Security Alert

Apr 25, 2020

On 24 April 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a Security Alert regarding possible terrorist activity during Ramadan which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Kenya

“Event: Terrorist groups have a history of carrying out attacks in Kenya during Ramadan. U.S. citizens are reminded of the need for heightened awareness and caution during this time of increased personal safety and security concerns.”

Analyst Comment: Due to COVID-19, Kenyan officials have imposed restrictions that are likely to impact Ramadan, including a ban on travel between counties, a ban on social gatherings, the implementation of social distancing measures and the institution of a nightly curfew. Under normal circumstances, residents gather in large groups to break their fast (iftar), which usually presents a target-rich environment for militant groups. In particular, the 27th day of Ramadan — known as Laylatul Qadr (night of power) — has been associated with attacks in countries with a significant Muslim population in the past.

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