News agency Associated Press quoted Virginia-based IntelCentre as saying that the militant group had Wednesday warned Kenyans that “two weeks from now, you will weep”.
IntelCentre said Al-Shabaab had threatened to bring down Kenya’s skyscrapers with the extremist group warning that “something big is coming” within two weeks and that the country would soon “watch your towers coming down”.
The group has in the past months threatened to bring down Kenya’s “tall glass buildings” after Kenyan troops in October crossed into Somalia following a spate of attacks and abductions in its territory that it blamed on the militants.
AP quoted IntelCentre as saying that the buildings most likely to be targeted were those housing hotels, especially “those frequented by Westerners, government offices, media and prominent corporations”.
The extremist group is suspected of carrying out a May 28 attack on a Nairobi building housing clothing retail stores that killed one person and injured 35 others.
Kenyan police Thursday released a man they had arrested on suspicion of carrying out Monday’s attack. The man, seized aboard a flight headed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, was holding a German passport under the name Lahbazi Tarek.
The country’s police had Tuesday circulated a photograph of their primary suspect, Emrah Erdogan, who is believed to be a Turkish or German national.
Al-Shabaab insurgents have since October launched a spate of attacks in Kenya, mainly using grenades and IntelCentre said it believed these were building up to a larger attack over the next six months.
After one such attack in the coastal city of Mombasa on March 31, the group, through its Twitter handle @HSMPress, warned of a “protracted” battle.
“The Kenyan public must be aware that the more Kenyan troops continue to persecute innocent Muslims of Somalia, the less secure Kenyan cities will be; and the more oppression the Muslims of Somalia feel, the more constricted Kenyan life will be,” it said then.
The US embassy in April warned of the possibility of a terror attack in Kenya.
Kenyan police have said that Monday’s attack was carried out using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Neighbours Uganda, who are also involved in Somalia, have also raised their alert levels.