These Are The Victims Of The Nairobi Hotel Complex Attack


Among the victims are two best friends who were aid workers in Somalia, and the American managing director of a global consulting company.

Posted on January 16, 2019, at 7:57 a.m. ET

Luis Tato / AFP / Getty Images

NAIROBI — Fourteen people were killed in a suspected terror attack upon a Nairobi hotel complex that began Tuesday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said that by Wednesday morning the siege at the Dusit complex was over, and the attackers, thought to be al-Shabaab militants, had been “eliminated.”

Confirmed victims include two Kenyans of Somali descent who worked in the aid sector, and an American co-founder of a global investment company.

Abdalla Dahir

Abdalla Dahir, a Kenyan of Somali descent, was known for his tireless efforts to rebuild Somalia, according to a journalist who had worked with him.

Dahir worked at Adam Smith International, a global project management company, and focused his work on efforts to bring stability back to Somalia. One person tweeted that he had worked many years in Mogadishu as well.

@Hon_FatumaGedi It is difficult to believe that Abdalla was killed by terorist in Nairobi. Abdalla has worked many years in Mogadishu where terorists indiscriminate and brutal slaughter innocent civilists daily – heartbreaking! My prayers are with his family

Mchikirwa Ndelejai, a friend of Dahir’s, told BuzzFeed News over WhatsApp that he was “a jovial guy who loved sports. I remember back in college he was on the university team for football.”

Ndelejai added, “He was a friendly person, always smiling, and just happy. Ready to help.”

He was known to be close friends with another victim in the attack, Feisal Ahmed. According to a Facebook post by someone who knew them, Dahir and Ahmed had been having lunch in the Dusit complex when the attackers arrived. Kenyan lawmaker Fatuma Gedi confirmed their deaths on Twitter.

Feisal Ahmed

.@Feyzul and @M_dahir, two young brothers I knew and had worked with in the past, and who worked tirelessly in the process of rebuilding Somalia, were both killed in the #ReversideAttack in Nairobi yesterday. Prayers and thoughts with their family & loved ones!

According to a Facebook post, Feisal Ahmed was born in Nairobi and studied communications, monitoring and developing at the International University of Africa in Sudan.

He spent six years in Somalia working for a USAID program aimed at transitioning and stabilizing the country, according to the Facebook post. Most recently, Ahmed was employed at Adam Smith International, like Dahir. The company tweeted a statement confirming their deaths.

Ahmed, whose nickname was Zola, had recently gotten married.

Adam Smith International (ASI) deeply regrets to announce the tragic loss of two of our colleagues in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nairobi #RiversideAttack

Jason Spindler

Jason Spindler was one of those rare men who was loved by pretty much anyone be touched in Kenya and around the world. Today he was killed in the terrible al shabab attack in Nairobi. He chose a life of hope and inclusion. I am grateful to have known and learned from him.

Jason Spindler, an American, was managing director of I-DEV International, a global consulting company.

A spokesperson for I-DEV confirmed Spindler’s death to BuzzFeed News, “With heavy hearts, we confirm that Jason Spindler, founder and managing director of I-DEV, was tragically among the fatalities in yesterday’s attack.”

“We all miss him so much. And it’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism,” Spindler’s mother Sarah told NBC News said.

His brother, Jonathan, posted on Facebook that Spindler had survived the 9/11 terror attacks.

“I’m sure he gave them hell!” he wrote.

Really sad to hear of the death of Jason Spindler CEO of I – DEV, a strong player and supporter of the Kenyan Tech Ecosystem. We pray for God’s grace & comfort for the family and team at I-Dev. 💔💔💔 #RIPJason #14Riverside #KenyaAttack #WeShallOvercome

Spindler’s bio on the I-DEV site shows that he studied at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as NYU Law. He also served in the Peace Corps in Northern Peru.

A friend of his, Chris Shroeder, tweeted that Jason “was one of those rare men who was loved by pretty much anyone [he] touched in Kenya and around the world.”

James Oduor

It is with a heavy heart that we must share the sad news of the passing of a great man James Oduor Cobra aka ODu…. You were and are still an inspiration to all, with a heart that radiated love and warmth through all our lives. You will truly be missed and forever remembered.

James Oduor, known to his friends as “Odu Cobra,” was an avid soccer player.

On Tuesday afternoon, just as the attack was happening, Oduor tweeted, “Waaaaah. What’s happening at 14 Riverside fam? Any news from out there?” According to one of his friends, BBC journalist Larry Madowo, it would have been Oduor’s birthday today.

My friend from university was killed on the eve of his birthday. This was his last tweet. He was one of the nicest, happiest people I’ve ever met. Rest well, Odu, nind maber. The world is better because you lived 💔

“He was one of the nicest, happiest people I’ve ever met,” Madowo wrote. “The world is better because you lived.”

Kenyan Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen also expressed his condolences for Oduor on Twitter, recalling times the two had faced off on the pitch.

Sadly we lost James Odu Cobra in the #RiversideAttack. He was a lovely chap. Always happy &funny. I enjoyed playing football against him a couple of times. I enjoyed the banter& the way he liked teasing Odu!

“He was a lovely chap. Always happy & funny,” he wrote. “I enjoyed playing football against him a couple of times. I enjoyed the banter & the way he liked teasing me.”

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