Nairobi on heightened security alert

June 8, 2012 2:36 pm
Most major buildings have increased security screening for people entering the buildings and vehicles/MIKE KARIUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8 – Security has been intensified around the city following heightened terror threats by Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab who have ‘threatened’ to bring down Nairobi’s skyscrapers.

Most major buildings have increased security screening for people entering the buildings and vehicles.

A spot check by Capital FM News revealed that high rise buildings had deployed extra security checks all around the city, including government buildings like Nyayo House.

Extra security measures were witnessed at I&M, Lonrho House and Barclays Plaza among others.

“We cannot take chances, that is why we have put up extra security; we want to ensure that our staff and visitors leaving and entering the building are safe,” Julius Waweru, Head of Group Security and Investigations at I&M said.

Waweru could not however, discuss other internal arrangements of the security measures they have put in place, only assuring that “we are on top of things… we are not taking chances at all.”

Francis Mburu, a senior Administration Police officer in charge of security at Nyayo House said they too are not taking matters for granted.

“We are thoroughly searching even government officials and vehicles; we are not sparing anyone for the sake of the security for our country,” Mburu said.

Vehicles entering Barclays Plaza were searched by security guards using sniffer dogs.

At Lonrho House, extra security measures were also visible as guards employed new strategies in securing the high-rise building.

Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi has told Capital FM News that he has deployed extra security personnel all over the city to beef up security.

“Let us not assume things are ok. Let us be very alert; any suspicious character carrying suspicious luggage should be reported to security personnel,” Kibuchi said.

He said extra security personnel had been deployed in the city including officers from the GSU, Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), administration and regular police officers.

Al Shabaab operatives threatened to bring down major skyscrapers in Nairobi since last week, causing panic and tension amongst city residents but police are assuring that everything is ok.

The US government has offered a Sh3 billion bounty for anyone offering credible information leading to the apprehension of Al Shabaab top commanders.

The US said it was getting increasingly worried at the activities of the terror group and wants its leaders apprehended.

Two weeks ago, members of the group launched an attack at Assanand’s House on Moi Avenue in Nairobi, where they set off a conventional bomb that claimed the life of one person and wounded 37 others.

Kenya’s Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has blamed the attack on members of the terrorist group which has vowed reprisals against Kenya in protest of a military incursion by the country’s defence forces inside Somalia.

No suspect has been arrested in connection with the Moi Avenue blast.


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