Islamic State claims responsibility for attack outside U.S. embassy in Nairobi

isis-flagA follower of Islamic State was responsible for an attack last week on a Kenyan police officer outside a U.S. embassy in Nairobi, the group’s Amaq news agency said on Saturday.

A knife-wielding man whom police described as a criminal was shot dead outside the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi last Thursday after he attacked and injured a Kenyan police officer.

“The person who carried out the stabbing of a guard outside the American embassy in Nairobi last Thursday was a soldier of Islamic State responding to calls to target coalition countries,” Amaq said.

kenya-map-1Kenya’s police spokesman said at the time the motive was unclear and an investigation was launched. The spokesman could not immediately be reached on Saturday.

Islamic State previously claimed an attack in Kenya in September by three women who were shot dead after they tricked their way into a police station in Mombasa and tried to torch the building, according to police. The police in Kenya have also previously said they had detained sympathizers with the group.

But experts say it is not clear how close the connection is between groups and individuals proclaiming allegiance to the Islamist group and the Islamic State organization in its Middle East heartland of Syria and Iraq, where it is increasingly pressure from regional and international forces.

 

Advertisements

African leaders sign ‘historic’ maritime deal against piracy and smuggling

A French EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) boat on an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast
A French EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) boat on an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast

African leaders signed a deal to boost security off the continent’s economically crucial coasts, hoping to shore up development by tackling maritime crimes like piracy and smuggling.

Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso hailed the African Union agreement as “historic”, while Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said it showed Africa’s ability to put together a continent-wide strategy.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta
Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso
Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso

Sassou Nguesso said 43 nations had adopted the binding agreement — which will see countries pay into a special fund for maritime security — at a summit in Togo’s capital Lome.

The deal is designed to improve information-sharing between African nations, a weakness that pirates and smugglers have benefited from in the past, slipping between territorial waters with little trouble.

The talks drew 18 heads of state — an unusually high figure for an AU meeting of this kind, signaling the importance that governments have placed on the need to cut piracy and other crime in Africa’s waters.

Chad's President Idriss Deby
Chad’s President Idriss Deby

As he opened the summit, Chad’s President Idriss Deby, the current AU chief, noted that some 90 percent of Africa’s imports and exports are transported by sea, making maritime security key to the continent’s economic future.

Of the AU’s 54 member states, 38 have coastlines.

Deby said the charter would “allow the promotion of commerce and the exploitation of the huge potential of the maritime sector, as well as the creation of wealth and jobs in several industries”.

It would also “mark a decisive new step in the push to preserve the maritime environment”, he added.

The deal will create new national and regional institutions to improve security in African waters, while the signatories pledged a string of measures to protect the maritime environment and fight trafficking in drugs, arms and people.

Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey
Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey

Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the summit that there was a clear need for African countries to work together to combat an upsurge in piracy in order to make full use of the continent’s maritime resources.

Piracy, smuggling and other crimes at sea have cost the African maritime sector hundreds of billions of dollars in recent decades, according to the AU.

World piracy has been on the decline since 2012 after international naval patrols were launched off East Africa in response to violent attacks by mostly Somali-based pirates.

gulf-of-guinea-mapBut the focus of concern has shifted to the Gulf of Guinea, where a new class of pirates — mostly offshoots of militant groups from the Niger Delta — have become active.

At least 27 attempted or successful hijackings and kidnappings at sea have been recorded off West Africa since April, according to the International Maritime Organization, compared to just two off east Africa.

The 17 countries lining the Gulf of Guinea have poor maritime surveillance capacities and have been trying for several years to boost cooperation to clamp down on piracy.

The deal will need to be ratified by at least 15 countries before it comes into force, and Barthelemy Blede, an ISS maritime researcher in Ivory Coast, said it remained to be seen whether there was “real will” to make the deal a reality.

“It’s a historic act, but it’s one thing to adopt a text and sign it, and another thing to ratify it,” he said.

Al Shabaab launch three attacks in Kenya and Somalia

somalia-kenya-mapSomalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group rammed a military base with a suicide truck bomb, shot dead an intelligence officer and killed 12 people in a Kenyan border town in a series of strikes over 24 hours, the militants said on Tuesday.

The group, which once ruled much of Somalia, wants to topple the Western-backed government in Mogadishu and drive out African AMISOM peacekeepers made up of soldiers from Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and other African nations.

The attacks mark the build up to elections in coming weeks for the Somali parliament, which will in turn pick a new president to continue slow reconstruction efforts in a nation racked by more than two decades of conflict.

Al Shabaab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said the group was behind a truck bomb that rammed into an AMISOM base in the Somali town of Beledweyne, north of Mogadishu. He said 17 soldiers from Djibouti were killed in the attack.

There was no immediate comment from AMISOM and police said they did not have access to the base to offer any figures. Al Shabaab’s numbers are often much larger than officials figures.

Al Shabaab’s usual tactic is to ram the entrance to a target site so that its fighters can storm inside, but a police officer in Beledweyne said no such assault took place on Tuesday.

AMISOM has been battling the rebels in support of the Somali government.

The al Shabaab spokesman also said the group shot senior intelligence officer Colonel Abdiasis Araye as he walked to a mosque late on Monday in Mogadishu.

He also said al Shabaab was behind Tuesday’s early morning attack on a hotel in Kenya’s northeastern Mandera town, killing at least 12 people according to police and 15 people according to al Shabaab’s account.

Al Shabaab has often launched attacks in neighbouring Kenya and says it will continue until Kenyan forces have withdrawn.

Kenya’s government has repeatedly said it would not be forced out of Somalia by al Shabaab, saying it sees the mission as a matter of national security.

Obama’s spending grows ‘exponentially’ – in Kenya!

Barack Obama and his administration have been spending more and more taxpayer dollars to build up the nation the African nation of Kenya.

According to the latest reports from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), American money has been flowing into Kenya faster than the agency can use it. They have been forced to hire more contractors just to keep up with the projects being generated with all of the extra funds.

USAID in its own words admits that the “overall USAID/Kenya program has increased rapidly and exponentially, outstripping workforce resources available to effectively perform assessments and rigorous analyses … track results … manage recordkeeping, and other project development and program office functions.”

According to a Statement of Work for the USAID/Kenya program-support initiative – which WND located through routine database research – the agency acknowledges the level of U.S.-financed Kenyan operations has outpaced Washington’s ability to adequately manage it.

“All levels of personnel ceilings are constrained by a limited U.S. government footprint in Kenya,” the SOW says. “In order to address these constraints, certain project development and program office functions … have been identified for delivery through external contracting.

The $480 million program at USAID/Kenya encompasses numerous assistance projects in general areas such as health, population and HIV/AIDS; basic education; youth; governing justly and democratically; and economic growth, environment and natural resources management.

The $480 million is specific to U.S. Department of State and USAID initiatives only. The amount comprises over half the U.S. government’s annual foreign-assistance budget for Kenya, the largest recipient of such aid in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Budgeted separately are Kenyan programs administered by the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Treasury, Export-Impact Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Peace Corps and Department of Defense.

A recent targeted program list does not include recently launched endeavors. As WND reported in April, a spike in Kenyan projects was under way at the Obama administration, which at the time of the report had not yet disclosed the estimated cost of those endeavors.

USAID in its new program-support plan reiterated its strategy for Kenya, which aims to “foster a healthier, better-educated, and more productive population” as well as “increase the effectiveness of Kenyan institutions in promoting a vibrant private sector and democratic governance.”