Al-Shabaab terrorist group warns of attacks like Garissa

by Gregory Tomlin, |

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Christian Examiner) – Leaflets warning of more attacks on Kenyan schools by al-Shabaab terrorists were circulated in western Kenya May 9, Dalsan radio in Mogadishu, Somalia, is reporting.

The radio station said security officials had collected some of the leaflets, in which suspected al-Shabaab terrorists had listed four primary schools in western Kenya's Elgeyo Marakwet County as targets. Officials reportedly increased security after the leaflets were discovered.

Police have begun an investigation into the source of the threat, but there is little doubt they were distributed by al-Shabab terrorists, the radio report said.

Al-Shabab promised more attacks on Kenyan soil following the deadly attack at Garissa University College April 2, which killed 147 and wounded 79. Christian students were singled out for execution in the attack. Muslim students were allowed to leave the school unharmed.

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper also reported Sunday that troops were combing the bush outside of Zombe in southeastern Kitui County after a school girl there said five armed men had asked her for water. When she provided it, they reportedly told her to run away.

Police flooded the area 160 miles away from Garissa, fearing the gunmen were about to attack the Zombe AIC Girls Secondary School or the nearby Southeastern Kenya University. Witnesses in the search area reported hearing gunshots, but police have not yet released any details on why the shots were fired.

The distribution of the leaflets in western Kenya and the possible presence of gunmen in eastern Kenya has many in Kenya wondering if al-Shabaab is preparing for a nationwide terror operation. Whether they are or not, several schools in Kenya are not taking any chances. They have now closed because of poor security.

On April 24, the Garissa Kenya Medical Training College, which was in the process of training 250 nurses, badly needed in the country, closed due to security concerns. An official with the school said the government did not have enough soldiers to protect students and teachers, the Daily Nation reported.

Migori Teachers Training College closed the next day for the same reason. Migori County Police Commander David Kirui said police had solid evidence a terrorist attack was to take place in the county in the westernmost part of Kenya.

Kenya has suffered a series of attacks since al-Shabaab terrorists laid claim to lands in eastern Kenya in 2011. They carried out a series of cross-border attacks. Afterwards, Kenyan troops moved into Somalia to stabilize the region. Now, al-Shabab, which started the conflict, claims it will continue its attacks until Kenyan troops leave its soil.