Al-Shabaab Says It Will Reveal If Westgate Mall Gunmen are Alive 'in Our Own Time'
Somali terror group Al-Shabaab told Al-Jazeera that it wouldn't be negotiating with the government and would continue its quest to kill "anyone who supports the Christians."
They also rebuffed Kenya's claim that the Westgate mall attackers were dead, claiming they'd eventually reveal what happened to their gunmen.
“The people we are fighting with is because of ideology. They want to colonize us. They want to erase our religion, our people and our land. Those people bring a new face every time. Every new person that comes into office works for them. So for that reason, they are no different to us. Whomever the Christians bring, no matter their name or background, we will not negotiate with them because they have no decision-making powers. They have no powers to refuse or accept anything. What you lose by force you return by force. We will not negotiate with anyone. The country is ours," Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheere said, stressing there will be no negotiations with new Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed.
“Anyone who works for the apostate government, no matter where and at what level, they are supporting the apostates and the Christians who sent them. Our stand is clear is on such people. We will fight them and kill them anywhere we see them," Dheere said in defending their attacks on civilians. "Anyone who supports the Christians, either through the pen or by carrying a weapon, they are the same to us and we will kill them… We don’t kill civilians who don’t work for the apostate government. We protect them. We do not harm them.”
The terror group also has a strong beef with Turkey and with any Turkish nationals working on development aid in the country.
"Them building roads, schools and hospitals is similar to a man who wants to slaughter a goat. If he feeds that goat, is it any good to that goat? He is going to slaughter it anyways. The schools they have built, they teach our Somali children bad behavior; they teach them music; they teach them everything that is bad for them," Dheere said. “The biggest enemy of the Muslim people is NATO and Turkey is part of NATO. NATO is a union of Christians. They are the number one supporters of that union. NATO uses Turkey as the hammer that’s used to crush Muslims."
He contended that Muslims in Mogadishu "want to free from the enemy."
"We don’t just go and blow a place up or fire bullets aimlessly. There is a lot of intelligence before an operation. We only attack a place when we are sure the people in there are the apostates, the Christians and those that support them," Dheere continued. If there are Muslim casualties, “We pray for that Muslim person and the martyr who carried out the operation to go to paradise. Also we have warned the Muslim people not to go close to apostate bases and where the Christians are. Most of the population has heeded our warning.”
Dheere disputed the Kenyan government's account that four attackers were killed in the brutal siege of Nairobi's Westgate mall in September. The U.S. government says it believes Kenya's official account, while a New York Police Department report suggested that the gunmen may have escaped.
“All that Kenya said, nothing is believable. Nothing of what they said is true. Look at how many times they went back on what they said. They first said there were 18 individuals in the mall. Then they said they were 15. Another time they said they were 4. Another time they said a woman was leading them. They said they were all dead. Another time they said they were alive," Dheere said.
"Even when people could hear the bullets, they were saying the fighting was over. That shows what they say has no basis. It is not something anyone can believe. In our own time we will say whether the men are alive or not. For the individuals involved and for military reasons we will not disclose now.”
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