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Police beef up security over terror threats

03 March 2015, 08:20

Nairobi - Police said on Monday that security has been beefed up across the country to thwart off terror threats targeting key installations in the country.

Acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi said all security agencies are on high alert following reports of a possible terror attack on Parliament by Somalia militants Al- Shabaab.

"We have enhanced security across the country not only in Nairobi in the wake of these terror threats. We have deployed both static and mobile teams," Arachi said by telephone.

The police chief said security has also been increased at key government installations which the insurgents might plan to carry out attacks.

"Both static and mobile teams are backed up by more than 100 security staff attached to Parliament," Arachi added.

The increased surveillance comes amid reports that 12 suspected terrorists from Somalia are believed to be plotting an attack against Parliament.

According to the Daily Nation on Monday, intelligence reports indicate that six of the suspects could be in Nairobi already, although the whereabouts of the other six are yet to be established.

Reports about the possible attack came as it emerged that the Egyptian embassy in Nairobi had also asked Kenya's security agents to heighten security measures around Egyptian installations, including the embassy itself, its envoy's residence and other sensitive Egyptian organisations and premises.

The embassy of Egypt on Feb. 20 reportedly requested for more security at all of its installations in Kenya.

"The embassy kindly requests the relevant Kenyan authorities to take what it deems appropriate to upgrade and tighten security measures around Egyptian installations in Kenya," the letter reportedly says.

According to the local daily, the attack was allegedly planned by Mohammed Mohamud, believed to head one of the arms of the Al- Shabaab militia group in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab militants have vowed to attack Kenya, which hosted protracted negotiations that culminated in the signing of the federal charter for Somalia in 2005, launched cross border incursion into southern Somalia to flush out the insurgents it blamed for kidnappings of tourists.

Security in key towns in Kenya has been put on a high alert following Kenya's military operations in Somalia which sparked threats from the Al-Shabaab group that it will retaliate deep in Kenya.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi also confirmed on Monday that anti-terror measures have been taken to ensure the more than 300 lawmakers are safe.

"You see those dogs which security officers are moving around with. We brought them because of such threats. There is much more which we plan to do," he said.

Also read: Al Shabaab urge attacks on shopping malls in new video

The heightened security also come after senior government official admitted that terrorists compromised security officials at the Kenya-Somalia border to smuggle in explosives that were later nabbed in the coastal city of Mombasa.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said few security officials are increasingly being compromised to allow the entry of illegal and dangerous goods and persons.

"The people behind the entry of explosives that were impounded in Mombasa last year compromised security officials at the entry point to be able to get their way here. Imagine the kind of damage they could have caused if and when they would explode," said Kinyua.

He revealed the terrorists behind the explosives bribed security officials from the Kenya-Somalia border to handcuff them, escort them and made the terrorists pose as suspects under arrest to evade further checks at various roadblocks, the local daily reported.

Kinyua did not reveal what the officers were paid to enable those behind the explosives to make their way into the country.

Police who intercepted the vehicle with the explosives in March last year found six grenades, an AK 47 assault rifle, 270 bullets, six cylindrical bombs weighing 10 kilogrammes each, 5 magazines, 6 detonators, a Nokia cell phone and 6 electronic cables amid reports occupants of the car were surveying targets in Mombasa.

The in-built Improvised Explosive Devices were welded to the floor and back seat of the Toyota Hilux. Kinyua revealed the officials behind the issue were later identified and "punished" severely.

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- Xinhua


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