Embassies, foreign firms issue terror security alert

Friday, January 24, 2014


Several European countries and foreign organisations operating in the country have cautioned their citizens and staff about impending terror attacks in Kenya. This follows the killing of senior Al Shabaab leaders in Somalia last week by the Kenya Defence Forces.


The British High Commission, International Rescue Committee and Finlays Horticulture Kenya have cautioned their nationals and employees through circulars titled Security Advisory dated January 21 and 22. Other embassies and companies have also issued security alerts warning their staff.

“Kenyan police have now publicly confirmed that Thursday’s blast at JKIA was caused by an improvised explosive device. They have arrested three men in connection with this attempted attack. Yesterday, we heard, and the media are today reporting, an earlier discovery of smoke grenades in the toilets at the airport. These are only the latest, and most ambitious, in a series of IED and grenade attacks over the last month both in Nairobi and down at the Coast. Such attacks, whilst not explicitly directed at the UK or our staff, only serve to underline the potential for any of us to be caught up in a terrorist incidents. Such attacks are very hard to predict and it is therefore very unlikely we will be able to issue specific warnings,” reads the letter from the British High Commission.

The High Commission says there remains a high threat from terrorism in Kenya from Al Shabaab extremists because of Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

The security alerts warn that the attackers may target government offices and law enforcement personnel or facilities and Somali government interests in Kenya.

“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 centres, beaches and transport hubs. Six British nationals were killed in the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Attacks have also previously targeted places of worship including churches,” the alert warns.

Another security alert warns that it is expected that the group might carry out a serious revenge attack against the government of Kenya within the next few weeks/months according to Intelligence sources who have received credible information.

“Timing of the attack is not known, however, the source has reason to believe that the potential attack is in the last stages of planning.Staff should also remain alert in residential areas, and at outdoor recreational events. Avoid potential symbolic places e.g. Kencom, Key installation (Government installation) and crowded areas,” the report says.

The report says that 300 Al Shabaab members graduated shortly before the KDF attack and some might be used outside Somalia.

Source: The Star