NAIROBI (SD) – Kenya police has warned that al-Shabaab militant group may be planning to carry out an aviation attack in Kenyan soil barely a month after US issued warning to civilian airlines flying in the Kenyan airspace to watch out for possible attacks by militant groups,
In a statement, Kenyan security agencies said Rashid Mwalimu, a terror suspected who underwent a pilot training course in the Philippines alongside an accomplice Cholo Abdi Abdulla is feared to be planning to sneak in the country.
“Rashid Mwalimu who is currently in Somalia should be considered armed and dangerous; he is a trained pilot who is on a mission to carry an aviation attack on behalf of the terror group al-Shabaab,” the police statement reads in part.
Security sources who spoke to Citizen TV said that Cholo, who is currently in lawful custody and Mwalimu were close friends and joined Al-Shabaab in 2015.
The duo trained and conducted attacks in Somalia before being sent to the Boni forest where they were selected for an aviation course based on their impressive academic credentials.
Late last month, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said the advisory is consistent with the fact that Al-Shabaab remains in possession of weapons capable of hitting aircraft at low altitudes of up to 25,000 feet.
The air routes covered by the FAA warning include those connecting Nairobi and Far Eastern countries like Dubai (UAE), India and China, among other destinations serviced by major airlines.
“The January 5, 2020, complex attack on Camp Simba, which is co-located with Manda Bay Airport (HKLU), destroyed or damaged multiple aircraft, demonstrating the group’s intent and capabilities to target the aviation sector,” said the FAA in a February 26, 2021 advisory.
In 2016, an al-Shabaab laptop bomber identified as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, an elderly Somali national attacked Daallo Airlines Flight 3159.
The attacker detonated on board the Somalia-owned Daallo Airlines plane in mid-air, as it took off from Aden Adde International airport in Mogadishu.
The explosion failed to down the commercial jet, but it left a gaping hole in the fuselage
The force of the blast sucked the alleged bomber out of the plane’s cabin. His body fell to the ground near the district of Bal’ad, about 20 miles from Somali capital.
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