Published On: Fri, Sep 12th, 2014

Kenya picks intelligence chief amid terror threat

Kenya has appointed a new intelligence chief in an attempt to tackle the growing threat from Somali al-Shabab fighters who lost their leader in a recent attack.

On Thursday, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Major General Philip Kameru as the new director general of Kenya’s National Intelligence Service.

Kameru’s predecessor retired Major General Michael Gichangi stepped down in August under pressure over a rise in assaults linked to al-Shabab fighters.

The appointment also comes nearly a year after al-Shabab fighters launched a deadly attack on Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi.

On Friday, the Pentagon said a US drone killed al-Shabab leader Ahmad Abdi Godane as he was leaving a meeting of the group’s top leaders on September 1.

The US carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in several Muslim countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia. Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.

Following Godane’s death, al-Shabab appointed Sheikh Ahmed Umar Abu Ubaida as its new leader, the group said in a statement released on Saturday.

Al-Shabab fighters have been pushed out of the Somali capital Mogadishu and other major cities of the country by the African Union Mission in Somalia, which is made up of troops from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

The country did not have an effective central government from 1991 to 2012, when lawmakers elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the new president.

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