A radical Islamic sect based in Somalia and linked to al-Qaida and based in Somalia plotted to kill U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her trip to Africa last month, according to The Australian newspaper.
The plot was to be carried out through a planned series of bomb attacks set to take place in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya, while Clinton was there — one in the hotel where she was staying. The plot was foiled at the last minute, media reports, citing senior security officials, said.
According to yesterday's reports, al-Shabaab, which is viewed as increasing regional threat in Africa, planned three attacks in Nairobi while the secretary of state was there.
There were to be major bomb blasts in the hotel where Clinton and her entourage were staying, as well as at another major hotel and a transport hub.
Al-Qaida wanted to strike at the heart of Nairobi (while Clinton was here)," the senior security official was quoted as saying, according to the Australian. He added that Kenyan authorities intercepted communications between the plotters in war-ravaged Somalia and their operatives in Nairobi, which has a large émigré Somali population.
Five suspected terrorists were arrested, including a man believed to be a Somali carrying a Danish passport. The four other suspects seized, including a woman, had what appeared to be false Kenyan identity documents, according to the reports.
When she was in Nairobi, Mrs. Clinton held talks with Somalia's interim president, Sheik Sharif Ahmed.
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