Police rush to thwart terror attack as IG disowns memo

An aerial view of Nairobi Photo/Monicah Mwangi
An aerial view of Nairobi Photo/Monicah Mwangi

Police are racing to thwart an al Shabaab plan to carry out a series of terror attacks in Nairobi.

A security brief sent to Flying Squad and divisional DCI bosses on Thursday required them to put their teams on high alert.

“Six al Shabaab (AS) operatives led by Ahmed Harith Mahmoud are planning to attack Times Tower and Treasury buildings within the Central Business District (CBD) between Sunday 28th October 2018 and Sunday4th November2018,” the memo reads in part.

The memo said Harith is an associate and logistician of Ahmed Iman Ali alias Engineer, a Kenyanborn in Majengo, Nairobi, but currently based in Somalia.

The terrorists include a woman, and have been conducting reconnaissance of the targeted buildings for a month. They are staying in Umoja and Kariobangi.

Although Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet dismissed the memo as a fake, its leakage caused a storm in the police command, and there was a meeting over the same at the Nairobi area police headquarters yesterday.

A senior officer confirmed the alert and said more officers are already deployed around the targeted buildings and the city. The officers were yesterday seen at strategic points around the buildings.


“It is not genuine. And that is not to say there are no such things [ terror threats], but we are always alert,” Boinnet said on the phone.

Police in March said the botched terror attack in February targeted the Supreme Court and other government buildings in Nairobi.

They said key suspect Abdimajit Hassan Adan worked closely with Anthony Kitila Makau, Mohamed Osman Nane, John Kiarie, and Lydia Nyawira Mbur.

The Supreme Court would have been the epicentre of the bomb attack, which would have been followed by successive attcks at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Parliament Buildings, City Hall, the Technical University of Kenya, Central Bus Station, Jeevanjee Gardens, Serena Hotel, the University of Nairobi, and Milimani law courts.