Kenyan authorities have beefed up security in two counties following circulation of leaflets with terrorist attack threats in learning institutions.
Kenya Police Service elite unit ‘Recce Squad’ take part in a anti-terror police drill at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The drill which was conducted here on Tuesday was organized by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), in readiness for hosting U.S. President Barack Obama in July 2015. XINHUA PHOTO – SIMBI KUSIMBA
In Nakuru County, the authorities said they are investigating five cases of terrorism related activities reported in the county that has caused panic among the residents.
Officials in Meru County in central Kenya have also intensified security after leaflets warning of imminent attacks by ‘al-Shabaab’ were recovered at Egoji Teachers Training College and Maua Methodist Hospital in the past week.
Nakuru County Commissioner Mohammed Birik said a number of the young male and female from the region were being lured into joining the ‘al-Shabaab’ terror group.
“There are people going around with the interest of recruiting the youth into ‘al-Shabaab’.
“We have four to five cases we are following up in that regard,” Birik said in Nakuru late Tuesday during the issuance of cheques to students who survived the Garissa University College attack.
He said all the security agencies in the county are on a high alert to arrest individuals threatening the security of the locals and the investors.
“We are securing all the government institutions, universities, shopping malls and international schools,” he said.
The move comes after Kenya placed security agencies on high alert following intelligence that ‘al-Shabaab’ terrorists have designed bombs that resemble suitcases which they plan to smuggle into Kenya.
The authorities have also released the photographer Musdaf Ismail Hashi, who is mentioned in the reports as one of those dispatched by’al-Shabaab’ high command to bring in the bombs.
“‘al-Shabaab’ are constantly coming up with new methods of concealing explosives.
“Following this discovery, Police are alerting members of the public and especially those involved in public transport to be wary when they carry luggage.
“They should to carry out searches if they encounter any suspicious luggage,” the intelligence report says.
In Meru County, security has been beefed up in all learning institutions and public entities over leaflets.
Meru County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said the police have been deplored in the affected regions and assured county residents that the government had mechanisms to safeguard them.
“We have intensified security at all the tertiary institutions where terror scares were reported and at other public places.
“Residents must work and should have nothing to fear,” Nyagwanga said.
He has, however, rejected claims that the leaflets were dispatched by terrorists, saying that some individuals with ill motives were trying to scare residents.
“The government cannot take chances on matters of security.
“We treat all the alerts with seriousness though we cannot say they are from the terrorists.
“Some individuals with ill motives can also scare people for no apparent reason,” he said.
The commissioner has also urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons to the security authorities.
“We got the leaflets and we treated the messages they contain with a lot of seriousness,” he said.