So Inhuman! Nine Dead After An Al-Shabaab Massacre in Lamu, All Men, Killed Using Knives

Nine people were on Friday, July 7th night massacred by suspected al-Shabaab militants in Jima and Poromoko villages, Lamu county.

The victims, all men, were slaughtered using knives.

“The 15 militants raided Jima and Pandanguo villages and killed nine men. They were slaughtered like chicken using knives. Something similar to what happened in Mpeketoni in 2014. We suspect there are many bodies that haven’t been recovered,” a police source told the Star.

Jima Village is about two kilometers from Pandanguo where al-Shabaab militants attacked a police station and killed three officers on Wednesday morning.

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The militants had ransacked farms at Jima looking for ‘non-Muslims’ but did not find them since majority had fled following the Wednesday attack in Pandanguo.

Kaingu Kadzomba, a resident, said the militants were only targeting male non-Muslims.

“They said they were fighting for their land and that we should let them be. They even asked Boni farmers to give them green maize but were told it wasn’t ripe yet.They also asked if there were police at Jima center,” he said.

While confirming the recent attack, Linda Boni Operations Director James Seriani said four people had been killed and that police officers had already been deployed to the ground.

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“There was an attack there last night. We are now heading there. Four deaths reported. Forces are being mobilised from all areas to pursue the attackers,”Seriani said.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri also confirmed that there had been an attack but said he didn’t have clear information on the number of casualties.

“There was an attack in the night. Numbers not known,” said Kanyiri in a text.

Residents are now living in fear not knowing where the militants will strike next.







-Cheti Paraxides/The Star



Kenyan Police Beef Up Security After Manchester Explosion Believed To Be a Terrorist Attack

Police have stepped up vigilance in the country following last night‘s terror attack in Manchester, UK where 19 people were killed and more than 59 others wounded.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet says he has ordered officers to be vigilant because terrorism is real, given the threat Kenya faces from Al Shabaab militants.

The vigilance includes thorough screening of motorists and pedestrians and collection of intelligence.

He says security patrols will be intensified and is urging the public to report anything suspicious to authorities.

The attack occurred during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande, causing panic in the 21,000-capacity venue after what eyewitnesses described as a ‘huge bomb-like bang’ in the foyer area at the end of the concert.

If confirmed as a terror incident, it would be the deadliest attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings, which killed 52 people.



-Cyrus Okwema

Mali seeks answers after deadly hotel siege

Malian authorities Sunday sought to identify the perpetrators of a hotel siege in the central town of Sevare that ended with the deaths of at least 12 people including five UN workers.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the assault, which began early Friday when gunmen burst into the Hotel Byblos, which is frequented by expatriates.

The Malian army stormed the hotel and brought the siege to an end early Saturday after a drama lasting nearly 24 hours.

The UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said two Ukrainians, a Nepalese and a South African were killed during the siege and subsequent military operation, as well as a Malian driver working for a company contracted by the mission.

An army officer said “five terrorists” were killed in the operation at a time when the region has seen continuing unrest a spike in jihadist attacks.

Both the army and MINUSMA said the death toll could rise.

Residents said the army mounted patrols overnight in the wake of the siege.

Soldiers could be seen in Sevare as well as along the road to the nearby regional capital Mopti, a popular tourist destination and the gateway to Dogon Country, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A Sevare resident told AFP by telephone in Bamako that the night was calm. “People are starting to go about their business. Everything is returning to normal here in Sevare,” he said.

Located some 12 kilometres (seven miles) from Mopti and 620 kilometres northeast of the capital Bamako, Sevare is a key staging post on the road to Mali’s desert north which fell to Islamic extremists in 2012.

A French-led offensive routed Islamist groups from their northern strongholds the following year.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, France and the United States denounced the hotel attack, which came as Mali is seeking to implement a June peace deal.

Photo Credits : AFP

Kerry in Kenya calls for unity to defeat terrorism

US Secretary of State John Kerry called for unity in the face of terror attacks Monday, as he visited a memorial in Kenya to the 1998 bombing of the US embassy.

The embassy bombing by Al-Qaeda was the worst attack in the east African nation by Islamist militants, killing 213 people.

“The terrorists who struck on August 7, 1998 failed utterly in their purpose, which was to implant fear in the hearts of the Kenyan people and to divide America from the citizens of this country,” Kerry said.

“They failed for the same reason that terrorists will always fail. Yes they can reduce a building to rubble, and yes they can even deprive innocent people of their lives, but they do not give anyone anything of what really makes life worthwhile.”

Last month Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab gunmen massacred close to 150 people, mostly students, in a raid on a university in the northeastern Kenyan town of Garissa.

