Kenya marks 15th anniversary of al Qaeda US embassy bombings – with a huge fire at Kenyatta Int’l Airport

by 1389 on August 7, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), Africa, airlines and aviation, al-Qaeda, Kenya

As of this writing, the cause of the blaze is unknown.

At least the authorities have not ruled out terrorism before an investigation has even begun!

I suspect al Qaeda. They are much inclined to attack airports or aircraft, and to attack on anniversary dates, especially when an earlier attack was not completely successful (as with two attacks on the World Trade Center).

BBC: Nairobi airport closes as fire crews tackle blaze

(h/t: Jeff Gunn and Weasel Zippers)

Huge fire August 7, 2013, Nairobi Airport International Terminal

A huge fire has ravaged the main international airport in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) – a key regional hub – has been closed, passengers evacuated and incoming flights diverted.

The fire is now said to have been contained but there have been reports that it took emergency services a long time to respond.

Images from the scene showed flames leaping from one of the main buildings.

There have been no reports of any casualties and the cause of the fire is not clear.

James Ole Lenku: “We will make sure that we establish the true cause of the fire. As of now we don’t know what’s happened”

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the regional hub for East Africa, with many long-distance flights landing there to connect to countries across the region.

The airport is the main gateway for European tourists – and it is now the height of the tourist season – and is also crucial for the country’s key flower export industry, so the fire could have a huge economic impact, says the BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza at the scene.

Shares in Kenya Airways fell in early trading on Wednesday.

Despite earlier official statements that the airport had been closed indefinitely, presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said domestic flights and international cargo flights would resume later on Wednesday.

Continue reading…

VOA: Kenya Marks 15th Anniversary of US Embassy Bombings

Gabe Joselow
August 07, 2013

NAIROBI — Wednesday marks the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that killed more than 224 people and wounded thousands more. The terror threat in East Africa has changed since then.

Fifteen years ago, a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives up to the gates of the U.S. embassy in downtown Nairobi.

When the guard at the entrance would not let the driver into the basement garage, the bomber set off the explosives outside, killing more than 200 people, most of them Kenyan. A similar attack was launched at the same time on the U.S. embassy in Tanzania.

Joash Okindo was the guard at the gate, whose argument with the driver, and refusal to let him pass, probably saved a lot of lives. His legs were broken in the attack, but, as he stands here today at a memorial service for the victims, he knows it could have been worse.

“I’m still alive. The only problem is that I was injured. Struggling. In life you have to struggle,” he said.

In the blink of an eye, the al-Qaida terrorist group made known its presence in East Africa, and brought the group’s leader Osama Bin Laden to the attention of the U.S. government.

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