Al-shabaab Plot to kill Clinton in Nairobi Kenya was foiled at last minute.
•A plot by al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants to bomb the hotel where Secretary Clinton was staying during her visit to Nairobi, Kenya, last month (shown above) was foiled at the last minute, The Australian reports. Photo: SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images.
Islamists ‘plotted to kill Clinton in Nairobi hotel’
•From: The Australian
•September 08, 2009 12:00AM
RADICAL Islamist al-Shabaab militants linked to al-Qa’ida and based in Somalia plotted to kill US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her trip to Africa last month , August 2009 , it was disclosed yesterday, September 08, 2009 .
A planned series of bomb attacks set to take place in Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya, while Mrs Clinton was there – one in the hotel where she was staying – was foiled at the last minute, media reports, citing senior security officials, said.
“Al-Qa’ida wanted to strike at the heart of Nairobi (while Mrs Clinton was here),” the senior security official was quoted as saying, adding that Kenyan authorities intercepted communications between the plotters in war-ravaged Somalia and their operatives in Nairobi, which has a large emigre Somali population.
Five suspected al-Shabaab terrorists were arrested, including a man believed to be a Somali carrying a Danish passport. The four other suspects seized, including a woman, had what appeared to be false Kenyan identity documents, according to the reports.
Disclosure of the foiled bomb plot coincided yesterday with claims by a spokesman for al-Shabaab – which was listed last month as a terrorist organisation by the Australian government after an alleged plot to attack Sydney’s Holsworthy army barracks was discovered – that it was reinforcing its positions around Mogadishu in anticipation of a major battle.
Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamoud Rage said the Islamists were preparing to defend themselves against an expected “major aggression” from Somali government forces and peacekeepers from the African Union.
Al-Shabaab and its allied Hezbul Islam group already control much of what remains of Mogadishu. They have vowed to seize control of the whole of the devastated city.
At the just-concluded African Union summit in Libya, the Somali government asked for the full deployment of 8000 peacekeepers, adding significantly to the current strength of the force, which numbers 5000.
It also sought a change in the force’s mandate from one that limits it to protecting senior Somali government officials and installations to one that will enable it to launch pre-emptive strikes against al-Shabaab.
When she was in Nairobi, Mrs Clinton held talks with Somalia’s interim president, Sheik Sharif Ahmed. According to yesterday’s reports, al-Shabaab, which is seen as an al-Qa’ida catspaw and to be posing an increasing regional threat in Africa, planned three attacks in Nairobi while the US Secretary of State was there.
There were to be major bomb blasts in the hotel where Mrs Clinton and her entourage were staying, as well as at another major hotel and a transport hub.
The reports said that so seriously was the view taken by authorities of the al-Shabaab threat that elements from Kenya’s elite presidential guard were deployed as part of Mrs Clinton’s entourage. Yesterday’s reports said there were concerns al-Shabaab militants living in Nairobi might be acquiring Kenyan identification documents, including passports.
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, in neighbouring Tanzania, were the targets of al-Qa’ida attacks in 1998 that killed 250 people and injured 5000. In 2002, terrorists struck near the port of Mombasa, attacking a tourist hotel and attempting to bring down an Israeli passenger liner leaving the Nairobi airport.
January 3, 2010 Posted by pibillwarner
crime and terrorism
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