The raid followed a string of other massacres in the northeast and Muslim-majority coastal areas, and after the September 2013 siege of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi which left at least 67 dead.

“We know that the struggle in which we are all engaged now is not going to be over soon — nearly two years ago at Westgate mall, five weeks ago at Garissa university and at other times,” the top US diplomat said.

“Words are not sufficient to express our sorrow, our outrage, or our wish that we can somehow reverse time and bring all the victims back.”

Kerry arrived in Kenya on Sunday for talks on security cooperation and ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to his late father’s home country.

The fight against Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants features high on the agenda, with Kenya struggling to stop increased cross-border attacks by the militants even though it has thousands of troops in southern Somalia.

“We do have however the power to fight back, not only with our military and law enforcement, but also through something that may be even more powerful and that may make a bigger difference in the end, and that is our unity and the character of our ideals,” Kerry said.

“Unlike some we do not define ourselves in terms of hate. We are builders, we are teachers, we are dreamers, we are doers.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Counter-terrorism police admit to extra-judicial killings

Kenyan police have assassinated nearly 500 terrorism suspects as part of an extra-judicial killing program supported by intelligence provided by Israel and the United Kingdom, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed.

Officers from four units of Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) said that police assassinated terrorist suspects on government orders.

The police killings, according to an ATPU officer, were ordered by Kenya’s National Security Council and run into the hundreds every year. “Day in, day out, you hear of eliminating suspects,” the officer said.

“Since I was employed, I’ve killed over 50. Definitely, I do become proud because I’ve eliminated some problems,” said another officer.

The ATPU officers contend that Kenya’s weak judicial forced them to resort to assassinations, as police have failed to produce strong enough evidence to prosecute terrorism suspects.

“If the law cannot work, there’s another option eliminate him,” an officer explained.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Security Council members — including the deputy president, defense secretary and policy chief — denied the allegations.

In April, Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, an armed fighter known as Makaburi, was gunned down outside a Mombasa court after being charged under Kenya’s terrorism laws. Human rights groups allege police killed him.

ATPU officers confirmed the allegations. “Makaburi was killed by the police,” said one officer. “That execution was planned in Nairobi by very top, high-ranking police officers and government officials.”

Confidential police reports obtained by Al Jazeera allegedly show Makaburi had extensive links to Somali armed group Al-Shabab and planned and financed bombings in Kenya.

According to the ATPU officers, the intelligence that drives Nairobi’s “elimination program,” is supplied by Western intelligence agencies.

“Once they give us the information, they know what they have told us. It is ABCD — ‘Mr. Jack’ is involved in such and such a kind of activity. Tomorrow he’s no longer there. We have worked. Definitely the report that you gave us has been worked on,” the officer said.

A Kenyan National Police spokesman refused to comment on the allegations.

According to the officers, Israel and the U.K. provide training, equipment and intelligence to Kenyan officers on how to “eliminate” suspects targeted by Kenyan security forces.

Israel and the U.K. denied involvement. The U.K. Foreign Office added that it had “raised concerns” with Kenya over the “serious allegations.”

Mark Ellis, head of the International Bar Association, a leading organization of legal practitioners, said the alleged complicity of these countries could violate international law.

“It’s clear, based on these interviews, that there’s at least prima facie evidence to suggest that these third-party countries are involved, and therefore they all have responsibility to investigate,” Ellis said. “We should stop providing any type of assistance or training to police units in Kenya until there is a clear change … in how the Kenyan authorities deal with suspects.”


Australia Elevates Terrorism Threat Level to high

The Australian government on Friday elevated its terrorism threat level to the second-highest warning in response to the domestic threat posed by Islamic State movement supporters.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the increase from “medium” to “high” on a four-tier scale on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.

The domestic spy agency’s Director-General David Irvine warned this week that the terrorist threat level had been rising in Australia over the past year, due in part to Australians joining Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq.

“I want to stress that this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent,” Abbott told reporters. “We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.”

“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks.”

Read more:

Kenya feels abandoned in fight against terrorism – Uhuru

Kenya feels abandoned by the international community in the fight against terrorism. This is what President Uhuru Kenyatta told CNN’s Richard Quest in a televised interview on Wednesday.

President Kenyatta is attending the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington  DC.


4 in court on terror charges

Four men linked to the Al Shabab were this morning arraigned before the Milimani Magistrate’s Court on terrorism charges.

The suspects were arrested in Majengo area Nairobi in a raid that also uncovered some explosives.

Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndungu ordered that the four be remanded at Kilimani police Station for 7 days to allow police to complete investigations.