Thursday, 30 April 2015

What Made the President’s Jet Turn Back

The Media in its true form went all out to report the breaking news last week when Kenya’s version of Air Force one turned back with President Uhuru on board, from its intended flight to Dubai. I felt as if the concern for the handling of our President more than the facts around this abrupt flight turnaround was what was mainly being conveyed in the reports across the spectrum of our mass media. One daily, reported that the president’s ride was denied passage over Eritrea supposing this information from the writer’s knowledgeable sources. This sparked off my curiosity as indeed might have done for many people familiar with the aviation industry. The “informed sources” quoted there, negated the issue of flight planning which is a discipline in itself within aviation. You see, no flight takes off on the spur of the moment, as may be the common practice with vehicles on the road, which is what much of the media reporting, whether intentionally or unintentionally wanted us the news consumers to believe. Aircraft are assigned specific routings at specific altitudes for specific timings hence what many may refer to as highways in the skies. This system apart from directing the aircraft to its intended destination has obvious safety and security benefits, like aiding the avoidance of mid air collusions and the all important identification and awareness of the aircraft’s presence through whatever airspace for security purposes, especially now post 9/11. One way al shabaab could bring down buildings in Nairobi or for that matter in any city would be to crash aircraft into them. Therefore as a measure flight planning [which includes getting the prerequisite territorial approvals] is essential. Hence for a state house spokesman or for a badly informed reporter as mentioned above to give excuses like war in Yemen which was only realized mid flight is completely miss leading in my opinion. Just think so how did the pilot realize this? Were rockets fired against the aircraft that suddenly jogged their thinking cells mid flight? Was this intelligence [which was already public knowledge] passed to them on radio? If so didn’t NIS Director Major General Philip Kameru know ahead of time about the President’s trip and thus not make appropriate, sufficient plans? I submit these are all farfetched possibilities to my mid. First of all route planning between the Air Force and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority must have taken cognizance of war in Yemen, the weather including things like humidity wind speed and direction, other traffic operating in the area, the aircrafts capability and serviceability, alternate routes including possible emergency landing airports, the vessel’s gross weight which includes passengers cargo even the fuel and aircraft passage rights through all national air spaces enroute to Dubai etc, that’s an international standard. Even the take off time slot for his jet at JKIA and the landing time slot for the same in Dubai International Airport [DXB] is fixed as per the plan, or have you not seen flights you were to take delayed because they missed their take off time slot or held in circulation while airborne awaiting their turn to land? As you can see route planning is a very detailed and very precise activity and as far as I am concerned both the Yemen war story and the turning back from Eritrean air space, fable [noticeably still without a diplomatic spout from our end] are simply nothing more than hog wash.
So then this forces us to wonder, if not lack of route planning, what then actually led to this situation? I submit two possible reasons, first and easiest one the President did not want to make the trip. Exhaustion, an eight hour plus, flight to the US and having to endure the return there after, oh! Man I sure wouldn’t want to do that either if I could avoid it. But having made the commitment to be at the conference, just maybe presidential aide’s in a bid to let him off saw this as a simple way out. Hmmm, Uhuru at times does seem like the spontaneous kind-a-guy. Yet he is the President no need for such shenanigans if he didn’t want to go he could have just canceled last minute who would question him? I leave it up to your better judgment for me it’s all up there in the sky.
My second reason is what really gets my juices running; I believe whatever caused that abrupt turn round had sufficient weight to cause not only the mid air ‘about turn’ but was of such nature as that which demanded the lame Yemen war cover up story. So for us to then analyze what that might be we examine current affairs with that sought of potential during the course of last week. Curtsey of prompt media reporting we know the morning after the president’s aborted trip he was busy at work, and it is significant to mention here that he set foot back on home soil an hour or so just before midnight and thus we can infer that the morning meeting with the Air Force Commander and the Director General of Intelligence that morning was not an earlier diarized appointment. At least not scheduled from before the weighty incident that may have caused his sudden return. By the way this morning meeting also blows my first presidential exhaustion theory out of the sky!
The timing of my supposed incident is also apparent to the keen observer, it must have occurred, assuming it was an occurrence and not some critical intelligence report, after the President’s departure for Dubai and just before the decision to turn back, unless of course the incident was actually a work in progress and only escalated in criticality during the flight period. The people he met is also a curious combination, air force Commander and Intel Chief, means what was being discussed at statehouse concerned the two functions. Media reporting on that meeting seemed to allude to a presidential dressing down or even a review of reasons for the aborted trip. Again I have problems with that hypothesis firstly important persons like the Director General of KCAA would have been involved seeing that route planning and its prerequisite approvals would have been done in collaboration with them. Then again what had NIS to do with this matter? For truly if it was about procedural malpractice wouldn’t the next course of action have been investigative? To establish criminal culpability and or a quality control process to establish where the lapse may have occurred and there after recommend corrective action? That kind of internal investigation is well within the capability of the air force so what was NIS doing there? Even if the president wanted to deploy the spy agency as a resource available to him would he do it in front of the Commander of the unit to be “intelligence-nized” [my word to mean spied on]? It doesn’t make sense because that for one would mean he didn’t trust his air force commander to carry out an effective investigation into what appeared to be at that point a case of professional malpractice. If so why didn’t he ask the commander of KDF himself to be present and why pit NIS against KDF in a case where individual mistrust and agency culture may collide? The appropriate department in such an investigation may have been the military police or even military intelligence supported by both military and civilian air control specialists based on what may have been required of them. If you look at it like that then you and I can only conclude that this morning meeting was not about the previous night’s aerial escapade. One main arena though, where both the air force and the intelligence community may be working closely together is the war against al shabaab mostly in Somalia. From general observation I would single out airstrikes whether our jets or US drones possibly guided by intelligence reporting on ground. Question is the last reported strike came in response to Garissa University, [might I add rightly so, make em pay for it]. Even then we are well into the war I don’t imagine this scenario, in the recent past or just about to be executed, would merit the president’s return in such fashion.

