Kenya warns of possible al-Shabaab attacks during festive season

Al-Shabaab is planning to carry out attacks in Kenya’s Nairobi during the holiday season, Kenya police warned.

In a statement, the police said intelligence reports insicate the group may launch the attacks during the Christmas season. Adding that the group planned to target several areas in the capital to disrupt the festivities.

According to Timothy Odingo, Madaraka Sub County Commander, the group .ay attack the Presbyterian Guest House and Conference Centre in South C and Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in South B.

“The group may also be targeting other guest houses and conference centres owned by churches as well as Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations,” an police internal memo further said.

Other areas are the Nairobi West Mall, Capital Centre, Garden City Mall, and T- Mall have also been marked as possible targets.

Odingo called for the deployment of armed security officers in and around the vulnerable installations, patrols, impromptu roadblocks, and vehicle searches to deter the group from fulfilling its mission.

This comes barely four days after a father and his son were Sunday morning killed when suspected al-Shabaab fighters attacked a vehicle between Jabibar and Bamboo in Mandera North.

The two were driving in a Landcruiser when the attack happened on the Rhamo-Elwak road, police said adding that three other passengers on board were Injured in the attack.

The main terrorism threat is from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia opposed to the Somali government. 

Al Shabaab has issued public threats against Kenya due to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. 

The Kenyan authorities have increased security to counter potential reprisal attacks by Al Shabaab. 

There is some evidence of growing support for Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) in Kenya.

Al Shabaab released a public statement ‘Kenya Must Take Heed’; this states Al Shabaab intent to attack tourists, including those on safari trips. 

It also references government institutions and military installations as potential attack targets.

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