‘We had intel on Westgate attack but agencies failed to act together,’ says DPP Haji


Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • The DPP, who was then working at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), made the revelation during an exclusive interview with The Star newspaper published last week.
  • The DPP also narrated how he initially thought the attackers were targeting him because of his role in counter-terrorism programmes and intelligence gathering in Somalia at the time.
  • He stated that he was, however, able to maintain calm and help others do the same during the ordeal due to his experience working in war-prone areas.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has revealed that the country’s intelligence agencies received information about the September 21, 2013 Westgate attack but failed to share and act on it properly.

The DPP, who was then working at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and was at the mall when the attackers started shooting, made the revelation during an exclusive interview with The Star newspaper published last week.

“The attack taught me a number of things. The first lesson was that all security agencies must work together. In the Westgate case, we had the intel but it was not shared and acted on properly,” said Haji in the interview.

The DPP also narrated how he initially thought the attackers were targeting him because of his role in counter-terrorism programmes and intelligence gathering in Somalia at the time.

He stated that he was, however, able to maintain calm and help others do the same during the ordeal due to his experience working in war-prone areas.

Haji said the attack began when he was at the gents’ and he immediately texted his father – Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji as well as his younger brother Abdul Haji – about the happenings.

His text message read: “I’m stuck at the Westgate. Seems like a terrorist attack. Pray for me.”

The DPP’s brother, Abdul Haji – who has received acclamation for being one of the heroes on that fateful  day – previously recounted, in an interview with The Guardian, how he received the message after a meeting at the Yaya Centre.

The younger Haji recalled running down the basement parking, getting into his car and speeding towards Westgate.

“I broke all the traffic rules getting there but I made it.”

DPP Haji added that he hid inside the gents until he smelt teargas which he assumed implied that security forces had arrived on scene.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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