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Kenya arrests three men for trying to breach British army camp

by Reuters
06 Jan 2020 at 21:28hrs | Views
NAIROBI - Kenyan police arrested three men suspected of trying to break into a British army camp in Laikipia in central Kenya on the same day Islamist insurgents attacked another base used by U.S. and Kenyan forces, according to a police report seen by Reuters.

The failed break-in at Laikipia, where the British army trains about 10 000 troops a year, was captured on a security camera. Three men were subsequently arrested at about 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Sunday and are being questioned by anti-terrorism officers, the police report said.

It's not clear whether the attempt to break into the British base was connected to the attack on the base in Manda Bay that killed three Americans.

Somali Islamist insurgent group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack early on Sunday and posted pictures of fighters posing next to planes in flames.

The deadly attack came only days after the United States said it was tightening security at its bases following threats from Iran to retaliate for a U.S. airstrike that killed its most prominent military commander.

Al Shabaab contacted media organisations, including Reuters, to stress that Sunday's attack was not connected to Iran.

"This Kenya attack has no connection with the Middle East attack. It is a fight between us and the U.S.," said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military operations.

The insurgent group, which wants to oust Somalia's U.N.-backed government, is now seeking to broaden its regional reach and reaffirm ties with al Qaeda, which it first pledged allegiance to in 2012, analysts said on Monday.

Al Shabaab has been recruiting Kenyans and other East Africans in a bid to launch more attacks beyond Somali borders, said Matt Bryden, the founder of Nairobi-based think-tank Sahan Research.

"We heard chatter three months ago that al Shabaab was planning intensive cross-border operations and had identified commanders to lead those operations," Bryden said.

Al Shabaab used the phrase "Jerusalem will never be Judaized" when announcing Sunday's attack on the Simba base in Lamu on the Indian Ocean coast and during an attack a year ago on the upscale Riverside hotel and office complex in Nairobi.

"That is likely a signal of continuing loyalty to al Qaeda," said Bryden.

Source - Reuters.