Al-Shabaab has unveiled a chilling video of its bloody rampage in Mpeketoni and Poromoko villages of Lamu County on June 16 and 17 last year that confirms survivors’ claims that white jihadists were among the mass murderers.
Security analysts suggest the film is a recruitment strategy by the Al-Qaida linked group intended for Kiswahili and East African English speakers since many of the narrators speak in flawless Kiswahili with Mombasa accents although one talks in a typical British accent. It is not clear when the video was released. English sub-titles follow Arabic and Kiswahili narrations.
The film is produced by Al-Shabaab’s Al Kataib media agency under the title:”Mpeketoni-Reclaiming Back Muslim lands under Kenya Occupation” and its holistic analysis suggests that violence could have been planned for years given that part of the material justifying the mass murder was an incendiary speech by slain radical Muslim leader Sheikh Aboud Rogo Mohamed who was killed in Mombasa on August 27, 2012.
A narrator declares at the start of the rampage that although Rogo did not live to witness the so called liberation of Coast from Christian occupation “his words are being transformed into reality”.
The, apparently, heavily edited film, shows at least three execution scenes in Mpeketoni and Poromoko where men were pulled from rooms, into town squares and shot at close range as well as what appears to be a decapitation in Mpeketoni, by a supposed Caucasian militant as the township went up in flames.
Besides restating claim to the bloody night mass murder in which 65 people, all men but one woman, were slaughtered, narrators in the 34 minute video which was uploaded on YouTube on March 3, pulled down and uploaded again on Friday before being brought down again mocks President Uhuru Kenyatta, his spokesman Manoah Esipisu for their June 17 claims absolving Al-Shabaab from blame.
The President boldly said the attack was politically instigated.
“The attack in Lamu was well planned, orchestrated, and politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. This therefore, was not an Al Shabaab terrorist attack,” said Uhuru.
“The heightened political environment being experienced in the country where politicians have incited people will not be allowed as the government will not sit back and watch the country go through ethnic conflict again,” the president added.
Much of what is claimed by narrators is already known including claims the fighters came to avenge “occupation of Muslim land” and alleged oppression of Muslims.
And analysts, who have studied the film, now confirm that contrary to previous reports, security officers resisted the attackers for a while and at least three Al-Shabaab militants were killed in apparent gunfire exchanges at Mpeketoni Police Station.
From the footage, two Caucasians, whose faces are blurred or covered, are seen marching among the armed militants in swampy areas or gathering in forested areas. One is seen seated on the ground in a forest sharpening a huge knife.
At one stage the tall, heavily built white man is seen swatting away a nasty pest or fly from his leg as they wade through a swampy area.
Most of the militants carry backpacks and are armed with AK47 rifles but a few have pistols. At least three spot a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG-7), rocket launcher and HK machine gun. A few also carry machetes and black flags.
Whereas all the militants in the footage have their faces covered in hoods or are blurred, the faces of two named in the video as Brother Sunni and Brother Hashim are clearly identifiable and clear.
But an accompanying traditional Islamic phrase (May Allah Receive Him) alongside these faces and the voice of a Brother Abu Zubeyr suggests they are dead or where killed by police.
Meanwhile the militants, tried to exhort Muslims at two mosques in a township called Pandanguo, after leaving Mpeketoni and Poromoko.
Clearly terrified and petrified Muslims can be seen cowering at the mosques, speechlessly listening to the militants’ justification of the mass murder or sometimes, nodding in agreement with the militants’ ghoulish logic.
The film begins with close to 20 militants gathering at sites in the wilderness before descending on Mpeketoni at nightfall on June 16.