Control Risks offers its analysis on the Nairobi terrorist attack in January

08 February 2019 2 min. read
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Following the terrorist attack in Nairobi on the 15th of January this year, research consultancy Control Risks in Kenya has offered its analysis of the attack and its assessment of threats from the same terrorist group in the future. The consultancy predicts an increase in small-scale attacks in the near future.

Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a Somalia-based Islamic fundamentalist group by the name of al-Shabab. The attack – which took place at a hotel in Nairobi – is classified by Control Risks as large-scale incident, given that there were at least 21 casualties and several more injuries.

Using its risk-monitoring mechanism CORE, the firm has predicted that a large-scale attack of similar magnitude is unlikely in the near future, primarily due to the lack of capacity in the group, based on size and resource-availability. According to the firm, the planning of the attack required substantial resources.

Control Risks offers its analysis on the Nairobi terrorist attacks in January

The incident involve a mixture of gunfire and explosive devices – equipment that the group is unlikely to amass again over the next year. Moreover, an increase in vigilance in Kenya will mean that any future attacks will require more equipment and planning than this one. 

On the other hand, the firm predicts that the terrorist group will look to capitalise on the high levels of attention that it has gained through this attack to attract new followers and maybe even potential financial backing for their intentions. As a result, the firm expects an increase in frequency of smaller attacks over the next year.

This prediction is based on al-Shabab’s past behaviour, particularly in the aftermath of an attack it perpetrated in September of 2013 at a shopping centre. The attack was followed by a number of smaller attacks in the following months, specifically in the regions in and around the Somali border.

According to the firm, Kenya has been at risk of attacks from al-Shabab ever since 2011, when the country conducted a military intervention in Somalia. In addition to the attacks in 2013 and 2019, several attempts have been reported to be foiled over the years, including in 2017 and in 2018.