Incident Summary:

09/21/2013: Assailants with automatic weapons and grenades attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi city, Nairobi province, Kenya. The assailants held the mall and an unknown number of patrons hostage until September 24, 2013, at which point security forces were able to secure the facility. At least 72 people, including five assailants, were killed and at least 201 people, including five United States (US) citizens, were injured. Ahmed Godane, the leader of Al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility and stated that the attack was intended to punish Kenya for sending security forces into Somalia.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The incident occurred in the Westlands area

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Westgate Shopping Mall
Specific Description Mall Patrons
Nationality of Target Kenya
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages Unknown
US Hostages Unknown
Days of Kidnapping 4
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Vehicle
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Grenade
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
Multiple AK-47s (some hidden in the mall by perpetrators), hand grenades, unspecified bombs, and one car bomb that did not detonate 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) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Al-Shabaab Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Posted to website, blog, etc.)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 72 Fatalities / 201 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 72
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 5
Total Number of Injured 201
Number of U.S. Injured 5
Number of Perpetrators Injured Unknown
"Kenya identifies mall attackers, including American," CNN, October 6, 2013."
"Red Cross: 39 still missing after mall attack," New Straits Times, September 30, 2013."
"KDF makes Westgate Report," The Star, Nairobi, January 7, 2014."