Nairobi police nab two terror suspects

July 16, 2011 2:52 pm


The city of Nairobi/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – The Anti Terrorism Police Unit in Nairobi on Saturday said it was holding two people suspected to be terrorists.

Police said that they picked up the two from a city hotel on Saturday morning, before taking them to them to the Nairobi area police station for further questioning.

Witnesses at the hotel told Capital News that one of the suspects was carrying a back pack and seemed to be of Arabic descent. They added that the two had been staying at the hotel.

The witnesses also said that the suspects had been briefly questioned at the hotel before being taken away.

Kenya has been placed on high terrorism alert following threats by Al Qaeda militants to avenge the death of their leader Osama bin Laden.  Bin Laden was slain in his hideout in Pakistan by United States military forces in May and was replaced by Ayman Al-Zawahiri on June 16.

The presumed head of Al Qaeda in East Africa Fazul Muhammad was also killed by a US air strike in Somalia on June 8.

Fazul is said to have been the mastermind behind the August 1998 United States embassy bombing in Nairobi.

Police have also enhanced security at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi following an international alert to airports across the world on major terrorist threats.

Vehicles and people entering the airport are being subjected to thorough security screening to counter any terrorist threats.

“It is not only happening here at JKIA, security has been enhanced all over the world. We are screening people thoroughly to ensure there is safety here,” a police officer at the airport said when the security was enhanced.

Police in Nairobi had also been warned of possible attacks by Al Qaeda militants over the Easter holidays in April.  Police had warned Kenyans to stay away from public spots like churches and restaurants saying they were convenient sites for terrorism attacks.

In April, the police also arrested three terror suspects in April, in Liboi, as they attempted to cross to Somalia.

Last July, more than 70 Ugandans were killed when they were attacked by suicide bombers as they watched the screening of 2010 World Cup. The Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack saying that it was a warning to the Ugandan authorities to stop supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

They also warned of carrying out similar attacks on other African countries that sent their troops to Somalia.

The African Union has been asking African states to send some of their military forces to Somalia for peace keeping efforts.


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