The Kenyan police on Thursday called on the public to sustain vigilance in wake of terror threats.
Henry Mutyambai, Inspector General of Police, said they have increased border surveillance to ensure that criminal elements are cut from entering the country.
“However, we wish to caution the public to be extra vigilant even as the police and other security agencies continue to work round the clock to ensure the safety and security of our country and Kenyans at large,” Mutyambai said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The statement comes a few hours after the U.S. embassy in Nairobi issued a security alert, warning that terrorist groups may be plotting an attack against a major hotel in Nairobi.
“The exact hotel has not been identified, but it is believed to be a hotel popular with tourists and business travelers,” says the alert.
The embassy said the public should exercise increased vigilance when visiting or staying at hotels in the Nairobi area.
“If staying at a hotel, be aware of the hotel’s evacuation plan. Plan ahead of time how you would exit the hotel in case of an emergency,” the embassy cautioned.
Kenya’s northeastern region has borne the brunt of grenade and gun attacks in the last several years since Kenya sent its troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the al-Shabab militia group.
Mutyambai said the police have stepped up security around vital installations likely to be targets of attacks by al-Shabab militants who have surged their attacks in Kenya especially in the northeastern region.
“Even as we take steps to improve security in the country, there are still a few criminal elements who may wish to cause harm to the public,” he said.
“We have enhanced police deployment in our cities, towns and particularly in those parts of the country where criminal elements have occasionally instigated criminal activities,” said Munyambai.
The police chief called on members of the public to continue being vigilant and share with the police and other security agencies any suspicious activities.
The statement also came after the extremist group warned of more attacks in northeastern Kenya and called on Christians to vacate the region.
“We are brothers. We share the same country, religion, culture and lineage. We come to your support in order to restore your dignity, your country and your self-determination,” said al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dhere in a 20-minute audio message.
Dhere issued a stern warning to non-locals in northeast Kenya including soldiers, teachers, doctors and drivers to leave immediately, saying the group will target them individually.
The police believe that the militant group still remains the major threat in areas along the common border, noting that the targets include security personnel and establishments along the border as well as commuter vehicles plying routes along the border and coastal regions. Enditem