There has been a fresh twist to the motive of the Al-Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s DusitD2 hotel which so far has claimed over 20 people with the US President Donald Trump being in the mix.
Whereas it was speculated that the attack was a revenge on the decision by the Kenyan government to deploy its troops in to Somalia, Al-shabab now says that they attacked the upmarket complex because of the United States decision to move its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The statement reads in part “Nairobi attack was a response to the witless remarks of President Trump and his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the systematic prosecution of Muslims in Palestine.
It added “Al-Quds will never be Judaized”.
Sources within Shabaab ranks say that the attacks were carried out by Saleh Nabhan group, named after the late Mombasa based Al-Qaeda operative who was killed in Somalia. The group is believed to be responsible for the El-Adde attack, the December 2014 Mandera quarry workers attack and the 2010 Kampala attacks.
Five of the attackers were killed by the Kenyan special forces while one blew himself up.
Last year, the US President announced his decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling it “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city contains sites sacred to both Jews and Muslims. Though Israel’s parliament and the prime minister’s home are in Jerusalem, they sit in West Jerusalem, on the side of the city Israel has controlled since 1949. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed that half of the city.
The international community considers East Jerusalem occupied territory. But that half of the city also contains sites holy to all three major monotheistic religions, including the Western Wall, the holiest place in the world where Jews can openly pray, and Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for “the Noble Sanctuary,” a sacred site for Muslims that Israelis refer to as the Temple Mount