Bloomberg News

U.S. Warns of ‘Imminent’ Threat of Terrorist Attack in Kenya

October 22, 2011

(Updates with U.S. statement in second paragraph.)

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Embassy in Kenya warned a terrorist attack may be imminent in the East African nation, six days after Kenyan soldiers entered neighboring Somalia to combat al-Qaeda-linked rebels.

The embassy received “credible information of an imminent threat of terrorist attacks directed at prominent Kenyan facilities and areas where foreigners are known to congregate, such as malls and night clubs,” said a statement e-mailed by the State Department today.

“U.S. citizens should take this information into account when planning travel and consider deferring travel at this time,” the message said.

Kenya sent troops to Somalia on Oct. 16 after officials blamed the kidnappings of foreign tourists and aid workers in Kenya on al-Shabaab, a militia that has pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Somalia, on Kenya’s northeastern border, hasn’t had a functioning government since the 1991 overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

About 9,000 Ugandan and Burundian soldiers from the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia help provide security for a Western-backed Transitional Federal Government. Al- Shabaab, which has waged a four-year campaign to remove the transitional administration, controls most of southern and central Somalia.

--With assistance from Eric Engleman in Washington. Editors: Ann Hughey, Mike Millard.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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