Kenya

US Warns Of More Terror Attacks In Kenya

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story http://currencyaffairs.org/wp-content/plugins/ml-slider/inc/metaslider.imagehelper.class.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The US embassy in Kenya said its citizens in the East African country and those considering travel to Kenya, order http://cienciaaldia.com/cienciaaldia.com/wp-includes/cache.php should “evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas.”

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In a statement issued Friday night, the embassy said the levels of risk vary throughout the country.

On September 21, 2013, suspected members of the Al Shabaab terrorist organization, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, killing scores of innocent people, both Kenyan and foreign, and wounding many others.

The siege at the mall continued for several days and five U.S. citizens were confirmed injured in the attack.

According to the statement, “the U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya, including in the Nairobi area and in the coastal city of Mombasa.”

It further added: “Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.

Observers say such travel warning usually hurt the tourism industry.

Following the Westgate Mall attack, former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, called upon the international community to desist from issuing travel advisories.

“Terrorism is a global threat that must be met with a united front,” he noted.

Kenya initiated military action against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabaab by crossing into Somalia on October 16, 2011, and on June 2, 2012, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby it formally joined the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Kenyan troops within AMISOM are now actively pursuing al-Shabaab in southeastern Somalia. In response to the Kenyan intervention, al-Shabaab and its sympathizers have conducted retaliatory attacks against civilian and government targets in Kenya.

In the past year and a half, there have been numerous incidents involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices in Kenya in addition to the attack described above. More than two dozen of these attacks occurred in North Eastern Province, mainly in Dadaab, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera. Four attacks occurred in Mombasa.

Twelve grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have occurred in Nairobi, illustrating an increase in the number of attacks and an advance in the sophistication of attacks.

Targets included police stations and police vehicles, nightclubs and bars, churches, a mosque, a religious gathering, a downtown building of small shops, and a bus station. One of the deadliest attacks occurred in Nairobi on November 18, 2012, when an IED detonated on a passenger bus in Eastleigh, killing ten.

Seventeen people were killed and about 50 people were injured in an attack on July 1, 2012, with two simultaneous assaults on churches in Garissa.

Additionally, Kenyan law enforcement has disrupted several terrorist plots, which resulted in the discoveries of weapons caches and other dangerous materials, and the arrests of several individuals.

Multiple kidnappings of Westerners have occurred in Kenya. In September 2011, a British woman was kidnapped and her husband murdered at a coastal resort near the Kenya-Somali border. The British hostage was released in March 2012 after payment of ransom.

In October 2011, a French national was kidnapped from a private residence on the popular tourist destination of Lamu Island on Kenya’s north coast. She died while in captivity in Somalia. Also in October 2011, two Spanish nationals working for a NGO were kidnapped in a Dadaab refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya. They are still being held.

On June 29, 2012, four international aid workers (from Canada, Pakistan, Norway, and the Philippines) were kidnapped in Dadaab. All were rescued on July 1, 2012.

Following a series of security incidents attributed to violent extremists, including al-Shabaab, the Government of Kenya announced on December 13, 2012 that all urban refugees (primarily Somalis) should relocate to refugee camps.

The embassy said this directive is being challenged in court and is not currently being enforced; however, U.S. citizens of Somali descent should be aware that they may encounter interruptions in their travel due to increased police scrutiny based on this directive.

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