Here's the latest on the Nairobi jihad attack.
There was a loud explosion this morning that sent thick clouds of smoke billowing from the Westgate shopping mall, where the remaining jihadis are holed up with an undetermined number of hostages.
A security officer was quoted by SKY News as saying that it was the rescuers that caused the blast, because they are trying to get through via the roof.
The rest of the mall has gradually been cleared and a number of trapped civilians and hostages rescued, but apparently there is still a hard core force of 10 to 15 jihadis barricaded in a supermarket, together with hostages they're using as human shields. There are said to be at least 5 Somalis with American citizenship among the jihadis, and at at least one female.There's a report out that the woman is Samantha Lewthwaite, a white British Muslim convert and the widow of London 7/7 Tube bomber Jermaine Lindsay who blew himself up in the attacks that murdered 26 people back in 2005.She's known to be in the area and has been involved in other attacks.
The American jihadis have been identified from one source as:
Ahmed Mohamed Isse, 22 , St. Paul, Minnesota
Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid 24, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Gen Mustafe Noorudiin. 27, Kansas City. MO
Abdelkarem Ali Mohamed, 21, from Illinois (probably Chicago)
Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan 22 from Maine
Shafie Die 25, Tucson Arizona
Other jihadis reportedly identified are
Abdirizak Mouled, 24 Ontario, Canada
Ahmed Nasir Shirdoon, 24, London GB
Sayid Nuh, 25, Kismayu, Somalia
Sa’d Daud 23, Damascus Syria
Mohammed Bader 25, Aleppo, Syria
Ismael Guled, 23, Helsinki Finland
Zaki Jama Caraale, 20, Hargeisa, Somalia
Qasim Said Mussa, 22, Garissa, Kenya
Eliko Mamedoff, 27, Dagestan, Russia
Moulid Ahmed 24, Gävleborgs Län, Sweden
This is what comes of giving people wholesale asylum in the West from locations like Somalia. Also note the jihadis from Syria. These are exactly the kind of people President Obama wanted to ally the US with and supply with arms.
Some of the jihadis reportedly blew themselves up with suicide bomb vests when attacked by security forces, while others were shot down in the mall itself.
Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage warned via Twitter the hostages would "bear the brunt of any force directed against the mujahedeen". In response, Kenyan military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna told Sky News: "We do not negotiate with terrorists and that position has not changed. Everyone who has been rescued is being checked to make sure none of the terrorists escaped during the dragnet."
This is approaching endgame. Expect the death toll to go higher.