Kenya’s security forces slam Al-Shabaab threats

Kenya’s military on Monday dismissed threats issued by Somali militants of more attacks in Kenya and in Western countries.

However, the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) said security has been beefed up following a recent Al-Shabaab video warning of imminent terror attacks in the country.

KDF spokesman David Obonyo downplayed the threats, terming them as mere propaganda. Obonyo said they are aware of the video and is assessing the content.

“The group is desperate after it lost control of key strategic towns inside Somalia. It’s incapacitated following a spate of airstrikes targeting their control bases,” Obonyo told Xinhua by telephone.

The video posted on Saturday warns of further attacks on shopping centers in Kenya, Canada, Britain and the United States.

In the video, a man faces the camera and is subtitled saying that “the attacks and raids will continue and, by the will of Allah, they will not stop until you change your oppressive practices against our brothers and restore their rights in full.”

Another man, dressed in a camouflage jacket with his face shrouded in a scarf, spoke clear English while calling for attacks on Western malls.

The video warns that attacks against Kenya will continue, and also urges Muslims in the West to attack the nonbelievers, and to carry out attacks across the world.

The militant glorifies the Westgate attack where more than 60 people were killed when the gunmen raided the popular mall in Nairobi in September 2013.

The video focused mostly on the conflict between Kenya and Somalia and the Westgate shopping mall attack.

Obonyo said propaganda literature cannot deter the readiness of Kenya troops to safe guard the country against internal and external aggression.

He said the Al-Qaida linked group has recruited “widely” from Europe, U.S., Yemen and local youth to carry out attacks targeting Western interests and the country following deployment of Kenya troops in Somalia.

Intelligence reports indicate that Al-Shabaab militants have been weakened following constant leadership wrangles due to mistrust over the control funding.

National Police Service spokesman Masoud Mwinyi said security apparatus have intensified security across the country, but urged Kenyans to be vigilant especially at key installation and shopping malls.

Kenya has in the recent past witnessed wave of grenade gun attacks by the Al-Shabaab terror group working with local sympathizers.