Militants from the extremist group al-Shabaab broke into a mosque in Garissa town, north-eastern Kenya where they delivered a religious lecture to several residents.
Militants from Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab rebels killed 148 people during the assault on Garissa University College in north-east Kenya on 2 April. It was the group’s deadliest attack to date.
A group of around 40 men arrived in town and gathered people to a mosque, preaching about Jihad – an Islamic term which means to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution.
‘’ Some of them were monitoring the situation around the area while others were preaching masked, and after that they left for unknown area,’’ said one of the people who was present in the mosque, speaking on a condition of anonymity.
He added that the militants warned residents to go against their ideology or work with the Kenyan government secretly.
There was no comment from the Kenyan government officials, who had vowed to improve the security situation in the region following the Garissa University massacre.
However, the move indicates that al-Shabaab, intends to spread their influence more broadly in the region – and may face little resistance in some areas.
Kenya has suffered a series of attacks since invading Somalia in 2011 to attack al-Shabaab, who it accused of threatening its tourism industry. Kenyan forces have since joined an African Union force battling the Islamists.
Al-Shabaab has found breeding places in some parts of Kenya, with analysts saying that it is due to the security loophole in the border.
Published: May 21, 2015