Mombasa explosives car: Could it have been the deadliest terrorist attacks in Kenya?

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Politics/Current issues
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By Nixon Kanali, 

There was shock in Mombasa on Tuesday evening following the discovery of a massive car bomb which anti-terror experts believe had been transported to the town to commit what would have turned out to be one among the deadliest terrorist attacks in Kenya.

In-built Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) welded to the floor and back seat of the Toyota Hilux registration number KAN 410E left so many Kenyans in shock. Police found six grenades, an AK 47 assault rifle, 270 bullets; six cylindrical bombs weighing 10 kilogrammes each, 5 magazines, 6 detonators, a Nokia cell phone and 6 electronic cables and reports suggest that the occupants of the car were surveying targets in Mombasa for about a week after meeting their contacts in the coastal city.


Five of the six cylinder explosive bombs, one AK 47 and six hand grenade on display after being disabled at Coast provincial police headquarters in this picture taken on 18 March 2014. Photo Source:Daily Nation

Yesterday, the Over 170kg of powerful TNT bombs were destroyed in a massive but controlled explosion in Mtwapa area of Kilifi County. Residents say the explosions  were heard 20 kilometers away.


Smoke billows from the quarry where pipe bombs were destroyed at Mtwapa. Photo Source: Daily Nation

Intelligence officials have warned that two terror suspects who were found with the car and are currently being detained in Mombasa were part of an 11-person Al-Qaeda-trained squad on a mission to commit a massive terror campaign in Kenya. They are said to have entered the country early this month

Intelligence officials also  believe Fuad Abubakar Manswab, a Kenyan fugitive from Mombasa who has links to the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular, is behind the alleged terror plot. Fuad, is facing terrorism charges in absentia alongside Briton Jermaine Grant, is said to have fled to Somalia after jumping bail about two years ago. He is believed to be staying in Yemen or the Gedo region of Somalia.

According to experts, the explosion was to be launched in a basement or crowded place by either radio waves generated by a cellphone found in the car or electric current from the car’s battery. The bomblets would then ignite secondary explosions and send pellets in all directions for maximum damage to human life.

Key anti-terror unit crippled by lack of funding

This comes amidst Police Inspector-General David Kimaiyo Tuesday’s admission that the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit was underfunded and that the lack of funding had not affected counter-terrorism work. How do we expect to fight terrorism of we cannot put up enough machinery to counter it?

The country recently suffered one of its worst terror attacks, the westgate shopping mall and it is expected after that the government should have put enough measure to avoid any future attacks. When the IG admits to lack of funding in the anti-terror unit of the police the we have so many reasons to be worry about as a country.

According to a September report by the US Congressional Research Service, Kenya is one of the top five global recipients of US State Department anti-terrorism funding. Last year, the US gave Kenya about Sh658 million for training and equipment. The British government has also contributed vehicles to the unit.

What happened in Mombasa has caused so much panic not only in Mombasa but also in major towns in the country. Who know how many more explosives have entered the country? The government needs to treat this matter seriously and more investigations carried out to ensure safety in the country.


  1. Nixon Kanali says:

    This is How foiled Coast terror attack was to be executed
    at the Moi International Airport

  2. […] A week before Police in Mombasa  found two improvised explosive devices in a vehicle they had impou…The bombs were in a Toyota Surf vehicle belonging to two men of Somali origin who were arrested last week for alleged involvement in terror activities. […]

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