The Somali jihadist group Al Shabaab is threatening the nation of Kenya with an increased terror presence in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, vowing to kill one Kenyan girl “for every Somali girl” killed in anti-terror initiatives in Somalia.
In a video posted online this week, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, a senior official of Al Shabaab in Somalia, declares that the war against the West will shift to Kenya. “We have transferred the war to inside Nairobi,” he says, promising “Muslim teenage suicide bombers, explosions and battles.” Khalaf encourages young Muslims in Kenya to fight the Kenyan government and explains away the ban on killing in Islam: “When their soldiers and war planes kill your people, God permits you to retaliate accordingly.” He adds a threat that “if one Somali girl is killed by their soldiers in Somalia, we shall murder their girls at home.”
The threats have triggered an increased demand for security in the capital, Nairobi. The United States Ambassador to Kenya in Nairobi has requested extra security and is reducing the number of employees working from the embassy itself in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, the Kenyan government struggles to generate tourism and maintain stability in the nation while terror groups increase their attacks.
Nairobi suffered two bombings this month in the same weekend, leaving ten dead and seventy wounded and exacerbating fears that Al Shabaab is gearing up to generate more attacks. The United States, according to the Associated Press, estimates that more than one hundred people have been killed in Kenya in the past year and a half in small bomb attacks and organized shootings. In response, the Kenyan government expelled hundreds of Somalis living in Kenya, attempting to crack down on potential terror operatives, and bombed several areas believed to be Al Shabaab centers in Somalia.
Amid the threats of further terrorist attacks, the Kenyan government also hopes to reinvigorate its tourism industry, which has suffered as a result of the attacks. In an attempt to increase tourism revenue, the Kenyan government announced a $2.3 million campaign to attract tourists, which would include a variety of advertisements and global roadshows.