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Dusit Hotel: The unlikely terror target

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The attack on DusitD2  Hotel complex in 14 Riverside Drive that killed at least 14 people and injured several others on Tuesday is an indicator that terrorists are perfecting the element of surprise to catch security agencies offguard.

Previous attacks on the Westgate Mall and the Garissa University College that killed 67 and 148 people respectively followed a similar pattern.

The Dusit Hotel building, which also comprises of restaurants, beauty parlours, offices and a bank, among others, was particularly a peculiar target because it stands in a leafy suburb where security is considered a premium.

On its website, the hotel describes itself as being “cocooned away from the hustle and bustle in a secure and peaceful haven off the leafy suburb of 14 Riverside Drive…”

“With intriguing spaces that balance a modern yet timeless aesthetic in an intimate boutique setting, dusitD2 nairobi is the very definition of contemporary chic. Offering world class cuisine from its array of bars and restaurants, stylish and spacious guestrooms, unique event spaces, the award winning Devarana Spa and a striking red swimming pool, dusitD2 nairobi is the perfect urban retreat for both work and play,” it adds on its website.

When the al-Shabaab terrorists struck on Tuesday, it emerged they had been conducting surveillance of the area for sometime. According to one witness, the car they used had been seen at least four times previously.

Also, there are reports that one of the attackers allowed a waiter to escape to safety because he had served him tea a few days ago.

Kenyan intelligence services are said to have been warned by their western counterparts that al-Shabaab was planning terrorist attacks on high-profile targets around Christmas and the new year  but this was greeted by muted response.

However, the Guardian reports that one Kenyan intelligence official said information passed on by security partners about planned attacks lacked detail but that the country had been on high alert since November.

Another security source told Associated Press the extremists had confused security officials by changing target locations.

The attacks comes at a time the country had begun to enjoy tranquility, which has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting Kenya.

As usual, however, the United Kingdom has already issued an advisory urging its nationals exercise caution saying “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya.”

Specifically, it warns of “a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and the coast and resort areas of Mombasa and Malindi, and northern border counties”.


The British High Commission in Nairobi remained closed on Wednesday as “it responded to the incident.” However, the advisory was later  updated to indicate the situation had been contained.

A Briton, as well as a US citizen, are among those who were killed in the attack.


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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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