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    Nairobi on high terror alert Standard Reporter and Agencies ... Nairobi was on a high state of alert yesterday following a warning by the US Embassy of a new
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2003
      Nairobi on high terror alert
      Standard Reporter and Agencies

      Nairobi was on a high state of alert yesterday following a warning by
      the US Embassy of a new terrorist threat.

      And two buildings in the Central Business District were evacuated
      when anonymous callers warned of bombs. The warnings turned out to be
      a hoax.

      The new fears come ahead of a visit by the US Health Secretary Mr
      Tommy Thompson to Nairobi later in the week.

      Barclays Plaza was evacuated for four hours after the KLM airline
      office received a phone call saying there was a bomb in the building,
      Mr Patrick Kinyua, the head of security for the building, said.

      Until recently, the building housed the US Embassy Public Affairs

      And a Barclays branch office, also in the CBD, was also evacuated for
      several hours when the manager received a similar threat.

      The Minister for Tourism and Information, Mr Raphael Tuju, confirmed
      the Government had received information about a threat to two
      downtown hotels in Nairobi.

      "We are evaluating it and taking the necessary action," he said. Tuju
      said it would not be appropriate to comment further. "We have had
      similar kind of warnings in the past but I don't want to go into the
      details," he said.

      The Government sent armed General Service Unit personnel to guard the

      The US Embassy sent warnings to all American citizens to stay away
      from the CBD following what it termed an uncorroborated and anonymous
      report of a potential terrorist attack.

      The US Government recently received an anonymous warning detailing
      terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in downtown

      " ... the timing of the threat is within the next several days," the
      embassy said in a statement.

      The United Nations also warned its employees to keep off the City
      centre yesterday and today.

      The US embassy spokesman, Mr Peter Claussen, said American
      authorities received an anonymous tip detailing the terrorist threats
      on Monday.

      Embassy officials have already shared that information with Kenyan
      authorities and have been assured the necessary steps are being taken
      to counter the threat.

      A high-level security meeting was hurriedly convened at Vigilance
      House in the afternoon to validate the information regarding the
      reports of a planned terror attack in the city.

      Senior police officers including the officer Commanding Anti-
      Terrorism Unit, Mr Mathew Kabetu, his deputy Mr Kaua Mbijjiwe and the
      Nairobi Provincial Police Officer, Mr Jonathan Koskei, met from 2.30
      pm to discuss the alert.

      A senior police source, while confirming that the was information of
      a possible terror attack on hotels, vital installations and
      embassies, said all sites had been checked and no unusual discoveries
      had been made.

      He added that all the installations and premises were currently being

      He noted that terrorists do not warn or reveal where they intend to
      strike, but instead claim responsibility after the act.

      Kenya has been attacked by terrorists twice. On August 7, 1998, the
      US embassy was destroyed and 219 people killed in a terrorist bomb
      attack. In November 2002, a car bomb blew up outside the Paradise
      Hotel in Kikambala, north of Mombasa, killing 15 people, including
      three Israeli tourists.

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