The National Counter Terrorism Centre is now calling on members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or persons as part of measures to fight terrorism in the country.
In a statement, the Centre’s Director General Isaac Ochieng wants Kenyans to report any concerns of terrorism activities to the nearest police station or security officials.
“The government has put in place measures to enhance the security level of preparedness to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorist activities,” Ochieng said.
What to look for he says, include suspicious persons who “are either in unauthorized areas or appear lost, dress inappropriately or overdressed for a given weather condition, loiter or observing activities on facilities without authority or just wandering around or outside a facility at strategic areas.”
The suspicious persons can also be avoiding eye contact, nervous and appear to be in a hurry, photograph, take videos or draw diagrams or maps of restricted facilities, attempt to gain unauthorised access to facilities as well as disguise as selling merchandise.
The new advise follows the deadly Garissa University College massacre that left 148 dead, including 142 sudents, 3 police officers as well as three military officers. Four of the terrorists involved in the massacre after holding students hostage for more than 12 hours.
Kenyans have also been urged to watch for vehicles parked in unauthorized locations, out-of-place vans, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles and cars vehicles unattended for prolonged duration.
Suspicious items include unknown, unattended, out of place or unexpected deliveries like packages, backpacks, bags, boxes. The items maybe in places like a waiting area or washroom, roadsides, lecture halls, dining halls, etc.
“If there are concerns that anyone is involved in terrorism or planning to commit terrorism acts please contact the nearest police station, security officials in your area, governor and his/her officials in your area, county commissioner and his/her officials in your area OR police hotline 999 or 112,” Ochieng advised.
When reporting, members of the public have been asked to note some of the key details, who and what you observed, location, time of occurrence, and why it is suspicious.
Those who own or manage public places like shopping malls or entertainments spots have been urged to remain vigilant at all times and conduct thorough searches.