Kenya attack: Who are the Nairobi victims?

Left: James Oduor. Top centre: Feisal Ahmed Top. Right: Luke Potter Bottom centre: Jason Spindler. Bottom right: Abdalla Dahir Image copyright © Various

Among the victims of the attack in Kenya by suspected militants include someone who had survived the 9/11 terror attacks, a football Youtuber and two inseparable friends.

At least 14 people are known to have died during the 19-hour siege on the complex in the capital, Nairobi, which houses the luxury DusitD2 hotel. Here is what what we know so far about them:

James Oduor

Image copyright James Oduor Cobra/Facebook

Dubbed “Odu Cobra” by his friends, James Oduor died on the eve of his birthday and was known for his passion for football.

He loved the grassroots game and set up the YouTube fan site, Wadau TV, a year ago.

He was a university friend of BBC business editor Larry Madowo who tweeted, “He was one of the nicest, happiest people I’ve ever met. Rest well, Odu, nind maber [Luo for rest in peace]. The world is better because you lived.”

According to those sharing tributes to him on a site set up to remember him, he was an ardent supporter of the English premier league side Manchester United and played for a local team.

“Manchester United Kenya will miss a loyal fan. And our football team will miss a leader and a brother. Thanks for all the memories and games we had together. Fare thee well. You will be received well by the legends up there,” one person wrote.

He also worked for LG Electronics, which has offices in the Dusit complex.

Tweeting in the wake of the attack, Mr Oduor said that he had heard “gunshots and non-stop explosions” and said that he and his colleagues were trapped.

“Your good spirit will live on in football. You did your part,” president of the Football Kenya Federation Nick Mwendwa tweeted after it was announced that he had died in the attack.

Sports journalist Jeff Kinyanjui paid tribute on Twitter, saying “No-one ever defended me the way you did… even when I was clearly on the wrong.”

His close friend James Magayi, from the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya, told Citizen TV that he had seen Mr Oduor at a business meeting on Tuesday morning.

“We made some banter about his beard; I remember telling him that he needed to trim it,” he said.

A statement released by LG Electronics described him “not just an incredible employee, but a truly inspiring and genuine human being”.

Jason Spindler

Image copyright Jason Spindler

An American tech CEO who survived 11 September World Trade Centre terror attack in New York in 2001 was among the victims of the hotel attack.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!” his brother Jonathan said in a private Facebook post.

Mr Spindler was working for investment bank Salomon Smith Barney in the World Trade Center when his building collapsed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, reports AFP.

The co-founder and CEO of I-Dev International – a company focused on financial innovations to reduce poverty – he was working in Kenya on a mini-power grid project tailored for remote areas.

The I-Dev website goes on to say that he studied business at the University of Texas and law at New York University and had served for the US peace Corps in Peru.

In an interview with US broadcaster NBC, his mother Sarah Spindler said that Jason was trying to “make a positive change in the third world in emerging markets”.

Feisal Ahmed and Abdalla Dahir

Image copyright Family

Kenyan development consultants Feisal Ahmed, 31, and Abdalla Dahir, 33, who worked fro Adam Smith International (ASI), were having lunch together at the Secret Garden restaurant in the grounds of the hotel when the suicide bomber struck.

Friends and relatives described Mr Ahmed and Mr Dahir as inseparable.

“They were close buddies,” Mr Ahmed’s brother-in-law Abdullahi Keinan told the Reuters news agency.

“They were so close, people said they would die together.”

Image copyright Family
Image caption Abdalla Dahir (L) and Feisal Ahmed (R) were said to be inseparable

They had been working for the Somalia Stability Fund managed by ASI to “bring peace and prosperity to Somalia”, ASI said on their website.

“He [Ahmed] was an outgoing funny guy, charismatic. He was loved by everybody,” said Mohammed Abdilatif, a close friend and colleague told Reuters.

Mr Ahmed’s widow is reportedly seven months pregnant.

Mr Dahir’s LinkedIn profile says he was passionate about photography and sharing “the stories of vulnerable people especially the voiceless victims of violence in order to educate the world about the detrimental impacts of war”.

A joint funeral was held for them on Wednesday.

Luke Potter

Image copyright Gatsby Africa

Briton Luke Potter worked for the charity Gatsby Africa as their Africa programmes director.

He described himself on his company website as loving water-sports, camping, hiking and talking about adventures outside the city. He had only recently moved to Nairobi from Britain.

“I strongly believe in the need for societies to offer as equal an opportunity as possible to all, and that, while economic competitiveness is essential to build a country, long-term stability is not achievable unless the gains are widely spread,” he said on the website.

Gatsby Africa said in a statement that he had devoted the past 10 years to “helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world”.

“He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation”.

“We share the grief of his family, partner, daughter and friends,” the company added.


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