The United States Embassy in Nairobi has released a security alert to inform its citizens about potential terror attacks in the area.
According to a statement issued on Friday, the Embassy expressed concern that terrorists might target locations frequently visited by foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
The statement, dated October 13, 2023, emphasized, “Locations frequently visited by US citizens and other foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya continue to be attractive targets to terrorists planning to conduct potentially imminent attacks.”
The alert further cautioned that these attacks might occur suddenly and without prior warning, focusing on places such as hotels, restaurants, embassies, shopping centers, and markets. Additionally, schools, police stations, places of worship, and other areas frequented by foreigners and tourists could also be potential targets.
In response to this security alert, citizens are urged to exercise vigilance when visiting places often frequented by tourists and foreigners. They are advised to review their personal security plans and remain mindful of their surroundings.
Furthermore, the Embassy has recommended that citizens monitor local media for updates, stay away from protest areas and demonstrations, avoid crowded places, and maintain a low profile.
The specific trigger for this alert has not been disclosed.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, on Wednesday, mentioned that Kenya has experienced at least 500 casualties in terror-related incidents since the 1998 bombing. Notably, the August 7, 1998 bombing, orchestrated by Al-Qaeda terrorists, targeted the American Embassy and resulted in 213 fatalities, including 201 Kenyans and 12 Americans.
Speaking to the Senate, Kindiki highlighted the government’s efforts to enhance counter-terrorism measures. These efforts include the establishment of specialized units such as the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, National Counter Terrorism Center, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Financial Reporting Center, Coastguard, Trans National Organized Crime Unit, and Asset Recovery Agency.
Additionally, the government has implemented the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System in immigration services and continuously trained and deployed specialized Formed-up Police Units (SOG, QRU, GSU) at the Kenyan borders.