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10/11/03 - KENYA FIGHTS TERRORISM - 2003-10-14

The U.S. and Kenya are both threatened by terrorists and both have suffered.

On September 11th, 2001, al-Qaida terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. More than three-thousand people from over ninety countries were killed.

In 1998, al-Qaida terrorists blew up the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. More than two-hundred people were killed and approximately five-thousand others were wounded in the Nairobi attack. Most of the casualties were Kenyans.

Kenya was attacked by al-Qaida again in November 2002, when three suicide terrorists detonated bombs at the Paradise resort hotel near Mombasa. More than a dozen people were killed. In another attack, al-Qaida terrorists fired a missile at an Israeli passenger plane as it was taking off from the Mombasa airport. Fortunately, the missile missed its target.

Kenya’s President, Mwai Kibaki met with President George W. Bush at the White House on October 6th. Mr. Bush spoke of the terrorist attacks that have killed both Kenyans and Americans and said that the U.S. and Kenya “are working together to defeat the terrorists”: “Terrorists have made Kenya a battleground. The President [Mwai Kibaki] affirmed the fact that the Kenyan people refuse to live in fear. Kenyan security forces have disrupted terror operations and have arrested suspected terrorists.”

The United States is committed to fighting terrorism in East Africa by providing training, equipment, and other assistance. “Kenya,” says President Bush, “is our key partner in this initiative, and its government clearly has the will to fight terror.”