Kenya airport braces after terror warning

2014-02-26 09:12
Nairobi - Kenya's security chiefs on Tuesday ordered that defences be boosted around the capital's airport, including against possible missile attack amid "increased threats of radicalisation" from homegrown Islamist extremists.  

The country's top defence body, the National Security Council (NSC), demanded extra protection around Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Kenya has suffered a string of attacks blamed on Islamist insurgents, including the September massacre in Nairobi's Westgate mall in which at least 67 people were killed Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab said the Westgate attack was a warning to Kenya to pull its troops out of southern Somalia, where they are fighting the Shebab as part of an African Union force.

The NSC "approved the construction of an integrated security screening facility" on the approach to the JKIA terminals, east Africa's largest international flight hub, presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said in a statement.

The defence boost will also bring together security forces protecting the jet fuel depot and the "operations base camp for protection against the threat of Man operated Anti-Aircraft Devices (MANPADS) on low flying aircraft," Esipisu added.

Four Somali men are awaiting trial for a failed attack in January at a cafe at the airport, which police had initially dismissed as an exploding light bulb. Security checks at the entrance of the airport have been significantly beefed up since the blast, which injured no one.

The NSC, which met Tuesday, is headed by the president and includes the chiefs of the armed forces, intelligence and police among others.

It also warned of an "increased prevalence of radicalisation centres", including a mosque in Nairobi and two in the main port city of Mombasa, where supporters have clashed several times with security forces in recent years.

The "NSC further noted with concern the impact of radicalisation on the political economic, social and security well-being of Kenya."

Homegrown groups including the Islamist Al-Hijra group, a radical organisation formerly known as the Muslim Youth Center, operate on Kenya's coast and have been linked to the Shebab.
Read more on:    kenya  |  travel  |  travel international  |  air travel

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.