Kenya has thwarted a major bio-terror plot by an unknown East African terror network linked to ISIL through the security surveillance of the country’s police department, officials say. The plot, which is said to have been aimed at specific vantage points in Kenya. has seen the arrest of three suspects including a medical student, Mohammed Abdi Ali, who doubles as an intern at a local hospital with two other medical interns said to be on the run.
So far the Kenyan police have confirmed that the terror network these interns are suspected to be involved with extends from Kenya to Somalia, Libya and Syria. Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet reveals that the said students had planned to ”unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax.”
The Kenyan court has ordered that the Anti-Terror Police Unit incarcerated Ali for up to 30 days as part of measures to beef up and complete investigations.
Kenya is respected for being a major partner in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), thus leaving the East African economy as one of the main targets of terrorists groups like al-Shabaab. In 2002, terrorists detonated a bomb at a hotel on Kenya’s coast while simultaneously shooting a surface-to-air missile at an Israeli commercial aircraft, narrowly missing the target. Then there was the September 2013 insurgent attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi that took the lives of 67 individuals from nearly a dozen countries around the world. One of the biggest attacks was the massacre of 148 students at Garissa University in April 2015, further staining Kenya’s reputation as a hub for terrorism, violent extremism and factionalism. Just recently, 38 university students were injured in the capital of Nairobi after they mistook screams from a fellow student for signs of an extremist attack similar to the one at Garissa.
Despite such attacks, Kenya remains resilient and committed to the protection of its borders, establishing the National Security Intelligence Service with support from the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) Program; creating the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU); a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF); and the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) in 2003, along with the provision of effective technology to screen travelers arriving at various airports and border crossings.