Kenya on high alert for imminent terrorist attacks

The security and law enforcement apparatus of Kenya is on high alert. Reports are streaming in to Nairobi that Islamist terror is soon to descend on several different regions of the African nation. Foreign embassies and international organizations have been alerted to the threat posed by Al Shabaab Muslim extremists. Al Shabaab was responsible for a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall in 2013 and has been linked to the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. The Kenyan government has notified The British High Commission, International Rescue Committee and Finlays Horticulture Kenya, among others, security advisories.  It was in 1998 that a terrorist bomb devastated the American embassy in Nairobi, killing 212 people, including several American officials.
 
According to the Kenyan daily, The Star, Kenya's government offices and law enforcement personnel or facilities and Somali government interests in Kenya were the likely targets. The security advisories stated, “Take extra security precautions if you’re traveling to any of these places. Attacks could be indiscriminate and may occur in places frequented by foreigners like hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, supermarkets, buses, shopping centers, beaches and transport hubs.” It added that “staff should also remain alert in residential areas, and at outdoor recreational events. Avoid potential symbolic places.” 
 
Francis Kimemia, Head of the Civil Service, advised cabinet ministers that the government has bolstered security all state buildings, public squares, and at border crossings. 
 
Kenya's military is assisting operations in Somalia as part of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that seeks to stabilize the war-torn neighboring country. Al-Shabaab and sympathizers have since made Kenya a target for terrorist attacks. For example, a week after Kenyan defense forces launched an assault in Garbaharey in Gebo, an Al-Shaabab base reportedly killing over 50 militants, Al-Shabaab carried out a January 21 retaliatory attack on a Kenyan army base in Kismayu. No casualties were reported. 
 
Kenyan police now have in custody Abdullah Mohammed, a.k.a. Peter Wang’ondu Kiambati from Laikipya County, and are questioning him about any details he may have about Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab in Kenya.


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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