In my thinking the only other credible scenario is if what brought back our President and what was being discussed in that meeting had to do with the air force in relation to an intelligence report. We know General Karangi is retiring and other than being the KDF Commander he was from the air force specifically. Could there have been serious or worrying organizational dynamics set off in the impending changes? Or might there be another grand corruption saga, Anglo Leasing type involving the air force, unearthed by NIS? With the current high level crack downs in government this hypothesis of a yet an announced hand in the cocky jar is certainly a possibility. At least that is the sort of thing that could force a return of the presidential jet. Even then that would call for a bigger representation at the meeting including possibly the outgoing and the incoming KDF commanders among others who evidently were absent from the morning call up. So are we back to our theory of government duping, cover offs and trickery, snapped up by the media and reported as a serious review of presidential flight procedure after a dangerous, unintended executive flight misadventure? Was it nothing more than a team of senior officials having breakfast at statehouse? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is we have professional operational route planning which all airlines scheduled or not relay on daily and by which they have, since the escalation of trouble, avoided over flying Yemen. [NB. get a better spin doc]

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Garissa University Attack Where are We

Al shabaab creating a new state: Are we seeing the annexure of the north eastern regions of Kenya? Would you now send your children to school anywhere in that region? Even the ministry of education has relocated all students and staff from Garissa University. What of businesses now closing down as part of the population moves away? If you were a tourist or investor what are the chances you would want to go there? I am sure even nonresident Kenyans won’t dare that. Don’t ignore the fact that the terrorists are getting bolder with the success of each attack in time we may be staring at chaos all over the country as was the case in Nigeria with attacks moving from the north into Abuja and Lagos.
Some similarities notable in the genesis of Boko Haram which came into being around 2006 led by a radical Muslim cleric Muhammad Yusuf in the north of Nigeria. The sect focused its pronouncements against apparent marginalization, poor education levels and joblessness among the youth. One editorial account says, “Late Yusuf also took advantage of the irresponsible leadership at all levels of government as unemployment, poverty and insecurity become the order of the day. And, as he pointed out such failures, citing verses of the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, the youth saw him as the leader that will indeed deliver them from malevolence to the promised land”. This quick internet check on that history shows uncanny similarities including suspicion and outright dislike for government officers, the misreading and consequent mishandling by security agencies of a growing dangerous situation in a particular region of Nigeria and of course the ever present corruption at all levels of government. Sounds familiar? May be a bit too familiar, uncomfortably so!
Al shabaab may not at this moment have shown any desire to capture real estate but that also may have been said for Boko Haram in 2006. Furthermore the trend internationally set by ISIS of late, indicates a move towards acquisition of territory in which to establish a caliphate. After Kenya’s forceful takeover of al shabaab’s territory in Somalia and consequent control of it by AMISOM the group remains stranded between Kenya and regions close to our border in Somalia. They had the idea well before ISIS and we took that away from them. They now need a safe heaven and possibly new territory to govern. I started by asking a series of questions my general answer to them all is that, whether al shabaab knows it now or not the annexure of Kenyan territory is what they are about at the moment. First through psychological compulsion by threat of violence or enticement (Promised Land), later maturing into physical control of land after non locals including government employees have been expelled and locals are thus strategically overwhelmed and assimilated into an ethnic and religiously based nation.

