Kenya's Terror Devils

By Bwakali, David John | Contemporary Review, April 2003 | Go to article overview

Kenya's Terror Devils


Bwakali, David John, Contemporary Review


DECEMBER 31, 1980. August 7, 1998. November 28, 2002. These three dates have something in common: terror in one African country. On these dates, terrorists inflicted on Kenya a diabolic fury that left death and destruction in its trail. The 1980 terrorist attack was targeted at the Norfolk hotel, a five-star hotel owned by the late Jack Block, an Israeli citizen. Sixteen people died while more than one hundred were injured. In 1998, the terrorists targeted the US Embassy in Nairobi. Some 258 people died: 246 Kenyans and 12 Americans. And most recently in November 2002, terrorists struck again, this time, their target being the Paradise Hotel along Kenya's serene coast. This hotel was also Israeli-owned and was frequented by Israeli tourists. Here 16 people died and over 80 were injured in this heartless attack. Thus the tears continue as unanswered questions abound.

August 7, 1998, 10 a.m.: Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, have woken up to a humid morning. Opposite the American Embassy in Nairobi, public transportation mini-buses, popularly known as matatu, honk their amplified horns, blare loud music and rev their engines as they jostle for passengers. Suddenly, a loud boom interrupts the morning hullabaloo. Split seconds later another thunderous boom descends upon the entire city. Awinja, a medical student at a local university stares unbelievingly as the fort-like American Embassy building collapses before her very eyes. Behind it, Ufundi Co-operative, another building is razed to the ground. Days later as the dust attempts to settle down, 258 people are confirmed dead. The funeral announcement of one of the Kenyan victims reads thus: 'cause of death not being alive'. The distraught mother of the slain young man said disconsolately at his funeral, 'I don't know who to blame for my son's death. I don't know whether to heap blame on the Americans for their foreign policy, or to blame Osama for his outrageous terror antics, or to blame my government ... I just don't know'.

In the aftermath of the embassy bombing, Kenyans struggled in vain to answer the question, 'why?' They speculated as their government probed, cried as their continent sighed and groaned as the world mourned. It did not help matters that, in some Western circles, their tragedy seemed reduced to a case study on American foreign policy, especially regarding the Middle East and its implications. But how exactly did Kenyans expect America in particular and the world at large to react?

'We will divert every resource at our command to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network'. These words were part of President Bush's speech to the US Congress on September 20, 2001, in the week after the terrorists had struck New York and Washington. They also embody the response that Kenyans expected to the earlier terrorist bombing. It was an expectation that was founded in the utter grief and anger of their experience. An expectation that was justified by NATO Charter with its declaration that 'an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us'. Yet this expectation soon melted in the brutal realization that Kenya was not a major concern of NATO and the great powers. It was neither a strategic partner nor a key ally. Hence an attack on Kenya was just that--an attack on Kenya. This fact became fertile ground for isolationism to have a field day.

When terrorism's diabolic blow struck America on September 11, 2001, it pushed Kenyans right down memory lane. They viewed 9-11 through the lens of 8-7 and shuddered. True to the adage, the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches most, they flinched at the pinch of terrorism's shoe. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kenya's Terror Devils
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.