Why do so many tragedies occur at Westfield?
Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of those who died in the Westfield Mall bombings in Kenya.
One can hardly imagine anything more terrifying than seeing your loved ones duck sprays of bullets inflicted on them by murderers and terrorists of the worst kind.
Existing reports have already covered the depth of tragedies unleashed by these cowardly acts, and so rather than repeat the sentiments undoubtedly felt by many, we have posed another question which has been somewhat overlooked by the media.
And that concerns the security of Westfield Malls in general. Why have they been beset by so much ill-fortune over the years?
The mall in this latest incident is headed by a man called Frank Lowy who is in partnership with another gentleman called Larry Silverstein. This is the same man who brought the lease on the World Trade Centres which were bombed in the month of September in 2001.
The major disaster that occurred as a result of the World Trade Centre bombings, in the end racked up $5 million in insurance settlements for Mr Lowry. Mr Lowry is the co-owner of Westfield Malls and Marriott hotels across the world.
Westfield Malls have been incredibly disaster-prone over the years, and have seen their fair share of tragedies.
On September 21st 2005 Westfield Mall in Perth, Australia had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat.
On May 17th 2006, another Westfield Mall, located in Woden suffered another bomb threat.
On July 21st 2007, the court house adjacent to Westfield Centre in Derby England, fell victim to yet another bomb threat which caused evacuation of the premises.
On March 1st 2008, Westfield Old Orchard Mall in illinois also had a bomb threat.
The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad Pakistan, which is owned by Lowry and Silverstein was another unfortunate victim of a bomb threat, as was the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This latest incident at Westfield Mall in Nairobi claimed at least 62 lives, and left scores of people injured.
The mainstream media reports indicate that Islamist terrorists have been involved, although the pictures of the perpetrators has yet to emerge. However there have been many pictures of the dead and injured victims.
Already there has been calls for the US to deploy troops to Kenya – a country which has been trading with China. China has invested in mining and offshore oil exploration, plus some big infrastructure projects, such as new bypasses around Nairobi.
Kenya is the base for US intelligence operations in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
This is not the first time that Kenya has appeared in the news, in connection with reported terrorist attacks.
It has also emerged that Michael Adebolajo, one of the muslim men who were reported to have been involved in the Woolwich bombings was arrested in Kenya in 2010, but thanks to foreign intervention, he was released and allowed to come over to the UK.
And, according to a report which appeared in the Mail on Sunday at the time of the Woolwich bombings, Michael Adebolajo’s younger brother Jeremiah ‘was paid thousands by MI6 to spy in the Middle East’. Jeremiah Adebolajo, 26, currently teaches at a university in Saudi Arabia.
The source for the Mail story was the Adebolajo family.
Whatever the cause, and whatever emerges later from these latest atrocities, our hearts and minds should remain with the victims who are caught in the mindless power-struggles.
Meanwhile, perhaps one should ponder upon why it is that so many buildings owned by Lowry and Silverstein have fallen prey to such ill-fortune over the years.