The attacks on Kenyan Christian churches may have their roots in the October, 2011 incursion into Somalia by Kenyan troops.
The attacks on Christian churches in Kenya continues with a pair of attacks in Garissa (Google map)today.
The presumed genesis to the attacks has been the incursion into Somalia, which the Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) initiated in mid-October of 2011. The militant group Shabab had engaged in attacks on tourists in Kenya, who visit the wildlife parks which are near the border with Somalia, notes the New York Times on October 16, 2011.
In September and October 2011, there were several kidnappings which were blamed on Shabab. Attacks against foreign aid workers, tourists at the Kiwayu Safari Village resort, a Kenyan driver at Dadaab, plus the kidnap of a French tourist last October.
Attacks on foreign aid workers make it necessary for the workers to travel only with armed security guards. There are quite a large number of aid workers who are stationed in, or near, the Dadaab Refugee Camp (Google map) in Kenya. The refugee camp is home to nearly 500,000 Somalian refugees who have left their country to escape the fighting, and anarchy conditions.
The attacks against tourists, of course, place the Kenyan tourism business at risk; the tourism is estimated to be worth at least $1 billion per year to Kenya.
Kenya’s internal security minister at the time of the 2011 attacks, George Saitoti, condemned the Shabab for the attacks. After the attacks on Kenyan soil by Shabab, those responsible for security in Kenya, and those with a financial stake at risk, began to call for increased measures to curtail the attacks.
Mr Saitoti, made a statement of purpose in October 2011 regarding the problem: “Our territorial integrity is threatened,” Mr. Saitoti said. “It means we are now going to pursue the enemy, who are the Al-Shabab, to wherever they will be.”
After the incursion by Kenyan troops to Somalia, political analyst and at one time, a government official, John Githongo stated in 2011,"It worries me.....A Shabab attack is “overdue, to be very grimly honest,”
Fast forward to today, and there is another attack, presumed to be by Shabab, on two Christian churches. The death toll stands at 15 as reported at Fox News, with more than 40 injured in the attacks. The bulk of the deaths and injuries occurred at the African Inland Church of Garissa, and apparently only three injuries at the second church.
Ismail Garat is the mayor of Garissa and he said:"We are not used to witnessing such kinds of acts in our country, where people are just shot in broad daylight. We really want to know who the heartless people who did this are," The last attack by terrorists in Garissa was last December.
Al-Jazeera reported on the threat by Shabab to attack Kenyan targets as well.
ISS TV offered this video report on the threat by Shabab, to attack buildings in Kenya.
The threat is very unlikely to be over any time soon. The only real solution would be a stronger central government in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. That, however, has been nothing but a wish since 1991, and it too is unlikely to happen soon.