Travel advisories: Are they all coincidental? Gen. Nkaissery said the last one was based on issues other than security, is that still the position now? If memory serves me right there were advisories against travel to Kenya or updates of them just before the Mpeketoni attack, before the Mandera attacks and before Westage also. Either way we evidently have to deal with our national security issues the terrorist seem now to strike almost at will compared to Europe where no advisories have been given and major attacks seem to have been made almost impossible. Posturing and tough talk with little improvement in the situation is embarrassing you, stop it.  Let’s begin with actually crafting a national security strategy that will guide our self protection and inspire confidence in our development partners. If effected properly that alone would remove need for anyone giving precautionary advise against our sand and sunny beaches.
More Police Officers: Police Service manpower levels are critical and at the moment we know officer numbers are less than 50% of what is recommended by UN. Yet having more officers doesn’t translate to a safer country just like having all twelve players on the football pitch is not equivalent to scoring goals or winning the match. Much more will be required including upgrading policing skills, information sharing, secured national borders, instilling an anti corruption culture, better equipment and other issues many I have discussed in my previous articles: Some quick ways of dealing with manpower deficiencies should include considered back up for the police from KDF or restructuring to civilian employment of police service administrative job roles that don’t require specific policing skills
Only four attackers: the small team was able to kill 147 victims in the campus. That would have been harder to achieve with armed trained security guards, this adversary has evolved not so for security companies hence they will probably lose more of their staff in this way if no radical changes are made to their operations. Even where there is police back up probably like at Garissa University that is mostly composed of only two armed officers. In this instance if they were present they were ineffective against the 4-6 armed attackers. Why that was is open to speculation but in a good post incident review the reasons may range from issues like deployment of inadequate number of officers for the size of facility to be guarded or exhaustion from long hours of work, indeed all caused by lack of adequate manpower at the police station. This can be remedied in a manner that does not include outright disregard for due process of law examples of this mentioned in articles highlighted above. The incident review must also establish if the said officers deployed to guard the university on that fateful day were adequately armed? For example, did they run out of bullets after the first magazine worth twenty or so rounds? Were they trained well enough to counter this sort of situation? Were they properly briefed for such an eventuality given the heightened threat status against universities? Were they specifically deployed against the terrorism threat to the campus or were they on a different assignment like protecting a cash office or required to patrol adjacent estates for general security provision instead of solely protecting the campus? Moral issues are critical to coming out on top of any live combat situation and thus this must be investigated to see if a regular officer given their current terms, conditions and organizational culture will be willing to put his life on the line where the criminal has evidently greater force. I think not but maybe that’s my bias.
Immediate Decisive Intervention: The fact no time was wasted once the incident occurred has spared us all greater horror. Our special forces seem to have gotten their act together since Westgate, although they may have taken loner to get to Garissa. If we can’t pre-position these teams in each sub county then make prior arrangements to ensure they can be brought into any action scene anywhere in the country, not more than one hour from a request being made. Pre-positioning is ideal the teams could be charged with mastering designs of every vital installation (university campuses included) and access way within their jurisdictions. They would also contribute to the alignment of all emergency response procedures for their regions thus a faster more effective counter action could be achieved. Anyway, the ideal security service should not allow us to get to the point where we need Special Forces interventions in the first place. Regular police officers need increased skills in detecting, preventing and countering this comparatively new threat in the country. As a significant part of Kenya’s frontline security they seem to be in the dark almost like sending your 5yr old child to slaughter the family bull and roast it for your visitors. If nothing is done to retrain the beat man and improve the factors required for his optimal output we will surely be courting repeated disasters, Garissa university style. That said we must commend the officers who noted the al shabaab anthem being played as a ring tone on a cell phone from one of the guard’s at the university who survived the attack. He was arrested and further investigation is unearthing details that seem to link him to the group probably as one of the inside men. I may be mistaken but if he is the one shot in the thigh it may be something to see if there are burn marks or other indications of the gun being fired close to the leg. Forensic examination may also be able to determine what weapon was used to shoot him a handgun calculated not to cause him maximum injury by breaking the leg bone or the standard weapon of use in the attack say AK47s, was the hand gun used against other victims like his two colleagues at the gate also or was it used in that one instance? Especially if it was used in the initial shootings to gain entry might there be a chance that the surviving guard now suspect shot and killed his coworkers and then open the shut gate? Residue on his hands and probably finger prints at least on the remaining rounds of the gun used may reveal that. Away from investigations the alertness and awareness on the part of police officers who detected his suspiciousness is what we require more of from the police service only this time it has come after the fact!
Operationalizing the intelligence is still a challenge: With only the little public information I can’t understand why intelligence analysts didn’t connect the dots apparently pointing at an imminent attack on Garissa University.  First despite presidential denials of the threat it is plain that universities had been warned of this possibility and many of them including USIU, Kenyatta and Nairobi universities had put out internal notices to that effect. Garissa University happens to be the only one in the entire north eastern region of the country and Garissa county has the notorious reputation of being the favorite target for most terrorist attacks in the country at around 33% of all attacks compared to Nairobi’s 22%  while the coast region has much less than that. These three facts alone point straight at an attack on the university at Garissa even if there was doubt that should have been outweighed by the non essential travel advisories of Britain and Australia that highlighted that region as a likely target. Assume intelligence wasn’t against universities only, say it included hotels and other soft targets, as vigilance is heightened nationally special focus should have been on this attack prone region more so with the capabilities from the KDF camp at Garissa available to assist the police there. So who dropped the ball if intelligence was available was it the analysts who didn’t quite identify it or was it the police operations running around the country fire fighting in Mandera, Kapedo, errant MPs etc. (I explore this phenomenon under; From Crisis to Crisis, below here) It almost seems like the foreign security agencies have one better than our own people right here at home, could this have been intelligence information coming from their sources while our own new nothing of it? I suspect, after all given the president’s confident pronunciations against the advisories a few hours before the attack his people must have told him that wasn’t true. Yes Cabinet Secretary Gen. Nkaissery confirmed that the attack caught them by surprise possibly a case of one arm seeing the real danger and sending out warnings while at the same time having serious challenges in kick starting appropriate proactive defenses from the other arms of government. Then again if not our security agencies then who is responsible for this lapse?  I don’t want to think that we went down to excessive political interference auuch!
Nyumba kumi: This neighborhood watch program will be critical going forward into a time when we are likely to see small terror cell operations from within Kenya as opposed to cross border attacks. As GoK took its time deciding what to do about border security, al shabaab have been actively recruiting, training and secretly positioning Kenyans fully aware that the sleeping giant will one day awake and make our borders impossible to cross (that day has still not come). Garissa a case in hand the attackers are said to have been talking fluently in Kiswahili as spoken locally, while the master mind, Mohamed Kuno is said to have been once a teacher in the locality, one of those who aided in attack planning probably also assisted action by turning off security lights on the fateful night was one of the campus’s private security guards. The government’s latest directive for residents in the area to report all missing persons (presumed to have crossed into Somalia for training), to the nearest police station is a start in the right direction but more must be done across the nation to ensure decision makers have a live impression of all that is happening on the ground. Nyumba Kumi has been neglected and underfunded, from a distance it seems the political and executive leadership has little time or support except for a few self motivated moves in some counties. Yet a well structured system will surely aid real time intelligence to central government and provide a channel to pass information/ knowledge for increased awareness to all parts of the country even the remotest ends. Security must be handled like a complex web of different but equally significant parts some of which must now include non-traditional items common to the profession. I have often mentioned some of those in different articles:
One of those significant parts of security that I feel deserves mention here is the implementation of Human Security programs alongside the more military or enforcement type measures. Much of this will involve de-marginalization development work by both central and county governments. These programs must focus on addressing the sensitivities of north eastern residence which make them susceptible to recruitment into groups that employ extreme violence as a means. Simple issues like issuance of national identity cards, building a secure national university campus (now thwarted) and improving relations between government security officers and the local population can turn around people’s perception to the extent that they are not only willing to cooperate with security agencies but they go on to internally developing social barriers against anyone wanting to cooperate with the enemy. In your mind’s eye see a picture of the social (cultural) barriers we have as a nation against homosexuality for example, the same can be natured against terrorism.
Kitu Kidigo: High level corruption responsible for among others; north eastern Kenya’s marginalization, nonexistent national security strategy and a neglected police service hopefully is being dealt with in the current purge of the executive and political class. At the same time we need a concerted remedy for the low level crime often touted as responsible for ease of terrorists operations moving in, out and around the country, without such a drive we remain extremely vulnerable. It is not just in the simple taking of a bribe to pass weapons or terrorists; I believe the more significant impact to the national arena will be in changing the focus and time taken by most police officers in chasing illegal gains from other perceived non lethal sources like illegal brewing of alcohol or motorist offences, and center their attention to proactively protecting the nation from this scourge and from other forms of serious crime. The two types of corruption have different enabling dynamics which must be faced strategically if any success is to be had against deeply rooted systems that are widely expected around the country. I will leave this discussion here but suffice it to say that if the government is really interested, guidance for such strategy is locally available, again, if truly desired.
Hardening soft targets: can’t be left to private interpretation see the results of that even after giving advisories of your own to universities. How would Garissa University or any other counter what befell them given the current capabilities of private security? Like tethering a goat away from the grass and then telling it that it is in imminent danger of starvation hai! So what will it do? Begin by categorizing all facilities that are accessible to general public this way you can issue standard guidelines as to the level of security that shall be accorded to each type. It is time we considered arming private security and forget this thing of providing two police officers to protect an entire university campus, it is simply ridiculous. This doesn’t even deter the terrorists or are you forgetting a year or so ago terrorists raided a church right there in Garissa which was protected by a similar complement of officers, shot and took away their guns and proceeded to shoot civilians there. See my article which is an outline of an act of parliament designed to allow the arming of private guards Moving further, Westgate, Mandera bus and quarry attacks and Garissa University were all armed attacks. Don’t get hooked on this one tactic consider every other possible options including suicide attacks and vehicle borne improvised devices (VBIED) as is evidenced by common occurrence in Somalia the home of al shabaab and also through recoveries from several police interventions made in here in Kenya. As you do that, consider the use of ANFO as a substitute to military or industrial grade explosives remember the 1995 Timothy McVeigh incident in Oklahoma the US, especially so as counter terror operations block possible importation routes. Let’s not get caught off guard again. We have already noted here that there may be some terror cells in different parts of the country just waiting to strike. To stop them the national security organs will need help from every management of a facility accessible by the general public. I propose tying licensing of business operations to assessed compliance to security requirements provided by the IG of Police, much like in civil aviation where Aviation Security requirements for private operators like airlines, ground handlers and cargo agents form a critical section towards authorization and licensing to operate in any country. See article on Iron Web Security Strategy;
Some specific measure useful for hardening soft targets across the country:
From crisis to crisis: The Cabinet Secretary and the Inspector General rushing to the scene looks good and at times may be required to assure the public of action but it also tells me the crisis management system is weak. In my mind questions of who should be in-charge at incident level and are they competent to do it come into view, what happens if you have 3 separate incidents spread across the country? Is there not a crisis management center for police operations and who then will give operational direction? that center or the CS & IG at ground zero? I have not seen the NIS Director General or General Karangi doing the same much as units under them are normally involved in the same operations. As internal security chiefs the two must remain with a view of the entire national scenario, now when in Mandera one week the next in Kapedo and before it ends in Garissa who is guiding the national strategy and coordinating national operations who is considering some of the aspects I have touched in this article could that be where the ball is falling? You must avoid management by crisis it already got many people killed in the last two years and lead to the sacking of your predecessors. In a proposal I am currently working on I suggest we realign the National Police service more functionally and as part of this process we mandate the IG under a more strategic than operational role. What the country needs is an office that will assist the police’s role which needs to be cross functional not just within the service but externally also to different security stakeholders both in government and in society in order to deliver on its mandate. The CS and IG don’t need to be counter terrorism experts, bomb detonation specialists, accomplished investigators or skilled surveillance personnel but they do need to direct overall strategy, draw out results from their counter terror people, ensure bomb experts are properly equipped and provide effective guidance to the president from proactive intelligence gotten through effective overall management of surveillance or intelligence teams. They must make sure all officers of the service have optimum training, protect their investigators from powerful detractors, administer an internationally respected witness protection system and they must also turnaround the poor police culture through a well supervised reform program. I for one, don’t want to see them fighting crime directly, that is the job of the teams they command. I need them to map out challenges to finishing crime then find and direct the implementation of solutions. When the bosses are always out in the field I doubt that is getting done well. Mr. President for all our sakes live these two to their professional roles stop having the CS read political statements, when you need that done get the chair of a parliamentary security committee to do it instead. Why? It erodes confidence in our security apparatus both nationally and internationally now the entire system looks like it does not know what it is doing; just see ‘hio’ statement from Gen. Nkaissery, that the travel advisory is based on other factors other than security! Even if it was true, “saa hii basi imemdaka mbaya!”
ICRC working hard: Is Red Cross being given some government funding? They have become the leading medical responders for these kinds of incidents in the country. If not I suggest an official grant to assist them run their operations or reimburse some of the cost they incur, let the money be put aside now and budgeted in consequent years to promote and help sustain a vital service which Kenyans who are in need get from the agency. Victim management though is still wanting in our ability to quickly trace/positively identify survivors and victim’s and connect them to their families. On this scale this is normally a challenge and if poorly handled it may further cement the enemy’s victory. Looking at the 2014 mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian air plane, poor communication and handling of victim’s families by authorities caused serious perception problems to the government which was among others accused of covering up some aspects. Again we could learn from civil aviation industry actors like Kenya Airways who have handle two major plane crushes both in foreign lands and each time have managed through a preplanned and well coordinated system to handle similar numbers and with the greater challenge of having to do it in multiple countries at the same time.

