Police Thwart Terror Attack in Nairobi
Two suspected terrorists have been arrested and six suicide bombs, 12 grenades, four AK 47 rifles and 480 bullets recovered from them as police thwarted a major terror plot in Nairobi.
The two were arrested at a residential house on Thursday night in Eastleigh area where they have been staying in the past two months while plotting the alleged attack on churches.
Police said they were part of a larger terror gang that planned to attack strategic buildings in the city. Two other suspects are at large and police are hunting them in the city. The suspects apparently planned to use them at churches on Sunday.
The suicide bombs had been mounted on vests attached with mobile phones with batteries, which police said would have ignited a series of explosions.
Detectives from Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Flying Squad said they stumbled on the weapons as they pursued information that the four suspects of Somali origin had brought in the four rifles.
The weapons are believed to have originated Somalia. Six of the grenades are from China and the rest from Russia said the head of bomb disposal unit Mr Eliud Lagat.
Each of the four rifles had four magazines with 30 bullets and police believe they were to be used in attacking the public if and when the explosions went off.
The weapons seem to have been ferried to the seven storey building because they were kept in two huge traveling suit cases when police arrived at the scene.
Nairobi Area deputy police boss Moses Ombati said the seizure was made out of sharing of intelligence between the public and police.
“They planned a major attack and destruction. We have six dangerous bombs, several bullets, rifles, grenades and two suspects in custody,” said Ombati.
Ombati added two other accomplices who had gone out to stake on sites that they planned to attack in the city are at large.
The room where the weapons were hidden seems to have been hosting several tenants as it was stuffy when police arrived and there were three mattresses, food, several water jerricans, clothes but there was no bed.
Neighbours said the occupants of the one bedroom on the first floor were new there, an indication they wanted to use the room for a short while and compose the bombs before hitting their targets.
Police used the seizure to renew their call on the public especially in crowded areas to exercise caution at all times.
Ombati said they are yet to know the churches that the gang targeted but they are using the information they have gathered to put in place security measures to curb any form of attacks.
He said the weapons were part of the larger work of the Somalia terror group Al-Shabaab. He said the gang is plotting on a daily basis to strike in the country hence need for vigilance and alertness.
The seizure came a week after police seized 157 bomb detonators in Nairobi’s Githurai estate.
A woman was arrested after she went to report to police that a man who is not known to her had left a bag containing the explosives in her kiosk.
Police said the woman told them the man had come with the bag with the detonators and asked her to keep it for him and that he would return to pick it after an hour.
But after two hours lapsed and the man failed to come for the bag, the woman decided to check the contents. She realized there were detonators therein and dashed to alert police.
The number of terror attacks in the country has increased since Kenya sent troops to Somalia last October to crush the militants who have been blamed for a number of insecurity incidents.
Somalia is the only country in Africa with an ongoing civil war. If Burundi and Rwanda could get past one of the worst geniocide in Africa and Sudan can put their differences aside and divide the country. Somalia should learn from their fellow East African countries.