Security agencies put Kenya-Tanzania border on terror watch list

Monday August 30 2021
Terror suspect in Mombasa

ATPU officers arrest a terror suspect in Mombasa, Kenya, on August 23, 2021. Kenya has endorsed India’s call for world powers to end their “hypocrisy” in regard to the war on terror. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG


Security has been beefed up at the Lungalunga crossing on the Kenya-Tanzania border in Kwale County following reports that criminals are entering Kenya through the porous boundary.

This follows information that terror suspects who had planned an attack in Mombasa last week entered Kenya through the crossing.

Speaking to the Nation, Kwale County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said security agencies were working to prevent criminals from crossing the border.

“We have not made any arrests after the attack but officials are more vigilant and watching out on the porous passages these criminals might be using to sneak into the country. We have officers patrolling the border round the clock,” he said.

Authorities believe terror suspects with Kenyan roots could be fleeing the Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado, where an Islamist insurgency is gaining strength, to return to Kenya.

Mr Kanyiri said that among areas being watched are Shimoni, Vanga and Lungalunga. He added that the Kenya Coast Guard is also on the lookout for criminals who might want to return via the India Ocean.


Officials are also working together with their counterparts in neighbouring Tanzania on patrols.

“The whole area has been mapped and I think through a multi-agency approach, we have put in enough security measures to ensure that we prevent such crimes,” he said.

Mr Kanyiri also urged residents to report any unusual activities by neighbours or visitors in their areas to local administrators.

On Monday last week, a special police unit arrested two terror suspects in a dramatic scene at the Likoni channel crossing, and seized a range of explosives and weapons.

The suspects are believed to have been planning an attack in Mombasa on August 27.

Various institutions were said to have been targeted, including a police station, in a planned attack to commemorate the death of radical Muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo, according to intelligence reports.

Rogo was known for radicalising young people in Mombasa and other parts of the Coast region, and reports now indicate that the young people he had radicalised have been unleashing terror on the Coast of Mozambique.

Police said they had transported the weapons, including two AK-47 rifles from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they lived, to Kenya and stayed in Lungalunga for a month before moving the weapons to Mombasa.

Two others allegedly escaped, including one who is a wanted terror suspect in Kenya and is said to have links to international militants. The incident has put security agencies on high alert.

Last week, several houses were raided in Mombasa’s Old Town after the two suspects were arrested. This comes as police scrutinise the Mlango wa Papa mosque and the Kuze area in Mombasa for terror links.

Though it is not clear if anyone was arrested, witnesses said the police broke metal doors into people’s houses.

It is understood that investigations are still underway to target terror sleeper cells in Mombasa and supporters, financiers and others directly or indirectly linked with the terror suspects.

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