6 May 2014

Kenya: Police Say NIS Terror Intelligence 'Too Vague'

Photo: Capital FM
A Sunday morning shooting at a church in Likoni Mombasa has left several dead and scores injured.

SENIOR Police officers yesterday said that warnings of possible attacks from the National Intelligence Service were far too vague.

"If you are told that there are people planning attacks in Nairobi in two days, and there are no specific details of where or even who, where do you start from in a city that has more than four million people? The intelligence being gathered is wanting," a senior police officer told the Star.

An NIS brief circulated last week to senior police officers in Nairobi warned of attacks targeting many areas including shopping malls.

Two bus attacks on Thika Road in Nairobi on Sunday killed three people and injured 80 others.

Senior Police officers at Vigilance House told the Star that the information from the National Intelligence Service about impending attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa was very vague and difficult to act on.

Investigators with the Anti Terrorism Police said they are being forced to rely on briefings from Military Intelligence.

The KDF has officially been part of the war on terror since last October when President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned a military brigade to patrol the borders and reinforce police operations.

The police officers spoke to the Star as Deputy President William Ruto called a press conference to blame the judiciary for releasing terror suspects on bail.

"Every institution of government must appreciate the situation the country is in and work out a mechanism that will make us deal decisively with the threat of terrorism," said Ruto.

"There is more that the judiciary can do to ensure that terrorists do not find their way into society," Ruto said

Yesterday Ruto, flanked by the country's top security chiefs, rejected calls for the withdrawal of the KDF from Somalia saying " we will not be intimidated by the kicks of a dying horse".

The Deputy President defended the performance of the security chiefs and rejected calls for them to be sacked.

"We are not interested in a game of musical chairs," said Ruto.

Ruto was flanked by NIS boss Gen Micheal Gichangi, Interior minister Joseph Ole Lenku, and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.

Ruto said at least 22 terror suspects on bail have absconded and put themselves beyond the reach of the law.

He mentioned Fuad Abubakar Mwaswab who fled to Somalia while on Sh10 million bond, and Jamal Mohammed Awadh and Suleiman Mohammed Sayyed who died on Saturday at Mwembe Tayari while carrying out a bomb attack.

Ruto pointed out that Fuad is a co-accused with Jermaine John Grant who was arrested in possession of explosives.

"The security agencies will pursue, apprehend and bring the perpetrators to account. For this reason we call on the judiciary to be a strong partner in the war against terror," Ruto declared.

" If every Kenyan becomes vigilant about personal security, there will be little or no room for opportunists seeking to harm to execute their evil schemes. Every Kenyan must take keen interest in what is going on around them and must be ready to provide information to security agencies on anybody and anything with a suspicious appearance," Ruto said.

The opposition ODM party dismissed Ruto's statement as inadequate and asked the government to do more to protect Kenyans.

"Ruto can afford to say that his government cannot be intimidated because he does not take matatus and has no relatives in Somalia. The ordinary Kenyan is intimidated by increasing insecurity in the country," said Anyang' Nyong'o, acting ODM leader.

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