In a statement signed by police spokesman Charles Owino, the NPS said Al Shabaab has a history of launching their attacks during the month of Ramadhan.
Thursday May 16, 2019
By MOHAMED AHMED
Muslim faithful during the first Friday of the Month of Ramadhan on May 10, 2019 at Jamia Mosque, Nairobi. Police are on a high alert over a possible Al Shabaab attack. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Police are on a high alert over a possible Al Shabaab attack during the holy month of Ramadhan.
The National Police Service (NPS) Wednesday said they have intensified security to ensure Muslims are secured while conducting their prayers and avert any possible terrorist attacks on churches.
“Al-Shabaab has a history of striking during Ramadhan and emulating global jihadist groups’ modes of attack. In the Ramadhan of June 2014 alone, 150 innocent lives were lost when Al-Shabaab fighters infiltrated the country and conducted heinous attacks in villages within Lamu and Tana River counties,” said Mr Owino.
He said that Al-Shabaab had also vowed to avenge the killing of over 50 Muslims faithful in Christchurch Mosque attack in New Zealand.
He pointed out that already Al Shabaab counterparts, the Islamic State led the so called revenge mission last month.
This saw a spate of eight attacks against churches and hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka where over 300 people were killed and 500 others injured.
“To justify their violent extremist activities, Al-Shabaab and their ilk thrive on misrepresenting religious texts such as those on the Battle of Badr which took on the 17th day of Ramadhan, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the first Muslims attained the biggest victory against the Qureishi of Makkah,” reads the police statement.
To ensure peace is maintained and security heightened during this month and the subsequent Eid festivities, Mr Owino said enough police officers have been deployed “around areas of interest” within the cities and in areas near the Kenya-Somalia border.
He said the officers would enhance patrols in the identified are and to also ensure Muslims perform their regular and taraweeh prayers which extend to late night hours peacefully.
Muslims usually practice the evening prayers known as taraweeh which are special prayers conducted after Isha (the daily evening’s last prayer).
The service further urged members of the public to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activities and individuals to security agencies through their toll-free lines: 999, 911 and 112.