On 15th January 2019, at around 1530hrs, a four member terrorist cell belonging to the Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen, conducted a terror attack targeting the Dusit D2 Hotel and Office Complex. The terrorists initially detonated a vehicle they had used for logistics. The vehicle was also to be used as a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive (SVBIED) in the event security at the targets entrance proved challenging to breach. Apart from discriminate shooting using Chinese type 56-2 and a shortened AK-63D automatic assault rifles with standardized jungle taped magazines, the cell deployed largely to the 7th floor of the complex and laid a typical siege that’d slow down rescue operations and their eventual decommissioning by the security forces. The terrorists also used a Soviet Era F1 hand grenade fused with a Belgian M72/PRB-Nr432 fuse.
On Wednesday 16th at 1000hrs EAT, the Government of the Republic of Kenya issued a statement confirming its elite security forces backed by a specific unit from Kenya Defense Forces Special Forces successfully decommissioned a 4-member terror cell that forced its way into the Dusit D2 Hotel Complex. The Government, through the President also confirmed approximately 15 persons died while a significant number sustained threatening injuries in the attack. Intelligence reports and picture evidence also confirm several foreign nationals were among those dead.
The army special forces after quickly studying the complex structural design played a key operations advisory and tactical maneuver role that helped the elite forces to weaken the terror cell’s strategic and tactical advantage in the building subsequently forcing them to retreat to a corridor at the 7th floor of the complex. Mobile snipers took out the terror cells ending the siege besides significantly injuring the image of the terrorist organization. Some members of the elite forces sustained injuries.
The Dusit Complex, a unique office and hotel complex in the leafy Riverside area of Westlands, Nairobi, hosts the offices of several multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and other prestigious organizations. The complex is also a walking distance from the Australian Embassy in Nairobi. It is also close to the Kempinski Hotel where many heads of states visiting the Republic of Kenya stay. Most notable is that Dusit is about 4 kilometers from the State House. It is also within Westlands District of Nairobi where Westgate Mall is located. This makes the upscale Dusit Hotel and office complex a workplace and choice stay-place for a significant number of expatriates and staffers of these organizations. This profile made Dusit D2 Complex an attractive target for terrorist groups