Who won? Al shabaab did. That is in this round. Witness accounts said the attackers announced they had come to kill and be killed did it happen? Yes, effectively slaughtering 147+ souls including themselves. They even pushed our president to make an illegal directive which over steps the jurisdiction of the courts. This he did by ordering the continuation of a flawed police recruitment process. No wonder the amendments to security laws 2015 allowing him to appoint the IG and deny him security of tenure! Are you still reading but are not convinced? Check your national flag then it is at half mast as a result of this attack, last I knew about it, that is not a celebratory position. If these attacks go on I see us getting to the point where we won’t be able to bear it anymore and will be forced to withdraw our troops from Somalia, then who wins? Of course these criminals will and the minute that happens be sure we will have a major terrorist group like al qaeda or ISIS or both as our neighbors and they will come back to haunt us, be sure. Will you let them win this war one cover up of government failure and one secret disjoint of national security strategy at a time? Despite very recent wins against Boko Haram the Nigerian’s didn’t let His Excellency J. Goodluck take them down that bad luck road.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Examining Police Operations

People have wish lists, prayer items, to do lists and in this season New Year resolutions.  In my list I would have loved to see a police structure change in the security amendments 2014, similar to one I described in my article:
All is not lost in my new dream line up I pray to see the following interventions in the way the National Police Service works hopefully under a mandate of Police Operations Director. Before tackling any of the selected operations it is critical for those with the ability to deal with the availability of manpower i.e. boots on the ground. Other than recruitment, devolving police functions could be another way to go. So as to enable the service to focus on critical criminal activities it may be important to consider devolving some functions like the airport, sea ports/ railway police units, VIP/ diplomatic security, bank guarding/ CIT Ops, emergency control room staff, and administrative duties carried out in police service offices’. Already there has been a positive move in this direction in the traffic department by replacing police with NYS and the county inspectorate officers. Although not an official estimate I would venture to say a third of all police officers in the service are engaged in these functions. Some of those tasks don’t strictly need police training as offered in Kiganjo e.g. emergency room personnel or administrative tasks in police stations/ offices, this will immediately free officers to handle critical security situations elsewhere. Another item that is half way off my list until is the need for a ministry with a US Homeland Security, like function. The new security amendment law has tried to bring some coordination by revitalizing the National Counter Terrorism Center among some other efforts to increase coordinated action. This is fine although it worries me if the effort only concentrates on terrorism thus living other serious crimes as witnessed in Kenya unattended to e.g. with the toxic alcoholic brew or the deadly cattle rustling in pastoral regions. Crime needs to be fought through different interventions, some as farfetched as ensuring a good education system for the kids others thro synchronization of functions in different sections of government e.g. County Commissioners’ and police. To do so effectively an office in the Interior Ministry, after all having the Coordination of Government function should be instituted take up this role.
Managing Auxiliary Security Services: A neglected area of policing is what I call auxiliary service including Nyumba Kumi, the Police Reserve, Community Policing and local County Security resources can be used in conjunction with each other and or interchangeably to achieve a set of similar desired goals. Owing to differences in lifestyle, culture or public perception each one of the three may become hampered in service delivery within different environs e.g. where homesteads are; stand alone homes hidden behind tall fences and impenetrable looking gates. It may be more useful to have a security reserve team backing up police indeed in those locales residents are mostly too busy with their own life to notice a neighbor’s suspiciousness emphasized in Nyumba Kumi. The three programs may vary in structure and operation but none may be solely effective in all societies, cultures and environments throughout the country. Yet they could be aligned to work under a single command of Auxiliary Security Services under that Police Ops Director it would indeed reduce the pressure on National Police Service operations countrywide.
I have mentioned this topic before and I found it an avoidable given our current topic.

