Terror threat looms in Mombasa – intelligence
NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 29 – Security has been tightened in Mombasa and its environs following intelligence reports of impending terror attacks.
Police reports show that terrorists are planning to hit key targets with systematic attacks which will cripple rescue efforts.
“Corroborative reports point towards an imminent terrorist attack in the coast, especially within Mombasa city,” the police report seen by Capital FM News titled ‘Imminent Terrorist Attacks within the Coast’ region states.
Police said they have established that the threats are a continuation of attacks thwarted in December 2011 when key terror suspects Fuad Abubakar Manswab and John Jermaine Grant were arrested.
“Fuad who is out on bond intimated four weeks ago that there would be major simultaneous attacks in Mombasa, the magnitude of which would cripple any rescue efforts,” the confidential intelligence report reads in part.
Vigilance House has not commented about the intelligence report, although our sources have told us that it has been shared widely amongst most senior officers there.
Police are particularly worried because Fuad is still at large, despite an appeal by Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe two weeks ago for him to present himself to the nearest police station.
“He has ignored the same and continues planning the attacks,” the police say.
According to police, there are two [terror] groups operating in Mombasa planning the attacks.
One of the teams, the reports states, is named F1 and has been responsible for throwing grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in various targets in the coast.
Police believe this particular team is led by a Kenyan only identified as Maalim Khalid and has eight members namely, Tua Ibrahim Jibril aka Tafa, Tua, Zarqawi who was arrested and sent to jail in connection with armed robberies in the coast and Hassan Omondi Owiti aka Budalangi aka Budapest who escaped an October 16 security raid.
Others in the vicious group are Kennedy Mugambi Mwirigi aka Amar whom police have linked to the attack of House of Miracles Church in Nairobi’s Ngara estate in April. Police believe the suspect is hiding in Mombasa where he is actively involved in organising attacks.
“The attack is likely to involve suicide bombers and vehicle borne explosives for major targets, and also sporadic grenade attacks aimed at causing maximum effect and confusing responding security and rescue efforts”
Another suspect known as Swaleh Musyoki aka Karoboto aka David Lennox, who is currently in custody for engaging in armed robberies has also been linked to the group, having arrived from Somalia in August 2012, according to the report marked ‘Top Secret’.
A senior police officer privy to anti terrorism operations told Capital FM News that the report has been shared with key agencies and Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere who has authorised action to curb the planned attacks.
Shabaan Namusenda Makotse who is wanted by police is also said to be an active member of the group.
Others are Thabit Jamaldin Yahya who was charged and imprisoned at Shimo La Tewa over the attack at Bellavista on May 15.
The police report states that “Though he is incarcerated [at Shimo La Tewa] he continues to receive messages from the group. Indeed there have been reports that the rest of the group wanted to rescue him from prison.”
According to the report, the second group comprises Suleiman Nabhan aka Gogo Khalid Mohamed Said, Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, Kassim Omolo and others whose real names are not known. The group coalesces around Fuad.
Police said they are particularly worried about the two vicious groups because “the attack is likely to involve suicide bombers and vehicle borne explosives for major targets, and also sporadic grenade attacks aimed at causing maximum effect and confusing responding security and rescue efforts.”
The report concludes that “there is need to enhance security within the affected areas to counter the schemes of the terrorists.”