A British SAS hero jumped in to fight a group of Islamist terrorists who launched an attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya, killing 14 people, on Tuesday.
Photos from the scenes yesterday show the off-duty Special Forces warrior with combat gear over a casual jeans and purple shirt storming the building and rescuing civilians.
Tuesday’s terror attack at a hotel and office complex in Nairobi saw five gunmen kill 14 people, including an unnamed Briton and a 41-year-old U.S. businessman, after detonating car bombs outside.
More than 700 people were evacuated from the complex overnight, however some 50 people believed to have been in the building at the time of the attack are still unaccounted for, according to the Kenya Red Cross.
Photos from the scenes yesterday show the off-duty Special Forces warrior with combat gear over a casual jeans and purple shirt storming the building and rescuing civilians
The SAS hero was also seen rescuing civilians from inside the hotel complex while members of the Kenyan security forces fired at the terrorists
The British special forces soldier carries a casualty out of the building with help from a member of the security forces
An image purporting to show one of the terrorists with a bandolier around his body and bullet casings scattered across the floor
Another image purporting to show one of the terrorists, with bullet damage to the wall behind him and wounds covering his corpse
AK-47s used by the terrorists (left) lie on the ground after being recovered by police, the five terrorists also wore bandoliers (right) which appear to be stuffed with rifle magazines and grenades
The British SAS soldier was reportedly in Nairobi to train Kenyan Special Forces when five Islamist terrorists attacked a luxury hotel complex in the city
The British SAS soldier was reportedly in Nairobi to train Kenyan Special Forces when a request for help went out to local forces.
‘He was there training and mentoring Kenyan forces when the shout went up, so they went in,’ an insider told The Sun.
‘British Special Forces always run towards the sound of gunfire. ‘He fired off rounds during the operation. It’s a safe bet he hit his target — the SAS don’t miss. There’s no doubt his actions saved lives.
‘He is a long serving member of the Regiment, there is no doubt his actions saved lives.’
The Sun’s source claimed the British SAS-man was joined by US Navy Seals in aiding Kenyan Special Forces yesterday.
When contacted by MailOnline, the Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the report.
The unnamed soldier helped rescue civilians and reportedly helped storm the complex
Kenyan security officers search for attackers during an ongoing gunfire and explosions in Nairobi on Tuesday
People take cover as they follow a police officer to evacuate the upscale hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi
Security forces help civilians flee the scene as cars burn behind, at a hotel complex in Nairobi
Rescued: A distressed woman is taken out of the luxury hotel complex during the terror attack on Tuesday
Kenyan security forces walk from the scene shortly before President Kenyatta announced that the attack was over and all terrorists killed
President Kenyatta said that 14 civilians have been confirmed dead and that more than 700 people had been evacuated to safety during the attack.
This morning, it emerged that U.S. businessman Jason Spindler from Houston, Texas was among the dead.
Spindler, who turned 41 on the very day of the terror attack, had survived the 9/11 terror attack on World Trade Center in 2001.
Mr Spindler’s father, Joseph, had been enjoying a successful career on Wall Street when he decided that he wanted to develop a model for helping low-income people.
Spindler later became the founder and CEO of I-DEV International, a management strategy and investment firm based in Nairobi, and had lived in Kenya for the past five years.
The British casualty, understood to be of dual British and South African nationality, has not been named. Another British citizen was injured in the attack and is receiving care, the Foreign Office confirmed today.
London-based company Adam Smith International also said two employees were killed in the attack.
Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed were killed on the terrace of a restaurant in the complex where the company has Nairobi offices, the company said in a statement.
Survivors of the attack have shared the horrific tales of what went on inside the hotel complex when the gunmen stormed the building.
Reuben Kimani, a barista working at the hotel, said he recognised at least one of the attackers, having served him coffee in the run-up to the assault.
‘I knew one of them because he had a big scar on one of his hands,’ he said. ‘I saw them. They shot six of my friends, four didn’t die but two succumbed.’
He said the attackers yelled out ‘why are you killing our brothers and sisters in Somalia?’ before opening fire.