Adopt Area Lock-Down Procedures: In the immediate after moment of a terrorist attack often the supervisors or the perpetrators if not dead already will be within a determinable radius of the scene as they try to get away, hide or direct the incident further. A review of tactics and past incidents can reveal this radius best but I’d say within a 10Km zone of any incident. The responding strategy by security services should thus quickly lock down the escaping enemy within that radius. This will have two main effects; firstly the ability to immediately stop and arrest the perpetrators and As part of police operations they should constitute a police quick response team on 24hr standby especially in the major metropolises. They would be deployed immediately on report of an attack; to clamp down, interview, search and verify all persons in the immediate area. This team can be used as a backup team but the strategy should be to activate the entire complement of officers in an affected zone, to participate in the exercise. Now that policing is going hi-tech with GoK contracting from Safaricom imagine when all officers have an electronic recording device to store and transmit the data from all the people interviewed whether arrested or not. We are talking; smart electronic comparative analysis, making associations of persons, places and incidents giving more leads and thus heightened possibilities of arresting perpetrators. Secondly this strategy also reduces the attackers’ options for available escape routes in turn limiting the choice of possible targets and makes it harder for the attack planners and strategists especially where the attacker’s get away is envisioned.
Part of locking down an area happens even before an incident as police use roadblocks to monitor the transportation routes used to ferry attackers and weapons to intended targets. Currently the police checks seem to have minimal deterrent effect, being little more than a minor inconvenience or a ‘taxation’ point depending on your passing business. The police should adopt effective practices at roadblocks by use of a ‘Continuous-Random-Search-Procedure’; this is where every local commander may choose on a random number sequence which determines which vehicle will be stopped and searched. The officers choice can be influenced by among other things his complement of available officers, need to avoid public awareness of the sequence being used, the amount of traffic at the hour, the threat level they are working under etc. For example if the commander decided to stop 1 in 5 vehicles, each fifth car will be searched this can be varied as the mentioned variables fluctuate say at rush hour the number may change to 1 in 15 cars. Nonetheless any other suspicious vehicle can still be stopped if officers detect it. Most significant to this process and different from the practice currently, each identified car should be pulled over, the occupants asked to step out of the car then searched, IDs checked and themselves questioned as necessary, the car then searched, registration numbers run electronically (as is being made possible), other normal traffic police checks can also be done together in one go, e.g. ensuring insurance validity etc. The randomness in the procedure makes it very dangerous for terrorists or fugitives and the possibility of an intensive screening being carried out will stop transportation of weapons or smuggled goods. This tactic is also effective in reducing suicide terrorism like that carried out with VBIED’s.

Border Security: this is another topic I believe is worn thin through different articles:      I recently skipped through the National Police Service Act section covering the Administration Police and found it gave clear mandate to the unit for border security. Whilst that may be the case we know then the much announced government upgrades must take cognizance of this, otherwise the country may remain vulnerable. Major points under this subtitle though should include possibility of erecting an effective barrier to stop easy movement of terror activities in and out past a +800KM border. Off course in doing so the challenges are immense, but not insurmountable, cost will be a factor, ability to monitor the fence or wall once erected another issue. A virtual fence is my best bet, it is cost effective and easier to manage, by using a combination of various technologies including ground radars, seismic sensors and physical barriers especially near border towns.  This virtual fence can then be managed by investing in a chain of well spaced forts along the border from which fixed surveillance, patrols and response forces can be launched. The forts must have sizable Border Control and Defense Teams. The size can be easily determined based on history of enemy encounters and requirements for effective patrolling and defense of the borderline etc. Additional duties for such a section could include: to undertake customs and immigration process for all consignments and people coming into the country through their assigned section. The joint border security unit must actuate the amendments in the security laws by regulating persons moving out to other territories to ensure we prevent export of our youth to terrorist training camps or stop the country being abused by acting as a transit point for people from around the globe going to join the al shabaab jihad. I imagine surveillance by use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (drones) whether borrowed or our own would be helped at these stations. This way movement in or out of the country becomes extremely difficult for terrorists, their recruits, weapons and all other smugglers and criminals who have heather to hand free reign. Finally I must mention my disappointment not to see a buffer zone created in the new laws, say 10KM on the Kenya side and with bilateral agreement with Somalia a similar zone on their side, quickly giving a 20KM clear zone which would make surveillance that much easier. KDF supported by friendly Somalian militias must also evolve a clearance operation to ensure that the buffer zone actually exists on the Somali side. KDFs work here weather supported by AMISOM or not given recent Mandera attacks, is clearly very important for our national security.
Use Intelligence Led Operations: a joint intelligence analysis management office [a National Data Fusion Center] including NIS, MI, Police, different experts or government officers and other exchange officers from the region is a critical focal point for effective operations. The National Counter Terrorism Center [NCTC] recently enacted in law may be serving in this capacity. The center must be able to provide real time operational intelligence to officers on ground and also give strategic support to other programs in crime control. At County level satellite fusion centers should also be set up. These are not district security or intelligence committees as they exist headed by the county commissioners. Instead they should be operational centers used to coordinate preemptive security operations. The scope of work should be expanded to provide intelligence support to all county anti criminal operations and not limited to terrorism. This way we can expect to see smarter policing through measures like mapping of crime timings and hotspots, better analysis of modus operandi, early identification and tracking of perpetrators, precise anticipation in incident cycles and increased preemptive security interventions. Finally this operation must be able to tackle crime and then precisely identify its causes in order to assist strategists, develop the most appropriate remedial approaches.
Often the best armor is the promise of severe retaliation in the face of terrorism or wild gun touting tribes’ men who now have felled close to a hundred police officers in cold blood in short succession. This can be done by striking at training facilities, supply lines & leadership in pre-emptive hits. A history of expected severe retaliation from our security agencies, in the event of an attack on national interests is a formidable opponent. Critical to this tactic is being able to hit the right and I emphasize the involved targets and to do it in the hit of the moment and not days later. I am sure this last statement will provide enough controversy, yet in the argument it must not be lost that some of the modern day organized crimes we witness like terrorism, has challenged the basic presumptions in our legal system. This tactic will increase the dissuasive effect for any would be terror gangs. The only way I see to undertake such an operation successfully is to ensure the intelligence supplied is on the mark, high quality and does not have to be developed almost in its entirety post incident, “Kazi kwenyu NCTC!”
National Threat Analysis and Risk Management: The likelihood of an attack being carried out called threat will always exist, our exposure to that threat we call risk, which varies based on the counter measures in place. A valid threat assessment can be best achieved by instituting a systematic and continual process of intelligence collection and evaluation as hopefully purported by the revitalizing of the NCTC. As such the Security Council or the Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government should develop a mechanism for effective risk management after a threat has been assessed. In short it’s no good to know we will get hit at a certain point if we cannot mitigate it effectively. Timely and effective implementation of counter measures is what eventually protects us central to this necessity then is the need for a proper means to communicate to operational units the prerequisites per time, needed to secure citizens. Effective security measures and procedures are made to be flexible and implemented in proportion to the threat assessed, which in turn may fluctuate given various changing factors. Some of these factor will include the type and magnitude of attack or its location compared to that of response measures being brought into play etc Whenever a specific threat exists, selected and predetermined preventive security measures such as some of those we have discussed here should be applied depending upon the nature of the threat. The National Security Council will have to analyze the vulnerabilities in the country in relation to the given threat assessment and initiate the appropriate set of additional security measures to be implemented for each elevated threat level. E.g. at the police roadblock mentioned above, a factor that informs the sequence of vehicles searched would be the threat level. For the measure to become effective countrywide or even in a single county each predetermined threat level must have a similarly predetermined minimum required response. E.g. at the Threat Level which officials have routinely called RED, the police commander at the road side may be under instruction to search not less than 1 in 2 cars passing by. This in turn places a demand on his deployment officer to give the commander sufficient manpower to carry out this duty as prescribed and thus occasioning uniform effective measures region wide. In my dreams for the future I see the system extended to an appropriate public advisory mechanism in support of police operations.  
Talking of dreams, a lot of the areas we have touched on are supposed on the premise of appropriate officer training both in the police and the other auxiliary security operations like the County Inspectorate who could be upgraded to county or metro, police departments. Highest performance levels in security service delivery will also require a quality management process that is able not only to monitor compliance to standards in the various tasks undertaken but will provide continuous solutions for prompt rectification of lapses noted.
I pray the new IG of Police like me will expect a future where the National Police Service will participate in global or even regional accreditation exercises and score sufficiently to attain the world class credential that is intended in the Police Service’s Vision. In the US for example, there exists an agency known as The Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies [CALEA], through it participating police departments can receive independent recognizable accreditation on their professionalism. My dream is to see us participate in stuff like that, and for the service in the spirit of regional integration to develop an East African chapter of the same. Imagine the confidence in the workings of police operations that would bring to citizens and internationally. It’s about time it came to be for a nation that wants to attract foreign investment and tourists, don’t you think? For me this is the only way my dream will end well.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

