US Embassy warns of Nairobi terror plot

April 23, 2012 3:10 pm


Security officials at the scene of a grenade attack in Mombasa on April 1/XINHUA
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – The US Embassy in Nairobi has warned of impending terror attacks targeting hotels in Nairobi and government buildings.

An advisory from the embassy said the timing of the attacks was unclear, but intelligence information showed the planning was in the final stages.

American nationals have been cautioned to remain aware of their surroundings at all and be vigilant of their personal security.

“The Embassy informs US citizens residing in or visiting Kenya that the US Embassy in Nairobi has received credible information regarding a possible attack on Nairobi hotels and prominent Kenyan government buildings,” the statement advised.

Kenya has continuously been on high alert since defence forces launched an offensive against Somalia’s militia group, Al Shabaab, which has been blamed for a series of cross-border attacks.

The Al Shabaab has however on several occasions circumvented police intelligence to launch grenade attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and parts of northern Kenya.

In the latest attack on April 1, one person was killed and 18 others wounded when explosives went off in the coastal city of Mombasa and a nearby town.

A month earlier in March, Police blamed the Islamist Al Shabaab militia for a grenade attack at a Nairobi bus station that killed nine people and left tens of others wounded.

According to police, four hand grenades were hurled at crowds at the congested bus terminus on the fateful Saturday night.

The Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) arrested and released a man and three minors following the grenade attacks in downtown Nairobi.

The March attack came six months after two grenade attacks carried out within 24 hours of each other last October that killed one person and injured 30 others.

The first of those attacks targeted a bar in the capital; the second was an attack on a particularly bus stop.

Elgiva Bwire, a Kenyan supporter of the Al Shabaab fighters was arrested soon afterwards and was convicted after having confessed to the attacks.

In 1998, the US embassy, then in central Nairobi, was bombed by Al-Qaeda operatives killing 213 people, including 12 Americans and 34 local embassy staff.

The United States has since moved its embassy out of the city centre.


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