DCI Deny Warning Of Planned Al Shabaab Attacks in Nairobi

The DCI in a statement on social media deemed the notice, which had a signature under the name of the DCI Regional Coordinator in Nairobi, as fake.

DCI Deny Warning Of Planned Al Shabaab Attacks in Nairobi
Al Shabaab fighters during a past training. /THE EAST AFRICAN

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has flagged as fake a notice issued to all SCCIOs warning of Al Shabaab's threats to carry out terror attacks in Nairobi.

The notice that circulated across social media platforms on Saturday, August 26 had claimed that the attacks were planned to take part within the city before the end of August and in September 2023.

Among the targets marked included bases of Western troops in Kenya as well as hotels and social places frequented by Western diplomats in Nairobi.

"The armed attackers believed to be already in Nairobi, plan to detonate suicide vests reinforced with sporadic shooting in crowded places and/or targeted areas.

A notice to SCCIOs claiming possible terrorist attacks in Nairobi by Al Shabaab, which has since been flagged as fake. /DCI

"Noteworthy, hotels frequented by foreigners, embassies, international schools, vital government installations, and social places such as malls remain vulnerable," read the statement in part.

The notice furthermore called for heightened security vigilance, and enhanced screening into vital installations and social places across the City to forestall likely attacks by terror elements.

The DCI in a statement on social media deemed the notice, which had a signature under the name of the DCI Regional Coordinator in Nairobi, as fake.

"This report doing rounds in sections of the media is FAKE NEWS," wrote the DCI on social media.

Notably, it is not the first time police authorities have downplayed purported intelligence reports of planned terror attacks by the notorious terrorist group in Nairobi, highlighting the issues surrounding the change of command.

On December 14, 2022, Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome took disciplinary action against a police officer who raised a terror alert to other police officers regarding six public areas in Nairobi targeted by terror suspects associated with the Al Shabaab militia group ahead of the festive season.

Makadara Sub-County police commander Timon Odingo in a letter to all STAPOLS who fall under his jurisdiction dated December 13, 2022, named church-owned institutions amongst areas targeted by the militants.

Odingo listed the Presbyterian Guest House and Conference Centre in South C and Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in South B among religious institutions that were under threat.

He also claimed that the group may also be targeting other guest houses and conference centres owned by churches as well as Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.

IG Koome however stated that the officer broke the chain of command by issuing the alert to other officers regarding potential terror attacks on six areas in Nairobi.

"The National Police Service has noted with utmost concern the contents of a letter circulating on social media warning of a potential attack in Nairobi. In tandem with the communication procedure with the NPS, we wish to clarify that the letter has neither originated from the Office of the Inspector General nor has the undersigned officer received any instructions in accordance with the chain of command to author or disseminate the letter

"As a deterrence measure, administrative action has been taken against the concerned officer," Koome stated, further assuring the public that the country was safe under the surveillance of security teams and urging Kenyans to continue with their daily businesses without fear.

DCI detectives notably on Friday, August 18 arrested a 41-year-old man suspected to be a terror suspect and recovered a firearm loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition. 

In an intelligence-led operation conducted in the Riruta area of Dagoreti, Nairobi, the sleuths pounced on Ferdinand Indangasi near a supermarket and recovered five sachets of a white narcotic substance believed to be cocaine from his pockets.

Upon further scrutiny of the suspect’s mobile phone, the officers discovered radicalization literature with extremist teachings, linked to the Al-Shabaab terror network.

"The suspect led detectives to his house located behind the supermarket where upon gaining forceful entry, the detectives recovered a Glock pistol loaded with six rounds of 9mm calibre, Ksh31,000 in cash and 25Kgs of 4-inch nails suspected to be used in the assembly of improvised explosive devices," stated the DCI in part. 

A photo collage of DCI detectives on bikes (Left) and the suspected Al-Shabaab militant (Right) arrested in Dagoretti on Friday, August 18, 2023. /DCI