Fresh terror warning released for four locations within one week
On Saturday, August 12, 2023, it was reported that Canada has issued a terrorism alert for its citizens traveling to Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties in Kenya. This advisory comes just a week after the US State Department released a similar warning. The decision to issue the alert was based on intelligence gathered regarding potential activities of terrorist groups in those regions.
Additionally, Canada expressed concerns about possible cases of kidnappings, particularly targeting foreigners visiting Kenya. The risk level in these areas has been classified as high, indicating a possible impending attack.
Since January, these four counties have experienced sporadic attacks, primarily aimed at government installations and telecommunication masts. The targeted locations include government buildings, schools, places of worship, airports, transportation hubs, public areas, bars, coffee shops, shopping centers, markets, and hotels.
The statement issued by Canada pointed out that although Kenya’s border with Somalia is officially closed, it remains porous and allows for cross-border attacks by Somali militias and bandit groups. Incidents involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have led to injuries and fatalities, including in the Dadaab refugee camp, which is located 80 km from the Somali border.
Within Nairobi, the advisory advised foreigners to remain vigilant, citing crime incidents such as mugging. Specific neighborhoods like Eastleigh, Kibera, and Pangani were highlighted as areas of concern.
It is noteworthy that Canada’s advisory for Nairobi aligns with the one issued by the US, as both Eastleigh and Kibera were noted for their potential for crime and kidnappings.
These alerts from Canada and the US follow an announcement by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, who disclosed that an operation in Lamu County on August 1 resulted in the elimination of 60 suspected Al Shabaab militants.