DFAT has advised travellers heading to the African country of terrorism threats. Possible targets include Kenyan Government buildings, major infrastructure and refugee camps near the Kenya-Somalia border where Western aid workers may be targeted.
DFAT advises Australians to exercise a high degree of caution overall in Kenya “due to the high risk of terrorist attack, civil unrest and high crime levels in the country. We also continue to strongly advise Australians not to travel to border regions with Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan, because of the extremely dangerous security situation”.
Several tourists have been kidnapped by fanatical Islamist groups and DFAT assesses the threat of further kidnappings as “very high”.
“We continue to receive reports that terrorists may be planning attacks against a range of targets in Kenya, including Kenyan and Western interests,” DFAT warns.
“On 23 April 2012, the US Embassy in Nairobi warned that it had received credible information regarding a possible attack on Nairobi hotels and prominent Kenyan government buildings. Timing of the attack was not known, but the Embassy had reason to believe the potential attack to be in the last stages of planning.
“Somali-based militants have threatened to launch attacks in Kenya in retaliation for military operations within Somalia by Kenyan security forces. These threats are renewed regularly, most recently in early April 2012. Attacks could occur in any part of Kenya, including at locations frequented by Westerners.
“Since the beginning of Kenyan military operations in Somalia in October 2011, there have been a number of attacks in Kenya, most recently fatal hand grenade attacks occurred in Nairobi on 29 April and Mombasa on 31 March. Further attacks are likely.
“In early April 2012, Kenyan authorities alerted the public to a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and Coast province. In December 2011, four people were arrested in Mombasa on charges relating to an alleged bomb plot.
“There is an ongoing very high threat of kidnap to Westerners, including residents, tourists, journalists and humanitarian workers. The risk of kidnapping is highest in parts of Kenya that are close to the border with Somalia. A number of Westerners were kidnapped from Kenya in late 2011.’
Written by : Peter Needham