Incident Summary:

11/09/2008: On Sunday, in El Wak, North Eastern Province, Kenya, armed assailants fired upon and detonated bombs at the town, causing unspecified damage in the town, kidnapping two Italian nuns from their residence, damaging the community and stealing two or three vehicles. On 02/19/2009, the victims were released in Somalia by their captors. No group claimed responsibility, although the captors came from the Gedo region of Somalia.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:

North Eastern

El Wak

Location Details:
In Elwaq.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity
Specific Description The town of Elwak was targeted.
Nationality of Target Kenya
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Caterina Giraudo
Specific Description Two Roman Catholic nuns were kidnapped.
Nationality of Target Israel
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 2
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 102
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Unknown Explosive Type
Weapon Details
Unknown explosives were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Other Crime Type
Additional Information The other victim was Maria Teresa Oliviero.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Worldwide Incidents Tracking System, "Two Religious Workers Kidnapped in Armed Attack and Bombing in El Wak, North Eastern Province, Kenya," National Counterterrorism Center (November 19, 2009).
Agence France Presse/Paris AFT, "Somali Bandits Kidnap Italian Nuns," World News Connection, Agence France Presse, November 10, 2008.