Keep calm, letter warning Nairobians of impending terror attack is fake

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has dismissed claims that areas within the city are being targeted by terrorists.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai instead assured of continued safety and security across the country.

DCI said that the alert was meant to cause apprehension, fear, despondency and panic and warned the public against spreading it.

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The agency added that efforts to investigate the source are ongoing and action will be taken against the culprits.

It said the fake alert, which has been widely shared on social media, was drafted casually and was not its style and design of dispatching classified information.

The George Kinoti-led bureau was responding to a document claiming American-operated establishments in Nairobi could be targeted by terrorists in the wake of the US-Iran hostilities.

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“Kenya could be targeted due to its alliance with the US and could be targeted by sympathisers seeking retaliatory and opportunistic attacks on soft targets,” the fake security brief read.

The letter purports to have been authored by Regional Criminal Investigation Officer (RCIO) Bernard Nyakwaka.

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The DCI, however, notes that the office of the Nairobi RCIO is neither authorised nor does it have the capacity to issue such information.

“There are authorities that deal and tasked with such operations and are best placed to issue such alerts,” the DCI said, calling on the public to ignore it with the contempt it deserves.

Travel advisory

The false security brief followed a travel advisory issued by the British Government to its citizens visiting Kenya, warning that terrorists might try to carry out attacks.

The UK, through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) called on its citizens to be extra vigilant when visiting areas frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, and commercial buildings, coastal areas including beaches, government buildings, airports, buses and trains. 

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The advisory issued on Saturday, listed areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border, Garissa County, Lamu and Tana River County as places the Britons should not set foot on unless extremely necessary.

“There is a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya,” the advisory read, adding that the attacks could occur at any time.

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TerrorismTerror alertHillary Mutyambai