Kenyan police issue terror alert ahead of Ramadan
NAIROBI, Kenya - Police have issued a security alert over possible attacks in the country by Somalia based terror group, Al-Shabaab, during the Ramadhan season.
In a statement, director of communications for the Nation Police Service Charles Owino, on Tuesday said security agencies have obtained credible intelligence suggesting that Al-Shabaab is planning to carry out attacks in various parts of the country during the holy month set to begin May 15.
Police asked Kenyans to be extra vigilant especially in populated public places such as hotels, church, bus stages and schools.
“Though the capability of Al-Shabaab has been greatly downgraded over time, we have credible intelligence suggesting that the militia group is planning to carry out further attacks in the country,” said Mr Owino.
“The group has in the past planned to carry out attacks during Ramadan especially along the Coastal and Eastern regions and in major towns across the country. We are therefore urging members of the public to remain on high alert and be extra vigilant,” he added.
He said Al-Shabaab and other terror groups such as Islamic State and AI-Qaeda have all issued ‘fatwas’ calling for increased attacks during the holy month of Ramadhan.
The police, however, assured Kenyans of security saying that they are closely monitoring activities across Kenya border with Somalia in order to thwart any attempted terror attack.
“We assure the public that security agencies continue to remain on high alert during this period and closely monitoring activities across Kenya border with Somalia,” said Mr Owino.
He said terror incidents in the country by AI Shabaab have gone down due to concerted efforts by multi-agency security operations and support from the public.
“We further wish to specifically thank members of the public, especially those in Wajir, Mandera and Boni for their unwavering resolve to kick out and report terror elements living among them,” he said.
The police spokesperson without revealing the number, said they have already nabbed some of the eight suspects whose names were released two weeks ago for allegedly planning to infiltrate terror operatives into the country.
The police had placed Sh16 million bounty for the eight suspects identified as Issack Alio Mohamed, Rahim Mohamed Sheikh, Bishar Hared Hussein, Bashir Adan Osman, Abdirashid Ibrahim Osman Noor, Siyat Ibrahim Abdullahi, Abdi Ahmed Ibrahim and Mohamed Muhumed Ahmed.
“We are pleased to announce that some of the eight individuals have so far been arrested following quick action by the public who volunteered valuable information,” said Mr Owino.
Police issued an alert five days after Suspected Al-Shabaab militants killed four people in an attack at a quarry at Shimbir Fatuma area in Mandera County.
“We regret the recent attack on quarry workers in Shimbir Fatuma area. We remain relentless in pursuing the perpetrators of the crime. We have since arrested some suspects who are helping in the investigations,” said Mr Owino.
“We are calling for continued vigilance by the public and urging you to report any suspicious individuals either along the common border with Somalia or in other parts of the country. Information given to police will be treated with confidentiality,” he added.