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September 24, 2013

“We All Lost Somebody There” – Kenyan Foreign Minister

After the terrorist group al-Shabab stormed an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, PBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner sat down with Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed to talk about the attack.

Like many other Kenyans, Mohamed and her daughter knew some of the victims.

“We all lost somebody there,” she said. “This is a huge tragedy.”

The attack represents the largest single loss of life in Kenya since the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings.

“I think we’re all shocked,” said Mohamed. “And what does it tell us? It tells us that, as governments, we must do better. If they can cooperate at that level, if they coordinate their evil at that level, that governments around the world must cooperate even more, that we must be able to share our intelligence, we must be able to share our resources, we must be able to combine our efforts and to collaborate even more closely, to just make sure that we stay ahead of the curve.”

Al-Shabab’s attack on Kenya stems from the African Union’s (which includes Kenya) use of force in Somalia to uproot al-Shabab and other Islamic extremists who had taken over the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Despite the fact that al-Shabab calls Somalia home, it commands a large force of foreign fighters as well. In fact, some of the attackers may have come from America.

“From the information that we have, two or three Americans, and I think so far I have heard of one Brit,” were involved in the attack, she said.

“I think this attack shows this, that we do not do enough. We need to work much more closely with everybody, but much more with the U.S., I think, and the U.K. government.”


Warm up questions
  1. Where is Kenya located in Africa? Who are their neighbors? What do you know about the country? For basic information on Kenya click here.
  2. Can you name some local or global terrorist groups? What are their goals? How do they try to achieve them?
  3. What can be done to help people mentally cope and heal from a terrorist attack?
Discussion questions
  1. What can countries do to combat terrorism within their country? What can they do to combat terrorists efforts on a global scale?
  2. What do you think al-Shabab’s motive was to attack a mall? What results do you think they wanted to achieve?
  3. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed spoke about better collaboration between the international community to combat terrorism, how could this be accomplished?
  4. Over a million tourists visit Kenya each year, how do you think this latest attack may affect the tourism industry?
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