Series of Events: Student at Meru Teachers Training College sends school into a freeze mode following false terror alert on 18th May 2015. Less than a week earlier, 11 students injured in stampede after false Al Shabaab terror alert at Kitui Teachers Training College. In April 2015, a student at the University of Nairobi Kikuyu Campus succumbs to injuries from a stampede following false terror alert later established as a faulty electrical cable which cut off power supply to one of the hostels.
All these incidences have disrupted learning in various institutions in Kenya and some have led to the deaths of students.
Intelligence teams have established that lack of a proper channel of information on possible terror attacks within institutions could lead to more deaths if not handled as soon as possible.
Security Assessment on Dissemination of Terror Alert Messages
Kenya is currently fighting Al Shabaab and uprising militia groups’ strategy of instilling fear on Kenyans through their online propaganda.
Terrorist upload videos to demonstrate their relevance, recruit youth through social media, and now spread false terror alert messages to disrupt the police concentration on key areas which are prone to attack.
In January 2015, a Northville High Student made fake terror threats spreading false alerts and even naming students and possible time which the attack was to take place.
An in-depth scrutiny of the Northville threat indicates that later, the student managed to join ISIS in Syria where he was recruited as a suicide bomber, now located in Ramadi.
Central Terrorism Public Alert System in Fighting Terrorism
Al Shabaab threats and any other terror threat set to destabilize the country ought to be channeled from a central source; a Central Terrorism Public Alert System.
The team is expected to fast asses the level of risk involved in any terror threat as seen in the Australian National Terrorism Public Alert System.
The Australian government regularly reviews the threat alerts before disseminating the information to the public through the representative.
This will increase Kenya’s ability to respond to Al Shabaab terror alerts or activities which need the security system’s response.
Together with a hotline number which the public could channel these alerts to, the country is likely to have fewer cases of lost lives in false terror alerts.