To Amend or Not the Security Laws – 2014 Bill

Having gone through the proposed amendments to our security laws the below is my specific assessment and contribution.
In general these are good amendments proposed for the laws and are definitely the right step towards fighting terrorism and other organized crimes. Obviously the law alone is insufficient to deal with the phenomenon of extremist violent radicalization, in itself a departure from commonly held norms. Further still laws alone cannot protect a nation from impunity or abuse of office and power through the security machinery. Conscientious leadership, democratic values and respect for the purpose and role of security agencies by our leadership will always guarantee it. How that can be achieved for posterity is outside the purview of this document yet it should be pursued by all with similarity of urgency and intensity as these security laws have been worked on. 
In passing these amendments all adherences to the constitution and laws of the land, itself a significant requirement in an effective anti terrorism strategy must be followed. As we legislate, let us not forget Kenyan history and the reasons why we made the laws we now wish to amend. In order to protect those concerns it may be better in some aspects to find strategic, technical or operational means within the security mechanism to move on. As a measure of this same spirit we could evaluate if some currently desired changes if not made actually have the potential to deny us the victory in the war on terror or if protecting/ preserving, previously hard fought for rights may be more advantageous for posterity.
That having been said, I should mention here that it is very apparent to me that a security agency with completely bound hands is and shall remain an impotent one. To that end I am glad that in my assessment of the proposed security law only 07/109 clauses – 7.6% would need to be deleted from the list.
Suggestions for Amendment to the Bill

Amendment Section 32 - Evidence Act Cap 80
Section 20A (2) & (5) - Require a 2 day notification of objection to prosecutor prior to being tendered in evidence. A period sufficient to scrutinize the same documents not less than 3days should be required for production of the documents to concerned parties so they have ample time to go through and launch any objection they may have.
Amendment Section 39 - Prisons Act Cap 70
Insertion of new section 70A - include in details to be recorded by the Commissioner after (g) & before (f); “the record of prisons, specific cell numbers and commensurate dates where the suspect has been held”. Which is critical data declaring specific location and period for those held will be needed in an investigation and should not be left to chance.
Amendment Section 17A - KAA Act Cap 395
Establishment of Inter- Agency Security Advisory Committee – potential for conflict with the National Civil Aviation Security Committee indeed the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Act Section 3B – Functions of the Authority Section 1: (f) the coordination and direction of search and rescue services; (g) the provision of services and facilities in relation to the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents; (i) dealing with incidents of unlawful interference with aviation security. Section 3 No.(6) In the discharge of its responsibility for aviation safety and security the Authority shall coordinate its activities with other agencies of the Government, including the Kenya Ports Authority, the Department of Defence and the Police. The Civil Aviation Regulations 2013 Part 3 section 10 on National Civil Aviation Security Committee (a) & (b) see especially B 3) Without limiting the generality of sub regulation (2) the Minister shall, in appointing members of the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, ensure that it comprises one member from each of the following departments, agencies or organizations— (a) the Authority; (b) the Chairperson of the National Air Transport Facilitation Committee; (c) the airport authority; (d) the ministry responsible for security or internal affairs; (e) intelligence organizations;
Amendment Section 59 - NIS Act CAP 28
Section 2 (b) in the definition of preventive intelligence include after important personalities or any other matters of national interest
Amendment Section 62 - NIS Act Cap 28
6A. (1) An officer of the Service may stop and detain any person whom the officer— Allow powers to arrest but require the NIS to detain in an authorized police station & notify the OCS/ OCPD of the same and to produce the suspect before court in accordance to the laid down Criminal Procedure Code laws. Furthermore these powers can be limited to specific cases including organized transnational crime like terrorism & drug trafficking only. This amendment seems to have been proposed to deal with breeches of intelligence operations emanating from possible National Police Service Officers who may have leaked information to suspects. If so, measures to promptly prosecute them, internal investigations and counter espionage operations should deal with such occurrences in near term while organization wide culture change/ reform program can be pursued in a 3-5 year plan. Rather than pass the amendment as proposed, one reason to pursue these technical and operational steps is that those who have previously colluded with the police in the past, probably on a corrupt basis, will only change their client to the NIS after the law is changed so that in effect the demand follows the supply and the status remains the same.
NIS act has proposed greater empowerment of the service without providing for commensurate increase in oversight, being that all the work they do is on behalf of the citizens. A prosecution process for intelligence officers who commit crimes should be placed in the mainstream court system. Although the process must then take cognizance of the need for appropriate facilitation when it comes to hearings involving national security matters where disclosure of material would be damaging to the public interest. Central to this is introduction of legislation to make the mechanism known as closed material procedures part of that processes such a system will advance greater public trust and a more ethically run institution. To the end that Kenyans will bear higher confidence in the workings of the agency;

