WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama reached out the country of his paternal ancestors as Kenya battled a savage terrorist attack for which strikes on long-suffering India appears to have provided the template. The theory that India is used as a staging ground by jihadists for signature strikes that are repeated elsewhere in the world gained ground as the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, now in its third day, bore an eerie resemblance to the 26/11 assault on Mumbai. More than 60 people have been confirmed dead. The toll is expected to go up once terrorists are eliminated and the building is fully secured, enabling counting of the dead inside. Terrorists have now used similar modus operandi and imitated several attacks that were first staged in India - from the use of box cutters to hijack aircraft (common to both Kandahar and 9/11), to serial blasts in trains (Mumbai and London), to the current attack on an elite and largely unguarded commercial shopping facility. In fact, pictures of the attackers in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi show a stunning similarly to Ajmal Kasab and his ratpack in Mumbai - young men dressed in camouflage rampaging around with heavy weapons killing innocent civilians. As with Mumbai, nationals of several countries, including Indians, Britons, and other foreigners, have been killed. But the primary victims are Kenyans. Non-Muslims have reportedly been singled out. Obama called Kenya's President Kenyatta on Sunday to express condolences to the government and people of Kenya for the attack. He reiterated US support for Kenya's efforts to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice, the White House said, adding that the President also reaffirmed the strong and historic partnership between the United States and Kenya. The US President's father, Barack Obama Sr. came to the United States from Kenya as a student, and returned there after fathering the future president with Ann Durham, who he met as a an exchange student. The US President still has a large extended family from his father's side in Kenya. Some accounts speak of victims being asked trivia questions in Islam, like the name of Prophet Mohammed mother, and being shot when they failed to answer. Others who recited Islamic religious passages from were let go. The Guardian newspaper reported a man named Joshua Hakim being spared when he showed them his ID card with his thumb covering his Christian first name. ''They told me to go. Then an Indian man came forward and they said, 'What is the name of Muhammad's mother?' When he couldn't answer they just shot him." Hakim told the paper. The group said the attack was to retaliate against the Kenyan role in hunting down Al Shabaab in neighboring Somalia, in whose lawless territory the terrorist group is primarily based. But stunningly, the group claimed that its attackers converged in Nairobi from all over the world, including from the United States. In fact, in a message on Twitter, the group claimed some of the attackers came from Minnesota and Maine, both of which have small communities of immigrant Somalis. Washington did not comment on the claim but the FBI was said to be checking on it. Britain too was trying to verify reports that Samantha Lewthwaite, the so-called ''white widow'' whose husband was one of the suicide bombers killed in the 2005 London underground attack, was among the attackers. In fact, while the Mumbai attack was played out in the glare of live television cameras that helped terrorists a great deal, this one involved social media, including a live commentary of the attack by an account claiming to be press office of Al Shabaab. The account was shut down once but it resurfaced under another name and provided a ''live'' commentary of the attack, including one stunning update that ''6 Americans execute point blank'' shortly before falling silent at around 9.30am EST. But there were other verifiable tweets, including one from Kamal Kaur, who had been shopping in the Mall with her family. ''I just washed my hair and wailed like a child. Blood in my hair. Not mine. That little boy who died right next to me... My son almost had his head blown off. Missed by an inch. Hit wall. Bounced and killed the little boy next to him,'' she tweeted. Indian strikes offer terror templates to jihadis - The Times of India Team Khangress should be proud of this.