WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Michael McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member; Rep. Karen Bass; and Rep. Christopher H. Smith, today introduced legislation strongly condemning the attack on the 14 Riverside Complex in Nairobi, Kenya perpetrated by the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab (H.Res. 75).

“For several years, Kenya has been a key U.S. partner in countering the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the Horn of Africa,” said Chairman Engel. “Earlier this month, Somalia-based terrorist organization al-Shabaab killed 21 people, including one American citizen. My condolences go out to the loved ones of those affected. The legislation reaffirms the United States’ solidarity with the Kenyan people, and our commitment to working with them to combat heinous terror groups like al-Shabaab.”

“The terror attack by al-Shabaab in Nairobi was a cowardly act that took the lives of 21 innocent people, including 9/11 hero and fellow Texan, Jason Spindler. Our resolution makes clear that this kind of barbarism must not be tolerated. Terrorism anywhere is a threat to civilization everywhere. The United States and the international community must continue our efforts to eradicate this evil from the face of the earth,” said Rep. McCaul.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, including Jason Spindler, and stand with the people of Kenya against this senseless act of violence. This heinous act is a reminder of the important role of U.S. assistance to combat al-Shabaab and other terrorist activity in the region, including efforts to build Kenya’s capacity to respond to and prevent such attacks while adhering to the rule of law with a respect for human rights,” said Rep. Bass.

“Al-Shabaab must be held to account for their role in this appalling terror attack on civilians in Nairobi that killed 21 including American citizen Jason Spindler. We stand resolute and in solidarity with the Kenyan people, as we honor the heroism of those citizens, first responders, security forces, and aid workers who rescued civilians from the complex where the attacks occurred. The Kenyan authorities must remain vigilant in deterring any future terror attacks, and we emphasize the importance of U.S. assistance to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in the region.” said Rep. Smith.

Background:

Since al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, Kenya has been a target for terrorist organizations. On January 15, 2019, armed gunmen from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab killed at least 21 people during a 20-hour siege at the 14 Riverside Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the casualties of this attack, Jason Spindler, was an American citizen who survived 9/11 and was also a former Peace Corps volunteer. During this attack, Kenyan citizens, first responders, security forces, and the Kenya Red Cross Society heroically rescued over 700 civilians from the complex. The United States and Kenya share a longstanding political, economic, and security partnership, including support for Kenya’s participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia.

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