Police and the military in Kenya are on high alert following intelligence reports that Al-Shabaab is planning a deadly attack in Kenya.
According to an intelligence report quoted by the Daily Nation, the Al-Shabaab are targeting security forces in Lamu, Mandera and Garissa counties.
“More reports warn of an impending terror attack in Lower Garissa and areas around Boni Forest in Lamu County in Coastal Kenya. Based on previous sighting and threat reports, it is plausible a large number of militants will be deployed to conduct an attack in Kenya,” the report reads in part.
Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata has however refuted the claims, despite the recent attacks on security apparatus in the country.
“We really don’t have specific threats in the region but have heightened security across the counties,” he said.
On May 25, an unknown number of suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked the home of police reservist Noor Jibril in Wajir East Sub-county, killing his seven-year-old son after failing to find him.
“Together with other NPR officers, we were guarding the Hospital (Khorof Harar Hospital) when the suspected Alshabaab attacked my house. We heard the gunshots and we immediately rushed to the scene. Unfortunately, by the time we reached there they had already shot my son and disappeared ” Jibril said.
The incident came a week after five police officers were injured after an Al-Shabaab attack in Mandera. The injured officers were on a routine patrol along the Mandera-Somalia border.
In March, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned of an imminent Al-Shabaab attack targeting Kenyan government security forces, civilians, and Western interests in Kenya.
In a statement, US through FAA said that the attacks could also target joint civil-military airfields, primarily near Kenya’s Eastern border with Somalia and in the Coastal region of Kenya adjacent to Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has publicly declared their intent to conduct attacks in retaliation for Kenya’s counterterrorism operations in Somalia, which Kenya conducts as part of the African Union mission.
FAA said that Al-Shabaab may be emboldened following the announced U.S. withdrawal of forces from Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has conducted multiple attacks targeting civil aviation, including indirect fire attacks on Aden Adde International Airport (HCMM) and remote airfields where international troops are collocated.