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Kenya police on high alert over reports of planned terror attacks on major airports

COUNTIES
By CYRUS OMBATI | Feb 29th 2016 | 2 min read

Nairobi, Kenya: Security has been beefed up at major Kenyan airports following intelligence reports that Al-Shabaab militants are planning to stage attacks.

A leaked internal memo shows up to 11 Al-Shabaab suicide bombers have been trained ready for the mission.

According to the memo from the Kenya Airports Authority security, the planned attacks to be staged end of February and early March will target domestic flights.

“The attacks mainly target domestic flights and operatives posing as passengers intend to blow themselves up during landing,” says part of the memo dated February 26 and signed by head of security Eric Kiraithe.

Kiraithe refused to comment on the memo when reached.

The memo warns that the planned attacks by the terrorists against Kenyan airports may paralyse operations at the vital installations with far reaching ramifications to national security.

“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 while the rest will focus on airports at the Coast region among them Moi International Airport.”

A section of Kenyans rely on domestic flights to connect to their destinations. There are many local flights that operate to various airports within the country.

A spot-check showed security screening at the airports had been boosted.

The memo comes days after Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet said Al-Shabaab threat remains alive in the country.

“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,” said Boinnet on Friday.

He on Friday called on Kenyans to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to the police for immediate action.

Boinnet said security agencies have made significant progress in counter terrorism measures which has seen foiling of several arrests of terror suspects in Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Nairobi.

“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 has about 4,000 troops in the 22,000-strong African Union force battling al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, in Somalia.

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