Little Elliot Prior, 4, and his sister Amelie, 6, were both with their mother Amber at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall when the masked terrorist gunmen stormed the complex over the weekend. In an attempt to protect his family, little Elliot, from Windsor, Berkshire in England, displayed incredible bravery when he confronted a jihadist, who was brandishing an AK47, telling him that he was a “very bad man.”
In an even more surprising turn of events, the gunman, who had just shot Elliot and Amelie’s mother in the leg, after finding them hiding beneath a meat counter, inexplicably picked up a bunch of Mars bars and handed them to the children, while begging for their forgiveness.
It was into the third day of carnage, where the security forces in Kenya were still battling Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-connected terrorist group, that little Elliot’s story began to emerge.
Although there have been assurances from the Kenyan police that things are said to be under control, intermittent gunfire could still be heard, while a security specialist with internal contacts has stated that there are still at least somewhere between 10 to 13 hostages being held by the terrorists within the shopping mall.
Amina Mohamed, the foreign minister for Kenya has claimed said that there were two or three American teenagers, along with a British woman, who were among the terrorists that attacked the Nairobi shopping mall.
Film producer Amber Prior, 35, and mother of Elliot and Amelie, spoke of the terror that she and her children endured while attempting to escape the Al Shabaab terrorists, who had massacred 62 people, while injuring over 100 innocent members of the public as they also struggled in vain to save themselves.
Ms Prior had been standing in a queue at a supermarket in the mall, waiting to purchase some milk, when the terrorists suddenly and so ferociously stormed the building.
Her survival instincts kicked into gear as she thought only of her children’s lives. On reaching the cold meat section at the Nakumatt supermarket, she dived under a counter, bringing her children with her. For a terrifying one and a half hours, Ms Prior lay on top of her two children in order to protect their lives, until the terrorists eventually found them and one of them shot her in her upper right leg.
It was Alex Coutts, Elliot’s uncle, who told The Sun newspaper that the mother and children had a very fortunate escape. Coutts said that the terrorists had called out that if there were any children still alive in the supermarket, that they could leave the complex.
Coutts told the newspaper that this was when Amber took her chance, had stood up and said, “yes.” Coutts went on that Elliot was suddenly overcome with an incredible burst of bravery and began to argue with the terrorists, calling them bad men and that they should let them leave.
In an interview with The Independent, Amber Prior said that when she spoke out, the terrorists realized that she was French and immediately began pleading with her, claiming that the Muslim faith was not a bad one.
It was in that moment that the gunmen had appeared to take pity on the family, that Ms Prior seized her chance and grabbed a further two children. One of the children was a 12-year old boy who had been wounded while his mother had been shot dead.
As Ms Prior was leaving, the terrorists called out to her, saying that as they were jihadists, they were only out to kill Kenyans and Americans, not Britons. They also begged Ms Prior to convert to Islam, while asking her to forgive them and that they were not monsters.
Heart-wrenching images could be seen all around the world of little Elliot, clad in a bright green ‘I love NY’ tee shirt and clutching a Mars bar in each tiny hand. Next to him stood his sister, looking extremely distressed, as she stood next to a dead body in the street outside the mall.
This horrendous experience sadly seems to be etched on the faces and in the eyes of the little 4-year old boy and his 6-year old sister, while images of their wounded mother’s face registers sheer terror and disbelief. But what will be etched on the memory of the reader is the astounding courage of a little 4-year old boy, who, in spite of the horrendous and bloody violence he had just witnessed in the first 48 months of his life, pushed that aside and got really angry. He stood up to the AK47-brandishing terrorists, calling them ‘bad men’ and demanding to be released.
Written by: Brucella Newman