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Nairobi on heightened terror alert

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Kenya Police says Al-Qaeda terror group has joined its Somalia Al Shabaab militants in issuing new terror threats.

Anti-terror police indicate they have intelligence showing the international terror group is actively trying to attack installations in Kenya.

"We have information that the most notorious terror group Al-Qaeda has joined in this war and has issued threats to carry out terror activities," said Nairobi Area PPO Anthony Kibuchi.

Kibuchi called for extra vigilance from the public and other security agencies in efforts to contain the threats.

However, he did not specify the nature of threats issued by the group but insisted they are new.

"Let the public take the security measures being undertaken positively. Screening should be mandatory and as such none should avoid irrespective of the individual’s status."

Kibuchi indicated Al-Qaeda is facing pressure from their former bases and are now retreating to the region.

He added they have heightened security especially in Nairobi where the groups are targeting.

Somalia’s Al Shabaab militant group, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, has been issuing threats on Kenya since troops crossed to the war-torn country in October.

Sympathisers of the militants have been carrying out attacks using Improvised Explosive Devices and grenades in the country since then, which have claimed more than a dozen lives and left several others injured.

Police say they are trailing a number of active terrorists who have crossed into the country and are planning terrorism activities.

On Wednesday a warrant to arrest a British woman they accuse of having links with terrorists in the country was issued.

The warrant on Natalie Faye Webb was issued by a Mombasa court, barely a week after Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe circulated the woman’s photograph.

Chief Magistrate Lillian Muinde issued the warrant following an application lodged by Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) detectives who want to question her.

"I direct Anti Terrorism Police Unit to arrest Ms Natalia Faye Webb of Britain and a local Kenyan Habib Saleh Gani with immediate effect," the Magistrate ordered.

"Kenya cannot take any chance as far as acts of terrorism are concerned," she added.

Webb is suspected to be part of a terrorist network, which has been operating in Kenya.

On Saturday, Police Headquarters circulated photographs of 15 people believed to have information that can help in unravelling Al Shabaab criminal activities.

The 15 are alleged to have left Kismayu recently headed for Kenya, with some believed to have already entered the country with the intent of engaging in criminal activities.

Since Kenya embarked on Operation Linda Nchi in mid October last year, strict security measures across the country have been the order of the day in almost all public places.

Despite the beefed security, Kenya has suffered several attacks linked to the Al Shabaab militia group.