Security in Review
For the past several months the security situation has been distorted by the regeneration of security alerts on social media platforms leading to panic settling in. The security services have been active and have been able to prevent several terrorist strikes against targets within the country.
A travel ban exists for foreigners on the coastal belt and eastern and north eastern regions of Kenya. This is because of the marginalization of some elements of the coastal populace along religious lines and the retaliatory attacks by Al-Shabaab from Somalia. The Somali Kenya border is very porous and the terrorists can cross with relative ease to carry out attacks. Lamu County is an example of this.
The ability of the security organs to work together and share intelligence is not very good.
The government response to insecurity is often the default method and is arbitrary in nature that often adds fuel to the disgruntled fire.
The criminal situation remains a constant with peaks and troughs depending on the season. Car jacking’s and muggings remain a constant threat and menace which is being made worse by the use of thieves using motorcycles and working with people who spot or look out for potential opportunistic targets within populated areas and residential estates.
Current Terrorist Situation
The situation remains the same with Al-Shabaab committed to carrying out further strikes on Kenyan soil for the government’s position on withdrawing its forces from Somalia. The political fallout from this renders it not possible. Whether the ability of Al-Shabaab to actually carry out the intended attacks is yet to be determined.
There is growing competition between ISIS and Al Qaeda as to which organization is capable of executing the most sensational of attacks. Sensationalism is a key word as the terror groups are desperate for the media coverage it would generate, as this will increase the attraction of their organisations and improve recruiting.
The Boko Haramanisation of Al–Shabaab is an element to watch and the type and style of attacks committed by Boko Haram will undoubtedly have an impact on the type of attack we can expect at some point here. The ability of the security organs to work together remains unchanged though with changes of personalities this is expected to improve. The capacity of assistance offered by western agencies and partners is far greater than the capacity of the government to absorb.
The current travel advisory is good advice and is an element to watch. The continuing exodus of domestic tourists to the coastal region is borne out of habit and life must continue perspectives rather than an improved security situation.
This remains unchanged in nature. People out walking and jogging and using I pods will present themselves as legitimate targets. Beware of persons appearing to be idling or viewing an area. This person is most likely communicating to an armed motorcycle born criminal team who will pull up to you and rob you of whatever you have.
The risk of carjacking and robberies remains unchanged and are ever present. There may be possible links to police. In general there is a 16% increase on criminal activity over last year contrary to the president’s declaration, this is because the majority of crime remains un reported.