Mall of America under threat from al-Shabaab

The Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab released a video this weekend claiming to target several malls and shopping centers in the US and Great Britain. The most prominent target mentioned by the terrorists was the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis has a large Somali population and it is reported by DHS that al-Shabaab has been actively recruiting residents. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that shoppers should be vigilant when visiting the mall.

CNN:

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said.

“There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly,” he said.

His comments come as the Mall of America implements new security measures — some of which the mall said in a statement would be noticeable to shoppers. Continue reading

Cyber experts to assess Kenya’s readiness of combating cybercrime

English: Flag of Nairobi (Kenya) Español: Band...

English: Flag of Nairobi (Kenya)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Cyber security experts from the world are due to meet in Nairobi next week for an international conference aimed at assessing the readiness of Kenya to combat cybercrime.

The Kenya 2014 Cyber Security Conference will provide an opportunity to review the outcomes from the previous conference, chart a way forward as well as disseminate advancements and trends in the security sector, organizers said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

“We have noted that the trend globally is for a public private partnership approach to solving cybercrime problems,” said William Makatiani, Managing Director of Serianu Limited, a local cyber security consulting and intelligence firm.

Serianu Limited has teamed up with experts from Canada, Singapore, South Africa, India and the United States to organize the conference.

The June 11 conference is a follow up to the inaugural conference held in 2012 that provided a basis/benchmark for the state of cyber security readiness in the country and region. Continue reading

Timeline: Operation Linda Nchi

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Two Kenyan battalions with air and armored vehicle support were deployed to Somalia at the start of Operation Linda Nchi. Additional troops have entered the country since then. The Kenyan Navy increased patrols along the northern coastline.

Month One (16 October – 15 November)
Month Two (16 November – 15 December)
Month Three (16 December – 15 January)
Month Four (16 January – 15 February)
Month Five (16 February – present)

AMISOM: African Union Mission in Somalia
IGAD: Intergovernmental Authority on Development
SNA: Somali National Army
TFG: Transitional Federal Government

16 OCTOBER 2011
  • A Kenyan battalion, with air and armored vehicle support, crossed the Somali border from Liboi, entering the town of Dhobley in Lower Jubba region. Residents reported that the troop columns were supported by four tanks, along with an estimated 40 armored vehicles, some of which towed artillery.[1]
  • Airstrikes targeted al Shabaab positions in the jungle surrounding the town of Qoqani, along the main road from Dhobley. Airstrikes also hit an al Shabaab base near the town of Afmadow. Kenyan officials have refused to confirm many of the air raids.[2]
  • Kenyan military helicopter crashed at 7:55 pm near Liboi’s primary school, killing five Kenyan military personnel.[3]
  • Kenyan Army units entered Somalia to create a 100 km buffer zone.[4]
17 OCTOBER 2011
  • Kenyan navy patrol boat hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) off the coast of Lamu. Three sailors were injured.[5]
  • A Kenyan battalion reached the Somali town of Elwaq in Gedo region.[6]
  • Kenyan forces established a forward-operating base (FOB) in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region. Forces had already secured Dhobley and Taabta.[7]
  • Airstrikes targeted al Shabaab positions surrounding Afmadow town in Lower Jubba region.[8]
18 OCTOBER 2011
  • Heavy rains in southern Somalia slowed further progress.[9]
  • Kenya and Somalia signed a security and military cooperation agreement in Mogadishu, which limits Kenyan operations to Lower Jubba region.[10]
  • Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir claimed that Kenyan airstrikes had killed 73 al Shabaab militants.[11]
  • A suicide car bomb exploded in Mogadishu near the Foreign Ministry during the visit of Kenyan Defense Minister Mohammed Yusuf Haji and Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula. Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said that the explosion occurred along the planned route to the airport, but that the delegation’s travel plans were changed last minute.[12]
19 OCTOBER 2011
  • Residents reported Kenyan tanks and SNA troops seen in Busar in Gedo region.[13]
  • The TFG-aligned Ras Kamboni brigade stationed in Cag Libaax, 12 km west of Qoqani.[14]
  • Kenyan troops reported to be within 5 km of Afmadow, where al Shabaab had set up a defensive position. Kenyan airstrikes against al Shabaab positions near Afmadow continued. Kenyan officials credited Western satellites with providing intelligence on al Shabaab’s positions.[15]
  • A remote-control roadside bomb exploded in Mogadishu near the seaport.[16]
  • The Kenyan Cabinet unanimously voted for Kenyan troops to secure and remain in Kismayo until the TFG or AMISOM assumes control of the port city.[17]
20 OCTOBER 2011
  • Kenyan airstrikes targeted al Shabaab’s positions in the town of Ras Kamboni in Lower Jubba region.[18]
  • The TFG-aligned Ras Kamboni brigade and Kenyan troops captured the town of Ras Kamboni. Three hundred Ras Kamboni fighters entered the town, forcing al Shabaab to flee.[19]
  • TFG-aligned troops, SNA forces, and Ras Kamboni brigade headed toward Afmadow in Lower Jubba region.[20]
  • Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir stated Kenya’s intention of clearing Kismayo of al Shabaab militants and pirates.[21]
  • SNA and AMISOM troops launch an offensive in Mogadishu to secure Daynile district.[22] Continue reading

