KENYA. NAIROBI, Nairobi– On Friday 7 August, Kenya marked exactly 22 years after the deadly terrorist attack that targeted the US Embassy based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Close to 250 lives were lost, and more than 5000 people were injured in the Al Qaeda linked-attack that was organized by the late Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. A simultaneous attack happened on the US Embassy in Tanzania that left 11 dead and 85 injured.
Family, friends and loved ones of the blast victims gathered in Bomb Blast Memorial Park, Nairobi on Friday as an honor to their loved ones who lost their lives.
The US Embassy tweeted that it will remain steadfast in the fight against terrorism.https://twitter.com/USEmbassyKenya/status/1291609084748275713
The victims speak
To adhere to the government’s directives amid the fight against COVID-19 only 15 people among the survivors were allowed to carry out the ceremony.
Speaking to Transcontinental Times, Ali Mwadama, a survivor and the chairperson of the Bomb Blast Association said that the Kenyan government has abandoned the blast victims.
“The government has remained silent on us despite our conditions, they don’t know how we live and how we actually acquire our daily drugs as we live by them” Ali said.
Khadija Abdalla is also another survivor and was left an amputee. She narrates how life has been difficult for her after reaching out to the Kenyan government with no success.
“The government abandoned us since some of us are forced to live entirely on drugs. We tried reaching out to the US Embassy and they advised us to talk to our government. We have never received a dime, yet our livelihoods were changed forever.” Khadija said.
US in liaison with the Kenyan government to counter terrorism
“Due to globalization and the advancement of technology, terrorists and their sympathizers have also changed tactics and devised new methods to further their agenda,” said the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
The FBI and Department of State announced they had partnered together to assist Kenya in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to be located outside of the US. The initiative to establish the joint task force began after the Al Shabaab terrorist attack on the dusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on 16 January 2019.
According to a statement from the FBI, there was a pressing need for a multi-agency task force that could be met through FBI’s training expertise combined with the State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism’s capacity-building efforts.
“The FBI is proud to have the opportunity to work with our Kenyan law enforcement partners on this initiative,” said Assistant Director of the International Operations Division Charles Spencer.