There is huge security concerns at Kenya’s main airports and security of the area has been heightened, after intelligence reports that suicide bombers are plotting to carryout a possible blast against Kenyan’s airports soon.
A security memo from the Kenya Airports Authority security that recently spilled reveals that up to 11 suicide bombers have passed out of Somali’s terror group al Shabaab training camp for an airborne suicide missions in Kenya, in late February or early March.
This has grown tensions among security agencies both within and outside the airports over new plans of attack which al Shabaab might be planning.
The memo comes days after Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet said Al-Shabaab threat to the country is still deep-rooted.
A part of the memo dated February 26 and endorsed by head of security Eric Kiraithe reads:
Consequently, a team of 11 suicide bombers have undergone training within Somalia on airborne suicide missions in readiness for the attacks.
Five operatives will target Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport [both in the capital, Nairobi] while the rest will focus on airports at the Coast region, among them Moi International Airport.
The attacks mainly target domestic flights and operatives posing as passengers intend to blow themselves up during landing.
Kiraithe was reached for commentary, but he declined to talk on the memo when reached.
The document warned that airports in the capital, Nairobi, and Mombasa were among those being targeted by militants trained in Somalia
The memo also cautions that the country’s security needs to do everything it could to deter the attack by the terrorists against Kenyan airports as it will most likely cripple or disrupt the system’s operations at the vital installations.
It also states that the attack, if executed, will cause an all-embracing consequence to national security that might linger forever.
Security has heightened in the airports since the memo was unveiled and Joseph Boinnet on Friday appealed to Kenyans to remain watchful and bring to the attention of the police if they notice anything suspicious.
Boinnet added that:
Available information indicate that Al-Shabaab is still keen on attacking us targeting security installations, soft targets in the Northern Kenya Counties, in the Coast and other major cities.
He also noted that security agencies have made some great achievement in counter-terrorism measures which have led to bundling of some terror suspects in Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Nairobi to police custody.
These include those who were responsible for recent terror attacks in Lamu area. Al-Shabaab terror attacks have been on the increase since Kenyan troops crossed to Somalia to crush the group. They have been blamed on killings of more than 500 Kenyans in separate attacks.
Kenya is set to procure a drone from USA which is ranked among the smartest war weapons in the world. This is to enable them monitor the activities of the terrorists. When finally procured, the country will be the second in Africa to have purchased it.
However, Kenyan officials decline memo saying that it contains no credible information of an imminent threat against the country’s airports.
At a press conference, the head of Kenya’s airports authority, Yatich Kangugo, explained that the memo contained unverified information which had been released prematurely.
He also noted that disciplinary action would be taken against the person who leaked the document.