Tag Archives: Westgate Mall

MOA: Protests, Perceived Threats and Terrorism

When world headlines hit close to home, Americans and their media have a tendency to view things from a myopic point of view and fail to grasp everything worth considering.

People fleeing Westgate Mall. Photo: blog.people.com

People fleeing Westgate Mall. Photo: blog.people.com

Most recently, the terrorist group al-Shabaab has directly threatened western malls, naming the Mall of America as one of the targets they wish to see attacked in the style of the Westgate Mall tragedy in Nairobi, Kenya in September, 2013.

The Westgate Mall was chosen by al-Shabaab because of its striking resemblance to western-style shopping malls across Europe and America. They now stage this threat against western malls because it is the most significant thing they are known to have accomplished, so they cling to that horror for legitimacy and as a way of getting their name back in the news when all the media attention lately has been focused on Daesh. Mall of America was named because it symbolizes American materialism and is located where there is a substantial Somalian population, which is targeted by al-Shabaab for recruitment of followers. Based on the coverage we saw during the time the story broke, we would say al-Shabaab feels quite victorious without having to even fire a shot. Continue reading

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