Amendment Section 73 - Prevention of Terrorism Act Failure to prevent entry of weapons -  12C (1) Any person, who, being in charge of any place of worship institution or public place within which illegal weapons are recovered, shall be deemed to be in possession of such weapons and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years. (2) It shall be a defense if the person referred to in subsection (1) shows that he had no control over the entry of the weapons in the place of worship institution or public place or he took appropriate step to prevent into the place of worship, institution or public place. – insert a close to allow the Cabinet Secretary authority to list what the appropriate steps are to leave no room for contention or wider interpretation. Example appropriate measures could include ensuring suitable (specified) training and general awareness programs/ announcements for staff and for all users of the facility, appointment of certain officials to ensure security of the premises, regular search of premises, locking of rooms, facilities that could be used to conceal weapons etc
Amendment Section 75 - Prevention of Terrorism Act Cap No. 30 of 2012
Prohibition from broadcasting 30F (2) A person who publishes or broadcasts photographs of victims of a terrorist attack without the consent of the National Police Service and of the victim commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceed three years or to a fine of five million shillings, or both – Insert; after photographs, “ that visually identify an individual”,  so as to achieve the desired effect in controlling traumatic exposure of personal identities through regular media reporting but at the same time avoid what appears to amount to gagging the media.
Amendment Section Part - VI: Mechanism for coordinating counter-terrorism measures: in addition to establishment of NCTC it is critical to consider establishment of County Data Fusion Centers to be used as intelligence focal points manned by all agencies in the fight against crime including terror which often feeds off other illegal activities such poaching, drugs & small arms trafficking etc  these centers working at county level would be used to better facilitate intelligence led policing which in turn will feed into NCTC, NIS & NPS overall mandates.
Establishment in law of a congruent border security unit involving immigration, customs and excise, NIS, administration police or other relevant security agencies should be a significant inclusion in so much as that terror resources are being imported into the country while supplies and fresh recruits go through the very same borders only to return later to attack among other places the border towns as recent incidents in Mandera & Garissa have shown.
Establishment of a Homeland Security Authority/ ministry that works on a day to day basis to plan, develop, manage, regulate and direct an efficient comprehensive national strategy for all security and non security activities geared towards finishing terrorism and other transnational organized crimes should be a priority and should have informed these amendments even if a separate act of law will be required to establish it. That establishment of such an authority should have come first and the amendments after that to avoid double work and confusion in the running of internal security matters.

Contentious Amendments:
Public Order Act Cap 56
Amendment Section 4 - New Section in Public Order Act Cap 56 - 5A The Cabinet Secretary may by notice in the Gazette designate the areas where, and times at which public meetings, gatherings or public processions may be held. Curtails/ challenges freedoms declared in the Constitution of Kenya Chapter Four––The Bill of Rights No. 37; Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities.

Amendment Section 5 - Section 6 of the Public Order Act is amended— (a) by inserting the following subsections immediately after subsection (1)— (1A) Any person who unlawfully convenes, organizes or promotes a public rally, meeting or procession or neglects or refuses to comply with any law relating to public meetings commits an offence. – Supporting curtailing above mentioned freedoms

Penal Code Cap 63
Amendment Section 15 - Inserted Section 66A, A person who publishes or causes to be published or distributed obscene, gory or offensive material which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the general public or disturb public peace is guilty of a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both, or, where the offence is committed by a media enterprise, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings. – risks curtailing freedom of press/ has no measure to determine content thus open to abuse

NPS Act Cap of 2011
Amendment Section 97/98/99/100 - (Section 12) of the National Police Service Act is amended by— (a) Deleting subsection (2) and substituting therefore the following subsection— (2) The President shall, within fourteen days after a vacancy occurs in the office of the Inspector-General, nominate a person for appointment as an Inspector-General and submit the name of the nominee to the National Assembly. (b) Deleting subsections (3), (4), (5), and (6). (Section 15) of the National Police Service Act is amended by deleting subsections (2), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8).  (Section 17) of the National Police Act is amended by deleting subsections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) – (Section 29) of the National Police Service
Act is amended by deleting subsections (2) and (3).These changes do not affect the war against terror if anything it leaves the office prone to abuses similar to those witnessed historically in the misuse of police by the political class. It is a clear move to de-professionalize the service.

Example of Numerous ‘Acceptable’ Sections
The Majority of 109 clauses in the amendment act are good these parts selected here are just examples;

Cap 56
- The increase in penalties e.g. from 1k to 10k or 100k from 3months to 2years
- Corrections of titles Commissioner to IGP Minister to CS Province to County etc
Cap 63
-                                -   Insertion of new section 128A - Offences by public officers
-                                -   Insertion of new section 251A - Insulting modesty by intruding privacy or stripping
Cap 75
-                  -  Insertion of section 36A - Remand by court – giving lee way for terror investigations yet maintaining judicial supervision of the curtailment of individual freedom

Other articles of interest:
Ø  My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs:
Ø  What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?
Ø  Addressing Current Public Dissatisfaction in Policing:
Ø  Suggestions in Realignment in Administration Police Functions

Date: 14/12/2014         

Sincerely Yours

Bernard M. Makau
Managing Partner
Winnerman Consult & Training Ltd.
                                                                                      cell: 0722645053,

twt: @muokiben7, FB: ben muoki LkdIn: ben muoki  

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Suggestions in Realignment of Administration Police Functions

In recent months debate has been rife on how to improve security one thought line, being that we should separate the Administration Police (AP) from the Kenya Police (KP). In my previous article;
“To Separate or Not To Separate AP & KP”; found at:

I said that the AP & other operational police units should be under a single Deputy IG responsible for National Police Operations. That could happen in a set up where there are six other Deputy IG’s each responsible for a department functionally aligned for maximum service delivery and an IG of the entire National Police Service to make up a Police Service Executive Council that will then be responsible for Kenya’s internal security. Already the functions for AP and KP are spelt out in the National Police Service Act. Some of the AP’s more specific functions given in law include:
1)    Provision of border patrol and border security – with proper resourcing including some military grade equipment, advanced border monitoring technology and manpower reconstitution to include immigration, customs and some intelligence personnel. There will be need to post more officers to those border regions in this new Border Security Section (BSS - AP) of the AP unit;
2)    Provision of specialized stock theft prevention services – this role can either be left to the Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) or undertaken within county jurisdictions
(see No. 4 below);
3)    Protection of Government property, vital installations and strategic points as may be directed by the Inspector-General – AP involvement could be minimized to the very critical assignments while most others can be left to properly regulated private contractors.
4)    Rendering of support to Government agencies in the enforcement of administrative functions and the exercise of lawful duties and co-coordinating with complementing Government agencies in conflict management and peace building – these two functions should be carried out at County Government level. So that instead of giving the AP back to public administration offices they are seconded to the County Governors office through a revised county policing authority clause in the NPS act. One of the accusations leveled at central government is that it has left out county authorities in management of security. Therefore this suggestion may give them more play in the role while still maintaining sufficient control to ensure the opportunity is not abused. Some advantages for this set up may include realignment of majority officer postings to home districts with an aim of eventually having at least 70% of all APs in the County Security Services Section (CSSS – AP) deployed to work from their homes. The remnant 30% can be deployed to away from home areas thus reducing housing costs and ensuring ethnic balance. After the initial AP recruitment and training, officers in this section should be sent to regional training facilities where issues specific to the region and or county needs, can be trained on training centers can cover rustling prone regions, coastal and or rural regions etc. The important role of community policing could then be added as an important function of the CSSS who operating from home will be best placed.

The different sections within the AP unit will be highly specialized so as to provide optimal service delivery. These different lines of deployment for the Kenya Police as opposed to the Administration Police would be somewhat, although not entirely similar to those in the US where they have Federal, State and even County officers all undertaking policing. After examination of that system, it appears there is no, “one-size-fits-all” for their national security either. In order to properly and most effectively deal with widely varying security scenarios across our own country we may need to create laws and or operational strategies that address our people’s specific needs and situations where they are, as best as possible. To this end the internal ministry which is responsible for police should invite proposals from counties, as to what duties and functions they may want AP deployment in their areas. This article is not written as a complete study on the topic but as mere talking points to sponsor further thought. Issues like the parallel security command lines in the police command and the County Commissioner or even governor, jurisdiction issues, budget and funding lines among others must be tackled as we consider this topic. 

