Terrorists May Target Sports Fans in Kenya, U.S. Warns

VIDEO: World Cup watchers attacked in Uganda
Share
Copy

There is "credible information" that terrorists may unleash attacks targeting sports viewing events in the next few days in Kenya, the U.S. embassy there said in an emergency message for U.S. citizens.

"American citizens are urged to avoid public venues, such as sports bars, night clubs, and restaurants, which will be broadcasting these games, as well as public transportation, such as buses, to and from the events," the alert said.

The message specifically says the potential attacks could be linked to the Rugby World Cup, which runs until Oct. 23 in New Zealand, or the highly-anticipated soccer match between Kenya and Uganda taking place at Uganda's Namboole stadium Saturday.

Follow ABCNewsBlotter on Facebook

Last July, Uganda was hit with one of the most devastating terror attacks in its history when a pair of bombs exploded during a viewing of the soccer World Cup, killing 76 people.

The al Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for that attack. The terrorist organization is based in Somalia where it has been locked in a violent struggle with the Somali government for years, but has exported violence beyond its own borders.

READ: Al-Shabaab Claims Responsibility for Uganda Blasts

"We will carry out attacks against our enemy wherever they are," Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage told The Associated Press after the Uganda bombing, speaking from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. "No one will deter us from performing out Islamic duty."

A recent report by the House Homeland Security Committee said that up to 40 Americans are training with al-Shabaab in Somalia and represent a "direct threat" not only to Americans abroad, but also to the American homeland.

Before his death, Osama bin Laden had also personally urged al-Shabaab to target the U.S. directly because he was aware of the Americans of Somali descent who has joined al-Shabaab, U.S. officials told ABC News in June.

READ: Congressional Report Says 40 Americans Training in Somalia Are 'Direct Threat' to U.S.

Follow ABCNewsBlotter on Twitter

One high-profile American member of the organization, Omar Hammami, also known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, works as spokesperson for the group in addition to releasing jihad-themed raps.

Hammami, a native of Alabama, is wanted by the FBI for "terrorism violations" including allegedly "providing material support to terrorists."

Alabama-Born Al Qaeda Spokesman, Reported Dead, Releases More Hip Hop Tracks

Earlier this week, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a truck bombing outside the ministry of education in Mogadishu that claimed more than 100 lives and injured dozens of others.

In that case, most of the victims were high school students waiting eagerly along with their relatives to see if they had been awarded scholarships to study abroad, government officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click Here to Sign Up for Breaking News and Investigation Alerts From The Brian Ross Investigative Unit

Return to The Blotter homepage.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Year In Pictures
Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview.
Ed Araquel/Sony/Columbia Pictures/AP Photo
PHOTO: Patrick Crawford is pictured in this photo from his Facebook page.
Meteorologist Patrick Crawford KCEN/Facebook
PHOTO: George Stinney Jr., the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina, in 1944, is seen in this undated file photo.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History/AP Photo