UN tightens security over terror attack fears
Posted Wednesday, July 18 2012 at 22:30
The UN has tightened security around its offices in the country following fears of a terrorist attack.
Confidential documents obtained by the Daily Nation say the UN had received intelligence that al-Shabaab was planning grenade attacks on one of their offices in Nairobi.
The terror group, the documents claim, had last month conducted surveillance at one of the UN offices.
“It is possible that the increase in media reporting on UN aid to Amisom forces as well as on security at the Dadaab refugee camps could have contributed to raising the profile and priority of the United Nations as a potential target,” the report says.
Diplomatic Police Unit Commandant Allan Sangoro said he was not aware of the intelligence report, but admitted that since Kenya moved into Somalia, terror threats had increased.
As a result of the intelligence, security officials at UN facilities have been ordered to carry out thorough searches on all individuals and vehicles entering the premises.
In previous large-scale attacks against both the UN and other government targets worldwide, the terrorists breached security by wearing local security uniforms or used official vehicles, including those belonging to the UN, to gain access.
According to the documents, the UN also says it worried by the possibility of a large-scale terror attack in Nairobi or Mombasa as well as a conventional attack on the border areas.
The al-Shabaab militia has thrice threatened to bring down tall buildings in Nairobi.
The document says the attacks could be planned to coincide with the commencement of the holy month of Ramadhan, which begins on July 21.
“Ramadhan also coincides with the anniversary on August 7 of the 1998 US embassy attack in Nairobi,” says the document.
On June 22, the US embassy issued a warning and barely 48 hours later, three people were killed in an explosion at Jericho Beer Garden in Mishomoroni, Mombasa.
On July 1, there were two hand grenade and small arms attacks on churches in Garissa in which 17 people were killed and 60 injured.