Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apparent progress in freeing hostages in Kenya; CNN says attack has western domestic security planners worried

CNN is reporting that most of the hostages have been freed by force by the Kenyan army from Al-Shabaab, but there are at least 68 dead in Nairobi.  The attack was surreptitious and unusually brutal in a personal sense, CNN story here. CNN reports that three of the terrorists may be from the US, possibly from Minnesota, which has a large Somali community.
CNN has paid a lot of attention to the crisis today, and covered the subject of mall security in the US, especially the Mall of America near Minneapolis, which actually practices lock-downs.  Security can certainly inspect backpacks and items brought into malls without creating disruption. But soft target dangers have existed for years, such as the parking garage under the WTC in NYC in 1993. Many domestic dangers with a variety of WMD’s exist, as have been covered on this blog before.  

The nature of security threats, being so varied (among international terrorists and lone wolfs in the US), makes the budget showdown in Congress particularly dangerous.  It also does give pause to think that NSA monitoring, despite the Snowden and Wikileaks scandals, may be essential in preventing major domestic threats.
Prince William has spent a lot of time in Kenya doing conservation, and a local church sent a gay male couple over to Kenya covertly around 2004 on humanitarian work, with Uganda next door. 
Going to that part of the world is just plain risky.

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