Kenya: Several Americans Involved in Mall Attack

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The bloody seige at the shopping mall in Kenya has gone into day four. Authorities say all the hostages have been secured, but the terrorists claim they still hold a few.

Meanwhile, new information is coming out about those behind the attack, including claims by Kenyan officials that several Americans were among them.

Authorities say at least 62 people are confirmed dead and 175 are wounded. Witnesses say the gunmen separated non-Muslims from Muslims by ordering them to recite the shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.   

"I took the blood I was covered with and rubbed it on my face, so that when they came there, they see like I'm dead," survivor Arnold Mwaghacho said.

Kenyan officials say they've arrested at least 10 people for questioning. Monday, Kenya's foreign minister said several Americans were among the attackers.

U.S. officials are looking into the claim, but they say al-Shabaab is known to be one of the most effective terror groups in attracting young American men.

"I think it certainly is surprising any time you find out middle America has become a hotbed for terrorist recruiting," former Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk said.

There are believed to be about 50 American recruits so far. More than half of them have been traced to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Last month al-Shabaab posted an online recruiting video with three young men from Minneapolis who have allegedly died as martyrs.

"If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here. This is the real Disneyland," the video says.

CBN News spoke with Dawit Giorgis, a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He said America has a responsibility to help Kenya in its fight against al-Shabaab.

"It must be a global response, a response coordinated by the U.S. and the West because Kenya doesn't have that kind of capacity," Giorgis said.

President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Kenya's president Monday. He also promised U.S. support in bringing the attackers to justice.

Meanwhile, three men facing federal terrorism charges in New York City have strong ties to al-Shabaab. Only three days before the Kenyan mall attack, prosecutors wrote in a letter that the three were part of an elite unit of suicide bombers who sought to carry out attacks against U.S. and Western interests in east Africa.

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Caitlyn Burke

Caitlyn Burke

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