In the aftermath of the two terror suspects who escaped from Kamiti Maximum Prison, authorities have scaled-up efforts to re-enforce the country’s counter-terrorism capabilities.
Police authorities say two of the terrorists who escaped from Kamiti show the shifting nature of violent extremism and terrorism.
However, their efforts to apprehend violent extremists have led to a variety of human rights abuses while exacerbating historical frictions between the government and minority Muslim communities.
Al-Shabaab continues to be a potent force in the country prompting the authorities to ramp up operations in both Somalia and Kenya.
In recent attacks, it seems like the Al Shabaab are targeting camps used by Kenyan and US troops.
In 2020, terrorists ran over Camp Simba, Manda Bay, in Lamu, in a pre-dawn attack at Manda Air Strip.
For instance, several people have been killed and homes torched in Lamu region by suspected Al Shabaab militants.
“I confirm that we had an attack suspected to be by Al Shabaab at a place known as Widhu, and we have lost six people. One was shot dead and we also have others who were burnt,” said Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia.
Lamu County lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.
Also, unidentified assailants ambushed a police patrol near Liboi in Garissa County and killed four officers stealing their weapons.
Authorities have attributed the attack to members of the Al-Shabaab militant group who entered Kenya via the nearby border with Somalia.
In Mandera, terrorists attacked and destroyed a communication mast in Mandera and tried to kidnap two people in Wajir in the attacks.
This prompted the United Kingdom government to raise an alarm.
“Updated to reflect that terrorism attacks can occur at any time, including around religious or other public holidays or celebrations,” read part of the update.
Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has now issued an alert on eight terror suspects some linked to the Al Shabaab militia.
The suspects who are on the run or missing are understood to have been behind some of the recent sporadic attacks targeting security personnel and the civilians in parts of Lamu and Isiolo Counties.
“The team had been deployed to carry out an attack using a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) but the plan was disrupted after security personnel intercepted the VBIED and arrested three militants at Merti area in Isiolo County,” the agency said.
The eight are; Kassim Musa Mwarusi aka Abu Miki, Mohamoud Abdi Aden aka Mohamed Yare, Peter Gichungu Njoroge aka Mustafa and Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir aka Ikrima.
Others are Erick Njoroge Wachira aka Mohamed Njoroge aka Moha, Abdurahman Hija aka Mnubi, Ahmed Ali Mohamed and Mohamed Ali Hussein.
However, one of the eight terror suspect, Robert Gathogo Ngunjiri alias Abdurahman Hija Mnubi, has surrendered to the police in Nyeri.
The al Queda-linked group takes in some individuals and gives them new roles in business and religious teaching.
Well-known operatives, who had been arrested and convicted, became active within Kenya’s Prison system, targeting vulnerable young men for radicalisation.
Some trainers have spread the same through a pastoral preaching initiative in schools, mosques and Madrassa, and through the publication of pamphlets expressing support for militant jihad and al Shabaab.
However, most of their associates have been arrested, killed or fled to Somalia.
Al Shabaab fighters have staged several large-scale attacks in the country in retaliation for the government sending troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force to degrade the jihadists.
The al Qaeda-linked group is seeking to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, and controls swathes of southern Somalia from where it regularly launches attacks in the capital.