Kenyatta Signals Anti-Terror Sting Operations

17 January 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that security officers will mount sting operation to flush out Al Shabaab operatives in the North Eastern and Coastal regions which have witnessed a spike in terrorist attacks since December.

The Head of State announced the move on Friday as he heralded a fresh war against terror group financiers and recruiters of Al Shabaab.

"We will respond robustly by mounting the operation against the operatives and sleeper cells especially in the North Eastern and Coast. I also expect the officers to use proactive measures in dealing with the attackers," said Mr Kenyatta during a meeting with security bosses in Mombasa.

The president said key financiers will be listed nationally and internationally in a bid to cripple their operations.

"Illegal deals fund Al Shabaab. I also expect more on dealing with the sponsors and the recruiters," he added while singling out trade in contraband as a direct contributor to the Somalia-based terror group.

He also directed the administration officers including regional and county commissioners to engage politicians and religious leaders within communities to ensure that terrorists do not get space to make inroads with locals.

"Government administrators and police are to engage local politicians, religious and opinion leaders within vulnerable communities as a proactive strategy to deny terrorism entry points into radicalisation, especially of our youth."

Earlier this week, Interior Secretary Fred Matiang'i announced that security officers would also deal with locals who collaborate with terrorists by harbouring them.

In his Friday address, Mr Kenyatta said the government will offer pre-deployment training for security officers in terror-prone areas even as he urged the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to process field allowances for the officers.

"The tactics used by the enemies are dynamic and we will offer more training for our officers as we continue to equip them."

The fresh raft of measures come amid a recent spike in attacks by Al Shabaab in northern Kenya and the Coast that have raised concern that the militia group may be weakened but is not yet defeated.

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