We must not lower guard against terror

On Tuesday this week, Al-Shabaab terrorists raided an African Union peacekeepers’ camp in the South of Somalia and killed several Ugandan soldiers.

This brazen attack on an army base serves to remind all countries in the region that the insurgents are still a clear and present danger and may only have gone underground to regroup after their hideouts were destroyed by Amisom forces.

Kenya’s security agencies must take special care and stay alert to the possibility of fresh attacks in the country.

There are several pointers to this possibility that cannot be ignored. First, the discovery of an arms cache in Garissa County is ample warning that the insurgents are still active and can smuggle in arms.

Secondly, some youths in Mombasa who recently surrendered to the authorities after having been linked to Al-Shabaab, have reportedly disappeared again and their whereabouts remain unknown. Furthermore, some families cannot account for the whereabouts of their teenage children suspected to have willingly, or through inducements, joined the terror militia.

Increased incidence of drug abuse and desperation among jobless youths provides fertile breeding ground for militants, and these issues must be addressed.  Security agencies must therefore prime their level of alertness to avoid being caught unawares.

They must actively deter any planned attacks on innocent Kenyans. To complement these efforts, private citizens must not lower their guard and must be vigilant against suspicious activities and individuals in their neighbourhood.