The Somali jihadist terror group behind the deadly attack in Kenya this week say the attack was to target “Western and Zionist interests” and was a direct response to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the US.

The official statement from the al-Shabaab terror group was titled, “Jerusalem Will Never Belong to the Jews“.

The Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement declared that its operation at the 14 Riverside Drive business complex came in accordance with the directive by al-Qaeda (AQ) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to target “Western and Zionist interests,” and in response to US Donald Trump announcing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The Mujahideen carried out this operation … [as] a response to the witless remarks of US President Donald Trump, and his declaration of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the capital of Israel.”

The statement went on to say, “know that we will hold you to account for every Muslim blood spilt in Palestine; ounce for ounce,” it said in part.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist groups, al-Shabaab released a photo of one of the attacker’s wearing a headband with text about Jerusalem, which reads “heading to Quds”. Quds is the Arabic for Jerusalem.

More than 14 people (some reports say as many as 21) were killed in the attack, including one British national and an American citizen. Interestingly the US citizen was a Jewish man who survived the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, which were carried out by al-Qaeda (the head organisation of al-Shabaab).

Al-Shabab has been affiliated with al-Qaeda since 2012 when its former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, pledged allegiance to Zawahiri.

Below we detail some of the connections between the 9/11 attacks and the Palestinian cause, showing that the same hatred that afflicted America on that fateful day is the same hate that Israel is defending itself from today and the same hatred that struck Kenya this week.

Osama bin Laden justified the attack based on the Israel-Palestinian conflict

In 2007, Al Jazeera released a series of recordings from Osama Bin Laden where he spoke of his reasons for carrying out the attacks on the Twin Towers.

Bin Laden explained: “The events of Manhattan were retaliation against the American-Israeli alliance’s aggression against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, and I am the only one responsible for it.”

Bin Laden’s son keeps talking about how the Palestinian cause is their motive for terror

If the connection between Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 attackers was ever in doubt, this year it was reported that Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama, has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Hamza bin Laden, like his father, is a leading figure in al-Qaeda and wants to avenge his father who was shot dead during a US military raid in Pakistan seven years ago.

On the 14 August 2015, Hamza released his first audio message. In it he called for followers in Kabul, Baghdad and Gaza to wage jihad (holy war) on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.

On 11 May 2016 it was reported he had released an audio message focused on the issues of Palestine and the Syrian Civil War. He said the “blessed Syrian revolution” had made the prospect of “liberating” Jerusalem more likely.

In July 2016, media reported that he had issued an audio message threatening the United States in revenge for his father’s death. In the 21-minute speech entitled “We Are All Osama”, he said “We will continue striking you [America] and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine…”.

In May 2017 a video was released in which Hamza calls on his followers to attack Jews, Americans, Westerners and Russians, via lone wolf attacks using any means possible.

In December 2017, Al-Qaida’s central leadership invoked the group’s founder in its first ever statement condemning President Trump, quoting Osama bin Laden as saying once, “I swear by Allah, America and those who live in America shall never even dream of peace until we experience it as a reality in Palestine.”

Fatah official talks about Osama bin Laden and the Palestinians

Senior Fatah official, Jibril Rajoub, who is currently the head of the Palestinian FA (although has been suspended for a year after invoking death threats against Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi) and met with Prince William during his Royal Visit this year has also spoken about Osama bin Laden and 9/11.

In a video posted by MEMRI, Rajoub says he often wondered why no Palestinians were involved in 9/11.

He explains that he spoke with one of Osama bin Laden’s people and asked him why they never used any Palestinians in their terror attack. The response was that this was a deliberate decision as the al-Qaeda leadership did not want to implicate the Palestinians in the attack. They already had enough to deal with.

Whilst no Palestinians took part in the attack, we know that the Palestinian cause was a major factor to al-Qaeda’s leaders and is a major cause for their terrorism today.

Hamas celebrated the attack as an “answer to prayers” in official newspaper

Ten days after the attacks happened, on 17 September, the Hamas official weekly newspaper Al-Risala published an article by Dr. Atallah Abu Al Subh with the headline, “Allah has answered our prayers; The Sword of Vengeance has Reached America and Will Strike Again and Again”.

A similar approach was taken by Al-Risala editor Dr. Ghazi Hamad, who wrote in his weekly column: “I will not discuss the issue from the emotional point of view, but on the basis of the rule that determines that ‘the punishment fits the crime.’”

Palestinians in Jerusalem celebrated the 9/11 terror attacks

Unfortunately, some Palestinians also welcomed and celebrated this deadly terror attack on American civilians.

Below is video footage, released shortly after the attacks, showing Palestinians in East Jerusalem celebrating 9/11.

There were claims that this footage is fake or from a different event. This is not true. Let’s be clear, this footage is real.

The New York Post wrote a piece on this incident in 2015 when they were defending President Trump’s recollection of watching Palestinians celebrating the attack. Again, people were claiming this was false and that there was “no evidence” of this.

However, even Snopes confirms, with detailed evidence, that this footage is, in fact, legitimate.

They explain how someone in the video uses the name “Osama Bin Laden” and have statements from CNN and Reuters along with accounts from reporters who were threatened and had film confiscated because the Palestinian Authority was trying to stop the images from being released.

Here is some of the footage: