Security Alert in Kenya

By: Sonya Crawford
By: Sonya Crawford

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya is just one of the possible targets the pentagon's intelligence experts are concerned about. The defense intelligence agency is warning "all u.s. interests in the country of imminent terrorist threats from Al Qaeda network operatives."

The warning is based on specific information about a threat against a specific target. Details are classified but the state department has closed the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.

"The embassy, just as any of our diplomatic posts abroad, constantly reviews security and takes appropriate actions when warranted. We do expect that the embassy in Nairobi, Kenya will remain closed Monday and Tuesday, but obviously we'll keep you current on that as the weekend goes by and those days arrive," said Phillip Reeker, state department spokesman.

Last month, the state department and the British government issued travel warnings for Kenya after agents picked up talk about hijackings of planes and oil tankers. Some airlines stopped service to Nairobi. And there is a history of terrorist activity in the country.

Less than five years ago, Al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassy, along with one in nearby Tanzania. And last November in Mombasa, an Israeli jet was targeted by a shoulder-fired missile.

For the past week, U.S. and Kenyan troops have been using a catamaran named the "HSV-X1 joint venture" as part of a counterterrorism exercise off the coast of Kenya. They're focusing on terrorist activity that might attack maritime and coastal interests.

Counterterrorism officials told ABC News this latest piece of information is part of an ongoing and larger threat picture. As one official put it, "we were on a tornado watch. But this is like a tornado warning. We've seen the funnel cloud."


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