U.S. Embassy in Kenya warns citizens of ‘imminent threat’
The U.S. Embassy in Kenya warned American citizens Saturday of an “imminent threat of terrorist attacks” after Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia to pursue suspected Islamic militants from Al-Shabaab.
Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua told CNN about the advance this week, which marks a dramatic shift in security tactics for the east African powerhouse.
“This is to inform U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Kenya that the U.S. Embassy in Kenya has 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,” the U.S. Embassy said in an emergency message.
It added that it has taken measures to limit official U.S. government visits and that citizens should consider deferring travel to Kenya.
Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda and has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is fighting to impose its own interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, on Somalia.
The group has said it considers the Kenyan forces crossing the border as “an affront to Somalia’s territorial sovereignty.” It previously threatened to “come into Kenya” if Kenyan forces did not leave Somalia.
Recent abductions of tourists and aid workers in Kenya have heightened tensions.