Heavy police contingent at Thika Court amid terror alert

Police and sniffer dogs at the Thika Law Courts on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

A heavy contingent of police was today deployed to the Thika Law Courts in Kiambu County after the National Intelligence Service (NIS) shared information on a planned terror activity.

Thika Sub-County Police Commander Daniel Kinyua confirmed to The Standard that they had received the alert from the NIS on Tuesday.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Thika Chapter chairperson, Erick Gachau, told The Standard that they had also received the notice, which was communicated through police.

Police received the alert on Tuesday, March 1. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

“Dear members, we have just received information from the Head of Station, Thika Law Courts that the National Intelligence Service received an alert of an intended terror attack in Thika Law Courts [on Wednesday, March 2], and this explains the heavy presence of police from various departments in the station today,” said LSK Thika Chapter Secretary Stephen Mbugua in a communication to lawyers, who had assignments at the Thika Law Courts on Wednesday.

“We wish to inform you that the security forces are handling the matter and all court sessions shall begin at 10am,” Mbugua’s notice to lawyers further said.

Thika police boss Daniel Kinyua said they swiftly acted on the information upon receiving it from the NIS.

“We had to mobilise a multi-agency of police officers to thwart any terror attempts,” he said.

An emergency security meeting was held in Thika early Wednesday to plan deployment within and outside the court premises.

“I cannot reveal the number of officers assigned the duties, but rest assured that we are in control,” said Kinyua.

Rose Wanjiku, who had travelled from Murang’a County for a mention of a land case, was among those affected by the halting of operations at the Thika Law Courts amid police action.

Kenyans waiting outside Thika Law Courts on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

“I was shocked to learn that there was an alleged terror plot targeting the court,” she said.

Thika Law Courts is one of the busiest courts in Kiambu County, regularly handling high-profile land disputes, with parties to the cases coming from as far as Machakos and Murang’a counties.

The Thika terror alert comes a day after the United States urged vigilance, especially in the Kenyan airspace, warning that terrorists could be planning to launch an air attack.