Nairobi Mall Attack Felt Here at Home - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Nairobi Mall Attack Felt Here at Home

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It's a renewed warning from the State Department about global terrorism.

It comes on the tails of the attack by Al-Qaeda linked militants on a popular shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

U.S. officials say the attack has raised more concern threats here at home.

The Kenyan government has confirmed 72 total deaths -- including five of the attackers -- during Saturday's mall attack.

And the Red Cross says 71 people remain missing.

Bodies are still trapped in the rubble of the partially collapsed mall.

This tragedy might have taken place on the other side of the world -- but the truth is it has impacted many right here at home. Today I sat down with a local man who had family and friends in the mall that day.

As a professor of African and Middle Eastern History at Savannah State University—Dr. Mohamed Mukhtar knows there is always something to learn from our past.

"History repeats it's self. There are lessons to learn from history. In fact we say, wise people learn from the mistakes from other people."

Less than a week ago, visitors at upscale mall in Kenya endured a horrific event that left nearly 70 dead and as many missing---He says it was a day for the history books.

"I felt shocked and I felt so sad for the families of those who lost loved ones. I couldn't even believe what I was seeing. I was watching the news Saturday and Sunday. Every day we are discovering some new things."

One of the things Dr. Mukhtar discovered is that he had family and friends in the mall. His family made it out with injuries. But his long time friend and beloved poet---Kofi Awoonor was not so lucky.

"He was scheduled to do his presentation on Sunday. His son was with him, he is injured. His dad was dying in front of him."

The images of terror are sometimes too much to bear---but he says this is something he knows all too well. He is from Somalia, which is where many of the mall terrorists call home.

"In Somalia there is no government. That is where this lawlessness is coming from. They joined Al-Qaeda, which is another terror group, so now they are one of the biggest terror groups in the world."

He says he wants to make something clear.

"In the West, we say this is an ‘Islamic thing', which is not true. These people are not Muslims because in Islam, there is nothing that allows you to kill. Thou shall not kill another -- it's not only in Christianity, it's in all the religions, including Islam. From the Muslim perspective, we condemn them."

Because the war on terror is taking place around the world, he says we all have the ability to take a stand. And when we do—together-- the world would be a better place.

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