Following two explosions that occurred in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate over the weekend, police have come to the awareness that terrorists have now conceived a new tactic to carry out their attacks, by using unsuspecting members of the public to carry explosives.
The new modus operandi involves the disguise of explosives as ordinary household items which are handed over to unsuspecting persons, while the operatives detonate them from a safe distance via remote control.
Police had initially attributed the first of the weekend’s explosions which occurred near St Teresa’s Catholic Church to a gas cylinder but later revealed that further investigations showed that it was an improvised explosive device (IED).
According to The CID boss Ndegwa Muhoro, this trend is the most challenging to police officers since it makes it impossible for them to track down the terrorists unlike in cases of suicide bombings.
KENYA HIT BY TERRORIST ATTACKS
Following the Kenya defense forces invasion into Somalia (codenamed Operation Linda Nchi) in an effort to hunt down Al-Shabaab militia, the country has been hit by numerous explosions especially in Nairobi, Mombasa and the North Eastern region. The attacks are believed to be carried out by Al-Shabaab recruits and have claimed lives of many innocent Kenyans and left scores injured.
In an appalling attack by the militia last month, terrorists opened fire and hurled grenades at worshippers in a church in Garissa, leaving eighteen people dead and more than 66 others injured. The attack was criticized strongly by the Muslim leaders who were of the opinion that the Al-Shabaab agenda was to stir animosity between Muslims and Christians.
Fortunately both the Muslim and the clergy agreed that the incidents were acts of terrorism and vowed to stay united, with Muslims offering financial support to victims of the attacks and security to worshippers during their Sunday services.
“We treat the incident as an act of international terrorism and not a war between Muslim and Christian faithful. The first casualty of the attackers was a Muslim police officer guarding our church, but the terrorist were targeting the Christian worshipping places to stir despondency pitting the communities of two faiths”, said John Maura, the chairman of pastors’ fellowship in Garissa.
NEW TACTICS BY KENYA POLICE AND CITY COUNCILS
Kenyan police are burning the midnight oil to come up with strategies to curb the recent terrorism tactics. Most recently this has resulted in a campaign to remove hawkers and ‘street families’ from the streets of Nairobi city centre following intelligence reports that terrorists plan to use them to plant explosives. Similar action has been taken in the Central Business District of Meru.
The National Security Advisory Committee have also agreed to speed up the introduction of close circuit television cameras in Nairobi at a cost of Sh350 million and then to extend the scheme to Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Meru and Mombasa.
In the meantime fellow Kenyans, the Forum says stay vigilant.