US Embassy in Kenya takes defensive stance amid increased terror fears from al-Qaida group

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Associated Press

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 1:33 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — There are signs of tightened security at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, amid growing concern that it could be the next target for al-Qaida-linked militants from Somalia.

A Kenyan police official says intelligence has been circulating in the region the last two months that al-Shabab is taking aim at American interests.

More than 15 years after al-Qaida destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi with a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, armed Marines are now stationed on the embassy's roof. Meanwhile, Kenya has deployed more security forces on the street between the embassy and the U.N. headquarters in Kenya.

U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec says the embassy is continually evaluating and updating security based on threat information analysis. Today the embassy advised U.S. citizens to be cautious in large groups — at bars or restaurants, for instance — when watching the upcoming soccer World Cup.

In a speech yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Kenyan military is planning to station troops on roads potentially used by al-Shabab to enter the country, adding: "Serious tests lie before us."

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APPHOTO NAI104: FILE - In this Saturday, March 9, 2013 file photo, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec arrives at the National Election Center to hear the announcement of the final presidential election result, in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 15 years after al-Qaida destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi with a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, fear is rising that U.S. diplomatic personnel and property could again be targeted, with U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec telling a town hall meeting in late May 2014 "We know that there's a threat, and we know it's serious" and armed Marines now being stationed on the embassy's roof. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File) (9 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO NAI104 (03/09/13)££

APPHOTO NAI102: FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 1998 file photo, teams from Israel, the U.S. and France work with Kenyan rescuers during the evening to recover bodies trapped under the building adjacent to the U.S. embassy, left, which collapsed following a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people. More than 15 years after al-Qaida destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi with a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, fear is rising that U.S. diplomatic personnel and property could again be targeted, with U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec telling a town hall meeting in late May 2014 "We know that there's a threat, and we know it's serious" and armed Marines now being stationed on the embassy's roof. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim, File) (11 Aug 1998)

<<APPHOTO NAI102 (08/11/98)££

APPHOTO NAI101: FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 7, 1998 file photo, rescue workers carry Susan Francisca Murianki, a U.S. Embassy office worker, over the rubble of a collapsed building next to the embassy, following a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 15 years after al-Qaida destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi with a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, fear is rising that U.S. diplomatic personnel and property could again be targeted, with U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec telling a town hall meeting in late May 2014 "We know that there's a threat, and we know it's serious" and armed Marines now being stationed on the embassy's roof. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi, File) (7 Aug 1998)

<<APPHOTO NAI101 (08/07/98)££

APPHOTO NAI106: FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 file photo, heavy black smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya after multiple large blasts rocked the mall during an assault by security forces after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. More than 15 years after al-Qaida destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi with a massive truck bomb that killed more than 200 people, fear is rising that U.S. diplomatic personnel and property could again be targeted, with U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec telling a town hall meeting in late May 2014 "We know that there's a threat, and we know it's serious" and armed Marines now being stationed on the embassy's roof. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File) (23 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO NAI106 (09/23/13)££

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