Terror-Attack Threat Prompts U.S. Warning for Mombasa

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya warned of a possible “terrorist attack” in Mombasa and ordered all of its staff to leave or avoid traveling to the port city until at least July 1.

Although U.S. citizens are not bound by the same restrictions as government workers, travelers should consider the advice when planning their trip, according to a statement dated yesterday on the Nairobi-based embassy’s website. “This is to alert all U.S. citizens in Kenya, or planning to travel to Kenya in the near future, that the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has received credible information of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa, Kenya.”

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militia has threatened to carry out attacks in Kenya after the country deployed its army in neighboring southern Somalia in mid-October to fight the group. Al-Shabaab has waged a campaign since 2007 to oust the United Nations-backed transitional government in Somalia.

The Kenyan army’s move followed a string of bomb attacks in Nairobi, the capital, which have killed at least nine people, and others in Mombasa and towns near the northeastern border with Somalia. Kenyan police this week arrested two Iranians in Nairobi suspected of terrorism, the Associated Press reported yesterday, citing Aggrey Adoli, the police chief in charge of the coast.

Authorities in Mombasa also seized 15 kilograms of a powdery substance that could be used to make explosives after a tip-off from one of the suspects, Adoli said, according to AP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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