Spindler is pictured during a trip to Puerto Rico with friends in 2013 (left) and (right), rock climbing in Nairobi
Jason Spindler (pictured), 40, was killed at the Dusit hotel in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi along with 13 others on Tuesday
Friends mourned the businessman (shown far left with a group during a trip to Puerto Rico in 2017) as news of his death emerged
Gunmen blasted their way into the venue – sending workers fleeing for their lives as others cowered under their desks. Pictured: Bullet holes in the windows of a restaurant inside the venue
Thailand’s deputy PM say terrorists may have targeted hotel ‘because the food is delicious’
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister said he thought the Thai-owned hotel in Nairobi had been attacked by terrorists ‘because the food is delicious’.
Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also the Defence Minister, made the comment this morning during a press briefing.
Wongsuwan told reporters it was ‘good enough’ that no Thai citizens had been killed in the horrific attack in Nairobi on Tuesday.
When asked why he thought a Thai-owned hotel had been targeted, he replied: ‘I don’t know. Maybe because the food is delicious.’
The DusitD2 hotel is owned by Dusit Thani, a multinational chain which has 29 hotels and resorts in 18 countries.
Cyprian Otieno, a 23-year-old student, met a friend for lunch elsewhere in Westlands, and then decided to go to the Dusit where his friend wanted to grab a cocktail.
‘All of a sudden we heard a weird BOOM followed by gunfire! Security guards at the entrance screamed ‘get back, get back’ in English and Swahili,’ he told AFP via Twitter.
He said some fled while others tried to hide, waiting about half an hour until they heard a voice shouting ‘kill them, kill them’ in Swahili and more gunfire.
Terrified a group of about 20 people fled towards the back of the hotel.
‘Sorry to say at that point it was every man for himself. We were all together in the beginning but after a few minutes the attackers began shooting… I can’t even really remember what happened afterwards.’
Tracy Wanjiru, 28, a manager at a salon housed in the complex, found herself in the middle of another Shabaab strike, five years after surviving an attack on the Westgate mall while she was six months pregnant.
Speaking to the Nation media group she said: ‘I was working there (Westgate) when the attackers stormed in, it was not easy just like today. All I can say is that I thank God.’
After the first blast was heard at the DusitD2 complex, Wanjiru says she saw ‘human body parts in the midst of fire flames flying in the air’.
The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed that it was behind the attack at the complex – which includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices. Pictured: People run for cover
An injured man is evacuated from the scene of an explosion. Thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the complex behind them
A shell-shocked woman is evacuated form the Dusit Hotel by hotel staff and security guards who try to calm her down
Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, claimed it was behind the attack at the DusitD2 complex, situated in Nairobi’s well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood, popular with many foreign expatriates.
As well as the Thai-owned luxury hotel DusitD2, the comples is home to offices of several international companies including Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP, as well as the Thai-owned luxury hotel DusitD2.
Kenya’s Citizen TV aired security camera footage that showed at least four heavily armed men in dark-coloured, paramilitary-style gear. Officials later confirmed that five terrorists had been involved in the attack and killed.
Kenya’s national police chief, Joseph Boinnet, said the coordinated assault began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests.
Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.
A CCTV grab showing one of five suspected al Shabaab attackers who opened fire in the hotel as a suicide bomber detonated in the lobby
CCTV showing two of the alleged attackers walking past a barrier towards the hotel wearing dark paramilitary-style gear. Al Shabaab has already claimed responsibility for the carnage
Shell-shocked survivors are rushed to safety from the complex, barely-clothed, by security forces
An armed officer tells survivors to stay back and duck down as he tries to lead them to safety
A female member of staff cries after making it out of the complex. Her male colleagues and a guard console her
Video footage from inside the hotel showed Kenyan security officers searching the building and workers emerging from hiding while gunfire could still be heard. Some climbed out a window by ladder.
One man got up from the floor where he appeared to be trying to hide under a piece of wooden panelling.
Al-Shabaab’s 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.
Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011. Tuesday’s violence came three years to the day after al-Shabab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.
The group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya. In the deadliest attack, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an assault on Kenya’s Garissa University in 2015 that killed 147 people, mostly students.
The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabab’s continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US air strikes against it under President Donald Trump.
How the horror at the DusitD2 Hotel unfolded:
Tuesday, 3pm: Initial reports of an explosion and gunfire from the Riverside Drive complex, including the hotel, shops, restaurants and offices in Nairobi’s leafy Westlands neighborhood.
Several cars are ablaze in a parking lot as security forces stream in and people run or are carried from the scene. Police quickly call it a terror attack.
4:30pm: Plainclothes armed officers hurry from shop to shop to look for trapped civilians and an unknown number of attackers. A black plume of smoke rises from the scene. Sporadic gunfire continues.
5pm: The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab claims responsibility and says its members are still fighting inside as surivivors rush from the scene, looking distraught and reporting dead bodies.
6pm: Kenya’s national police chief says special forces are trying to flush out the attackers and look forward to ‘bringing the situation to normalcy in the shortest time possible.’
Kenyans watch the police response closely after officers took hours to respond to a deadly attack on the nearby Westgate Mall in 2013.
7pm: A Kenyan police officer among the first on the scene says ‘there was no time to count the dead,’ with bodies seen in restaurants downstairs and in offices upstairs. Gunfire continues.
8:30pm: Kenya’s national police chief gives the first official details of the attack, saying it began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank while a suicide bomber blew up in the hotel lobby, severely wounding bystanders.
He calls the operation ‘still ongoing.’
11pm: Kenya’s interior minister says all buildings have been secured and security forces are in the final stages of ‘mopping up.’
Still no official toll of dead wounded.
11:30pm: Kenya’s Citizen TV airs what it calls surveillance footage that shows four attackers, young men in ammunition bandoliers, splitting up as they calmly walk across an outdoor area of the complex.
Wednesday, 1am: Some family members say loved ones are still trapped inside even after Kenyan authorities called all buildings secure. One woman says her brother is hiding with over 10 other people.
2am: Kenyan police officer says 15 bodies have been taken to the morgue. Anguished family and friends gather there.
4am: Kenya’s interior ministry says ‘no further threat to the public exists’ and that civilians who had been ‘secured’ in one building have been safely evacuated.
6:45am: Another explosion and gunfire are heard, shortly after scores of survivors who had still been holed up in part of the complex are freed.
They reunite with relieved friends and family and recount a long night of cowering in hiding places while listening to nearby gunfire.
9:00am: Bursts of gunfire are still heard from the complex.
The security forces work their way through the hotel complex, finding terrified groups of people who have barricaded themselves into rooms.
More than 100 are retrieved and taken for medical treatment.
10:30am: Kenyan president says 14 ‘innocent people’ are dead and declares the attack over, saying all the terrorists have been eliminated.
Who are al Shabaab? Extremist group linked to al-Qaeda who killed 67 in 2013 Nairobi shopping centre attack
The al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, whose name means ‘The Youth,’ seeks to impose its strict version of sharia law in East Africa.
The group is particularly active in Somalia, where it has an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 militants in its ranks who frequently unleash attacks targeting security and government officials, as well as hotels and restaurants in the capital.
The group has also behind deadly attacks in Kenya and Uganda, which both contribute troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.
Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after Al-Shabaab gunmen raided the shopping centre killing more than sixty people in 2013
Yesterday’s attack immediately reminded many Kenyans of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013, when al-Shabaab extremists burst into the luxury shopping centre, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead.
British jihadi Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the White Widow, was rumoured to have been involved in planning that attack.
The complex attacked yesterday is less than two miles from Westgate Mall and is in what is considered one of the most secure areas of the city.
The attack came three years to the day after al-Shabaab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.
The al Shabaab objects to the presence of Kenyan troops in the turbulent Horn of Africa nation.
British jihadi Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the White Widow, was rumoured to have been involved in planning the Westgate Mall attack