Kenya vows to continue fight against terrorism

Posted by LORDRICK MAYABI on March 11, 2012

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Victim of the Machakos bomb blast being assisted by well wishers/AFP

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 11 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has urged Kenyans to remain calm as the government continues to fights terror after a grenade attack on a Nairobi bus station killed six people on Saturday.

Musyoka, visiting survivors at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Saturday night said that it was a difficult moment for the country but that the fight against terror was on course.

“We urge for calm and we will definitely win the war against terrorism,” he said.

The attack took place at the Machakos country bus station, near the city centre. Earlier, a senior police official who did not want to be named said it was believed several grenades had been thrown at the bus station.

“This is an act of people who think that they can puncture the resolve to fight terror, it is a difficult moment by it should strengthen our resolve and am sure we will win,” said the VP.

Earlier, police spokesman Charles Owino was equally defiant as he denounced the bloodshed.

Watch the video…

Continue reading

US Muslims Joining Islamic Insurgency In Africa

From the Associated Press:

NAIROBI, Kenya — The October al-Qaida video shows a light-skinned man handing out food to families displaced by famine in Somalia. But the masked man is not Somali, or even African — he’s a Wisconsin native who grew up in San Diego.

Militant Islamist insurgency is recruiting Americans

A handful of young Muslims from the U.S. are taking high-visibility propaganda and operational roles inside an al-Qaida-linked insurgent force in Somalia known as al-Shabab. While most are from Minnesota, which has the largest Somali population in the nation, al-Shabab members include a Californian and an Alabaman with no ancestral ties to Somalia.

“They are being deployed in roles that appear to be shrewdly calculated to raise al-Shabab’s international profile and to recruit others, especially those from the United States and other English-speaking countries,” said Anders Folk, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted suspected al-Shabab supporters in Minnesota.

Continue reading

Suspected al Shabaab rebels raid Kenya police post

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on the South Lawn...

Image via Wikipedia

By Noor Ali | Reuters

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki (L), walks with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (R) on arrival at the 16th Extra Ordinary Summit of IGAD Heads of state meeting on Somalia, in Addis Ababa November 25, 2011. REUTERS/Kumerra Gemechu

GARISSA, Kenya (Reuters) – Suspected Somali al Shabaab rebel fighters raided a police post near Mandera in northern Kenya Saturday, seizing weapons and burning a mobile phone transmission mast, security officials said.

The group of fighters attacked Arabiya, a trading centre 60 kilometres from Mandera, and engaged police in a firefight before overpowering them and taking all the guns and bullets from the local police post.

“Arabiya was attacked. We believe it’s al Shabaab. They destroyed, burnt a communication booster and took ammunition at the police post,” North Eastern Provincial police commander Leo Nyongesa told Reuters by phone.

There were no injuries or deaths reported.

Kenya ordered its soldiers across the border in October to crush the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab who it said had attacked its security forces and tourists inside Kenya.

ARRESTS

The latest incident comes days after grenade attacks in the frontier town of Garissa killed six, and a roadside bomb killed a soldier in Mandera town.

Nyongesa said police had arrested five people suspected to be involved in the Garissa attack. Continue reading