The deadly Al Shabaab attack on Mpeketoni residents as they watched World Cup matches is an extremely daring message by the terror group that they can strike anywhere, anytime in many places, in Kenya.
This was not your usual toss-and-run attack with hand grenades. Rather, it was more of a biblical Jerusalem siege. Those that did not realize this were mowed down as they ran in circles to save themselves. The preparations made were thorough and devilishly secretive.
The intelligence gathering was impeccable. The meaning of this is that some Mpeketoni residents, like in many places in Kenya where Muslims live, must be operating within Al Shabbab terror cells. There cannot be two ways about this.
The other thing to consider seriously is that this terror group could be getting very well coordinated intelligence all over Kenya. Mpeketoni is not a holiday destination. It is a farming community. Why did they not attack Lamu, three hours nearer Somalia and a popular holiday destination?
The implication is that this attack was not meant to cripple business. The hideous plan was to kill some community nearest Somalia. That had to be Mpeketoni. And the terrorists are obviously well schooled about Kenya’s politics.
So the terror group must be getting clear workable strategies from senior people within Government.
The government statement that security has been beefed up is more political than security assurance. Kenya is not capable of defending itself from terrorists because the police are corrupt.
For all we know, some members of the police could be selling intelligence about soft targets to the terrorists. That is entirely feasible.
In Ethiopia,a country with troops in Somalia, Al Shabaab has been unable to launch attacks there because everybody is police. They watch each other keenly. Not so in Kenya. That is why nyumba kumi has failed because the police would sell information about whistle blowers. Kenya is an open book to terrorists.
The recruitment of Inspector General (IG) was controversial but politics prevailed. Are we surprised we are in trouble?
The Kibaki regime never played politics with security.
We need to get a real clean professional for the IG position and Cabinet secretary. Then we boost Intelligence gathering.