Africa AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Opinion Terrorism

Nairobi Bomber Arrested in Tanzania

By William Tucker

On May 28th, an explosion destroyed part of a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya. Initially, local police believed the explosion was the result of an electrical fault, however later analysis showed that the explosion was a result of a deliberate attack. Kenyan police honed in on four suspects after the bombing and began circulating photos of the individual suspects. Today, police in Tanzania stated that they had arrested one of the wanted men. The Tanzanian police stated that they had apprehended Emrah Erdogan, a German national of Turkish origin, who had been fighting alongside al-Shabaab in Somalia. Kenya has long feared that violence in Somalia would spill over thus prompting the Kenyan military incursion last fall. There is a large Somali population in northern Kenya that has suffered from kidnappings and small terrorist attacks over the last few years and officials in Nairobi feared these attacks were merely the beginning of al-Shabaab’s activities against its southern neighbor. The May attack shows that al-Shabaab is capable of lashing out at the nations involved in stabilizing Somalia. Whether any level of terrorist activity can be sustained outside of Somalia is yet to be seen, however.

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