Thursday, December 13, 2012
GARISSA, Kenya, Dec. 12 — Kenyan officials said Somali militants have changed tactics to carry out terror activities in northern Kenya as security forces stepped up war against terrorism in the restive region near the border with Somalia.
Officials said the insurgents blamed for increased bomb and gun attacks in the northern region and in the capital Nairobi have devised new communication gadgets to inflict terror on innocent people in Garissa.
Garissa County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed said security agents could not take chances following the seizure of an arms cache at Jarajila about 15 km from the Kenya-Somalia border.
Maalim disclosed that Al-Shabaab militants were using very high frequency (VHF) radios to communicate terror activities in the region.
“We want to warn terrorists that the government has acquired a machine to intercept communications and of late Al-Shabaab put a bounty of 8,000 U.S. dollars for their members who will any security officer depending on the rank,” Maalim said during the celebrations to mark Independence Day in Garissa.
“We intercepted this message from Dobley in Somalia and Ifo refugee camp in Kenya,” Maalim said. Security was tight inside and outside Garissa town where residents marked this year’s Independence Day celebrations.
Police at the entrance of a primary school ground where the celebrations took place used sophisticated metal detectors as they frisked all the attendants before entering the play ground.
According to intelligence reports the firearms were to be used to carry terror attacks during the celebrations. He further disclosed that seven key militants have been arrested including an Al-Shabaab commander who was recently arraigned in a local court.
Maalim said the seven were arrested in connection to the killing of security officers including four KDF solders.
The administrator blamed a section of area residents for being unpatriotic as they cooperated with criminals to commit murders of innocent civilians and security officers.
He further took issue with the police at border points for taking bribes at the expense of national security as they allowed deadly weapons to be transported inside the country.
He warned owners of vehicle being used to commit crime and transport deadly weapons adding that the y would be confiscated, he said the vehicle impounded at jarajila yesterday will act as a good example.
Arms trafficking in the northeastern region has become the order of the day, following the seizure of an arms cache in Elwak in Mandera and on Tuesday a vehicle was impounded in possession of deadly weapons destined for Garissa.
More than 30 security officers and scores of civilians have been killed, many maimed and property destroyed in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Nairobi and Mombasa since the Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia in bid to forestall threats by Al-Qaida linked Al-Shabaab.