S.I Warns of possible terrorist attacks orchestrated by the Somali extremist movement Shebaab Mujahideen, targeting specific targets in the Lamu County, Coastal Kenya.
In Early May 2018, the terrorist group deployed a platoon size (40 men) of heavily armed militants to Kenya through the sea town of Ras-Kamboni Somalia. The group, based on S.I-CT Trackers used the borderline area of Ishakani in Kenya to slip into the country. Ishakani has been partially used by the militants to conduct psychological warfare against its target audience in Kenya and Somalia.
The group was detected in Mid-May 2018 in Kiunga villages, also a frontier area. Both Kiunga and Ishakani provides the terrorists with geographical advantages due to their proximity to the semi-porous border with Somalia, and a partially capable police-line. Army outposts are far away. This allows the militants to exploit geography and time to sally against targets vulnerable to the two factors.
Early June 2018, The Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen Movement leaders in Juba instructed the group join a major cell based in Boni Forest, a 1,339 km2 of indigenous open canopy coastal forest. HUMINT Reports confirmed sighting of 45-60 men between Kiunga and Hindu areas.
Kenya Security Agencies reported sighting of a slightly larger number of the extremists in Kihonge Forest which lies between Witu and Mpeketoni farming villages. The area remains prone to extremist’s terrorists’ activities.
- On the morning of Monday 18th June, the Somali Islamist group Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen Movement published a video paying tribute to its fighters killed in Baure, Lamu County in Coastal Kenya on 14th June 2015. Publication of jihadi content is often an activation of cells to either deploy and orchestrate terrorists’ events, or initiate the next step of an impending terrorist attack.
- S,I Tracked and analyzed the activities of the terror group in the coastal area, particularly in Lower Garissa and Lamu areas throughout the time between June 2017 and June 2018 and found out that the group often surged during the same time of the year.
- Security agencies in Kenya thrice issued terror warnings within a month ‘for’ the North Easter Province prefecture (NEP) in whose south, Lamu County lies. The warnings were based on government intelligence services reports.
- Previously attacked targets remain prone to attacks. These include farming villages occupied by persons of Christian faith, police stations, police and army patrol teams, churches, government offices, banks, and passengers service vehicles besides personal vehicles.
- Those traveling to nearby or these areas, including Government officials, Diplomats, Non-Governmental Organization workers, tourists, and civilians must exercise caution by getting police protection. It is advisable to avoid traveling to the area by road or better reschedule plans.