NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan police said on Wednesday they had arrested two people linked to Islamic State who were planning to launch an attack, seizing bomb-making materials.
Kenya has faced a series of attacks in the past few years in which hundreds have died, launched by the al Qaeda-aligned Somali Islamist group al Shabaab.
This month, however, police said they had arrested an Islamist militant who was plotting attacks and who they said was linked to Islamic State.
Kenya’s focus dismantling al Shabaab cells may have allowed sympathizers of Islamic State to slip under the radar, experts say. But they say it is not clear whether such sympathizers had formal links to Islamic State in Syria or Iraq, or were simply offering allegiance.
The two men were arrested on Tuesday in a suburb of the capital Nairobi and police said they were planning a retaliatory attack for the arrest of the Islamic State planner Mohamed Abdi Ali earlier this month.
“The arrest of the two has foiled terror attacks with explosives and other weapons that were planned for Nairobi and Mombasa,” the police service said in a statement.
In one house in the Kangemi neighborhood to the west of Nairobi, police found materials that were to be used for the manufacture of an improvised explosive device.
“These materials included nails, ball bearings, batteries, electrical wire, fertilizer, cell phones and other explosive substances which have been taken for forensic analysis,” the police said.
Initial investigations showed two men helped to write a document that has been circulating online, supporting Islamic States leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the police said.
Reporting by Duncan Miriri and Edmund Blair