• 09.21.13

Twitter Suspends Account Of Somalia-Based Islamist Group Behind Slaughter At Kenyan Mall

Shabab, which has used Twitter prominently before, claimed responsibility for the attacks that left at least 30 dead and claims to have recordings of conversations with attackers.

Update: Shabab seems to have skipped over to an alternate Twitter account.


Somalia-based Islamist group Shabab took to Twitter on Saturday, via its press arm, after masked gunman stormed an upscale mall in Kenya and killed an estimated 30 people in an apparent terror attack. The group had threatened malls before, The New York Times reports. And its use of Twitter has been an integral part of its strategy.

Shortly after the attacks, Shabab claimed the attackers as its own via Twitter. Below are images of a few of the tweets posted before Twitter suspended the account:

And although most press accounts have the number of dead confirmed at about 30, Shabab used Twitter to claim there are 100 victims.

Using an Arabic derogatory term for non-Muslims, Shabab also claims attackers escorted Muslims out of the mall and to safety, although the Times reports that shooters were yelling to Muslims to flee as they began shooting.

Shabab attempted to rationalize the attacks, and the group even used a hashtag for the attack, the name of the shopping mall where it happened, #Westgate.

About the author

Tyler Gray is the former Editorial Director of Fast Company and co-author of the book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel and Buy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out in fall 2014. He previously authored The Hit Charade for HarperCollins and has written for The New York Times, SPIN, Blender, Esquire, and others.