2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 12

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


Terrorist Attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, on September 21 of this year, Kenya was subjected to a horrific act of terrorism. Al Shabaab militants brutally attacked the busy Westgate Mall in Nairobi, resulting in 72 deaths, including 61 civilians, 6 Kenyan soldiers and 5 terrorists. Over 200 people were injured from the attack.

Two of those who were injured were Canadian girls, Dheeman and Fardowsa Abdi, who were sisters of only 16 and 17 years respectively. A grenade thrown at them by an al Shabaab militant hit Fardowsa’s leg. Fardowsa’s leg was shattered from the incident and she spent days in a Nairobi hospital fighting for her life. Dheeman described the attack to Global News:

A lot of people died in front of me… I don’t think there was any religion sparing. I think the people who did this, just did it to cause bloodshed, to cause mayhem.

I would like to commend the exceptional and caring work of High Commissioner David Angell and his staff during and after the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall.

I would also like to commend the Canadian government for ensuring Fardowsa’s swift return to Canada so that she could continue her medical treatment at home.

The militants also killed two Canadians, 29-year-old Annemarie Desloges, an official in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration who served in Canada’s High Commission to Kenya. Her contribution to our country was tremendous, and her death as a result of such senseless violence is very devastating.

The second victim was Naguib Damji, a businessman from Vancouver. He was my niece’s husband, a loving husband and father of three beautiful daughters, and he will be deeply missed by all of us.

Honourable senators, we have all felt the effects of terrorism from this act. Although it occurred far from our shores, it has hit us all close to home. Such senseless acts of violence serve no purpose.

There is never a justified reason to attack innocent civilians, no matter what the motive. I know this chamber will join me in condemning these acts and work to prevent terrorist attacks like this in the future.