US Issues Terror Threat Warning on Kenyan Airspace

  • US Federal Aviation Administration has issued an air travel advisory for all US registered aircraft flying above the Kenyan Airspace due to what it terms as extremist millitia activity.

    In a report published by the Daily Nation, the US agency warned that aircrafts could be in danger of running into anti-aircraft weapons, especially at low altitudes.

    ''Aircrafts may encounter various anti-aircraft weapons, including manpads, small-arms, and indirect fire weapons such as mortars and rockets, which could target aircraft at low altitudes, including during the arrival and departure phases of flight and/or target airports and aircraft on the ground,'' the advisory read.

    Passengers aboard Kenya Airways maiden non stop flight from New York arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

    “Those persons are advised to exercise caution when flying into, out of, within, or over the territory and airspace of Kenya East of 40 degrees East longitude at altitudes below fl 260 due to the possibility of extremist/militant activity.”

    However, the US agency stated that the advisory would be reviewed in February 2020.

    The Inspector-General Police had on December 19, 2019, issued a statement assuring Kenyans that arrangements had been made to enhance security and safety throughout the country during the festive period; and advised Kenyans to report any suspicious or unusual activities to the police.

    Kenya has been battling terror threats for more than a decade, with the most recent being the Dusit D2 Hotel attack on January 15, 2019.

    The attack saw members of the Somalia-based Islamist extremist group al-Shabaab storm the hotel located at 14 Riverside Drive, in Westlands, Nairobi with a subsequent security operation to secure the hotel and complex lasting nearly 20 hours.

    Although 700 people were successfully evacuated from the complex, 21 people were killed, and 28 wounded. 

    Several attacks have taken place in the course of the past six years with the first major one taking place in September 2013  in which over 60 people lost their lives on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi.

    The second major attack took place in Garissa County in 2015, at the Garissa University College on April 2, 2015, in which at least 148 people were killed.

    In June and July 2014  other smaller attacks occurred in Lamu and Tana River Counties along the coast that claimed 85 lives and Somali based millitia group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.

    Kenya Special Forces unit officers at the scene of the Dusit Hotel Complex terror attack on January 16,2019
    weapon fire wounded killed