. As Christian victims of this Jihad massacre they became like Jesus, the literal agnus die, lambs of G-d referring to the Passover sacrifice. All of this occurred at the beginning of the conjunction of the Easter–Passover holy days in the Judeo-Christian calendar. Maundy Thursday that occurs three days before Easter commemorates the last supper between Jesus and his apostles believed to have been a Passover Seder.
The slaughter of these Christians in Kenya on Maundy Thursday is believed to be the worst terrorist event since the 1998 East African Embassies attacks by Al Qaeda in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is alleged that Al Shabaab was reported by intelligence to be planning a retaliation against soft targets inside Kenya for the US drone attack on March 18, 2015 that reportedly took the life of Adan Garar the planner of the September 2013 Westgate Mall Attack in Nairobi. Al Shabaab had engaged in several spectacular recent attacks on hotels and offices in the capital of Mogadishu killing dozens.
The irony is that President Obama considered Somalia, like Yemen, “counterterrorism “successes, despite both being failed states. Yemen is being pounded daily by Saudi air strikes against Houthi rebels who have succeeded in taking the Presidential Palace in Aden. Somalia has been a perennial failed state since the eruption of civil war in 1990. It became the haven for Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, “the foot soldiers of Islam’ who have conducted an unrelenting campaign against fellow Somali Muslims and across the frontier in indiscriminate attacks on targets of opportunity in Kenya. A Kenya which holds one of the largest Somali refugee camps administered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from which residents have been sent for asylum in the United States. The irony that the children of those refugee émigrés in the US have been recruited to fight and die for Al Shabaab , and now the Islamic State in Syria. Many of those émigrés have been drawn from the twin cities of Minneapolis –St. Paul. They have become a US hub for ISIS and Al Shabaab recruitment aided by extremist Mosque leaders in those Middle West communities.
A UN report released today estimated that more than 25,000 foreign Muslims streamed to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra from more than 100 Countries across the globe to be trained in “finishing schools” in Iraq and Syria, to return home as dangerous jihadis. The report noted that besides 22,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, there were also 6,500 in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia.”According to Reuters, the UN panel report estimated that growth of these foreign Muslim jihad recruits rose by more than 70%. It likened the Islamic State as equivalent to Afghanistan in the 1990’s with the growth of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. President Obama met last September with the 15 nation Security Council to develop a strategy for contending with the threat of extremist Islamic terror threats like ISIS, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and Boko Haram in Nigeria that resulted in this report.
This Easter weekend, Christians around the world should grieve for the 147 slaughtered by Al Shabaab jihadis at Garassi College on Maundy Thursday, 2015.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured photo is courtesy of DPA.