Similar articles of interest:
Ø  My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs:
Ø  What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?

Ø  Addressing Current Public Dissatisfaction in Policing:

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?

“Security Begins with you, security begins with me”. Our president has been in the forefront of advocacy for individual citizen involvement in our national security. The following is what I believe it would entail;

Don’t Be Divided: The initial task should be refusing to be cheated and divided into religious/ ethnic/ sectarian groupings to harbor bitterness toward each other or to fight. Note that one of al shabaab’s goals is to takeover our region with their extremist Sharia dogma. The numerous attacks on churches since 2011 were calculated to cause hatred and division between Christian and Muslim citizens. In the recent Lamu attacks [2014] the strategy had changed to, one meant for the division of Kenyan’s into ethnic affiliations based on indigenous and migrant coastal populations. Now in Mandera they are attempting to alienate a portion of our territory with targeted attacks on non local people who now, have escaped and in the process abandoned critical functions like medical services and schools. I might say here that for individuals to play their role properly the government needs to put in such measure as to protect citizens as those suggested in my previous article; My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs.
If there is a time to be patriotic and to actively support police efforts in securing the country it is now. I hope the police will quickly reform, enough to be capable of receiving and processing critical information to forestall further incidents. In our places of worship we must deny access, refuge or storage of anything or one associated with extreme violent plans/ groups or utterances. Don’t just refuse them, report them also. They are not your friend or worthy relation, once they are through with the rest they will turn on you just see what they did to non extremist people in Somalia before KDF went in there to liberate them.
Don’t Be Cowed: Understand that the global war on terror has come home and “terrorism is a form of manipulation of individual and collective psyche that use fear as a stimulant”. The aim, in our case is to cause us to demand of our leadership, the immediate withdrawal of KDF from Somalia & AMISOM. Why? so that they can regain control of Somalia. Be sure if that were to happen our neighbor will become the world HQ of terror and al shabaab’s goal to take over the region will only have been strengthened, to crush our constitution and chosen way of life as they had completed in Somalia before. Therefore stand strong know we shall win, we are in a war there may be casualties but we shall surely win. Kenya is cut from the blood of freedom fighters, our gallant soldiers are paying the price as you read this, now it is our turn us individual citizens to support them and do so too.
Reject Substandard Security: an example is the process that goes on at entrances to most public places; malls, office blocks etc it is no secret that, is not a proper security check yet we all go about our business unconcerned. None I have heard going to the management to complain, none protesting to the security companies fleecing clients in the guise of offering a security service, none avoiding premises that are not well secured! Further to that is it not interesting that the attacks either in churches, restaurants even the Westgate mall incident, have all been forced entries, yet most of these places have a counter measure that is meant to detect concealment and stealth at the point of entry? All of us must become more proactive to ensure security providers government or private are providing the service to the standard required of them. A word of caution; this is not to say we become arrogant or get a, “You must know people!”, attitude find the best, quickest and most effective way to communicate your concerns preferably to the supervisory/ managerial level instead and get corrective action put in place.  
See Something, Say Something: Report any suspicious behavior including suspect tribal formations, acquisition, concealment or transport of any weapons including machetes (pangas), clubs (rungus), guns, suspect hazardous or explosive material and suspect people with unclear activity in forests or private ranches e.g. unexplained groups or movement of supplies e.g. uniforms, large unexplained purchase of foodstuffs or medical supplies, different vehicles that could be used for transporting an army or that may have an IED hidden on board. Although there could be a completely innocent explanation for this sort of suspicious information/ activity it is better that further investigation by the police and not private individuals takes place because of the risk associated with for example your inability to properly counter the likelihood of extreme violence. It is true there exists a chance your suspicions are wrong still the slight embarrassment one could suffer when the police confirm [to you in private] later that your suspicions are untrue is nothing compared to the losses of an actual attack. I must mention here the government must play a more active role in this campaign to create confidence in the public in order to gain their full participation.
Pay for Good Security: Good security is expensive and also inconvenient. Cost of modern equipment, appropriate training and security operations not to mention the levels of manpower required to properly cover any area is very high. Imagine blocking off the entire estimated 800KM border between Kenya and Somalia so that no single terrorist can cross over. The inconvenience we may have to endure while becoming securer can become substantial e.g. the searches being carried out now at police road blocks on different highways, done properly it would be random motorists being stopped required to disembark produce valid ID and the car’s every compartment and hiding place properly searched. During heightened security alerts we have witnessed something like it at JKIA entrances when the traffic jam spreads out into Mombasa road. Even with modern smart technology security will be obtrusive how else would the police know who or what is being ferried to or from a scene of crime. So let’s pay for good security lest you get substandard, underequipped, poorly trained service providers who in themselves are the vulnerability that the attackers exploit. Let’s also master patience when going through security checks at impromptu or at expected check points, the more we are willing to queue, wait and cooperate while going through proper security before entering a premises say a supermarket the more secure we will be.
Device a Family Plan: Each house hold should have a customized security plan. The elements involved may vary widely for one home to another based on locale, member’s routines, ages even distances separating each during the stretch of any 24hrs. I suggest to begin by 1st listing all likely scenarios taking into account day or night time activities of each family member e.g. places of work and duty times, collage attendance, home-stay, sick persons/ hospitalized etc. One constant can be making it a habit in your home to inform each other of your exact location and movement during the course of your absence from the house this way if any report comes through of problems at one point that information can be relayed to those in danger in good time to escape. Plan where to go, how to meet in case you are in separate locations and phones are dead, who to call, include someone who is away from the immediate affected area in the event of an incident. This is helpful incase each of you cannot reach one another. Ensure each family member has memorized the critical phone numbers including police and emergency numbers. Discuss among yourselves what to look out for and about security at places of worship, work, school etc. topics like what was suspicious, which places to avoid, happenings out of the normal occurrences, what actions needed to address them etc You may even organize as the larger family, groups of families, neighbors to get outside help train in first aid, situational awareness, and detecting surveillance, surviving active shooter scenarios among others.
Form Neighborhood Watch Groups: from the family it will be easier to work out your local chapter of Nyumba 10. Already many neighbors have estate, village associations and similar groups. These are perfect as many already have security as an agenda. Households will have greater leverage with local public administration and police especially when requiring some support in sensitization programs or heightened patrols etc in addition to terrorism other crimes like illicit brew/ sale of alcoholic drinks, FGM, cattle rustling, and narcotics growing, handling, trade or use, child abuse, human trafficking, criminal hide outs or warehouses etc can be promptly reported for police intervention. It would have been best to have an active Police Reserve in addition to the Nyumba 10 program. We should lobby GoK, to have this sort of arrangement properly instituted to give a chance to those who would make the extra sacrifice and join just such a unit and volunteer their time and ability in the protection of society.
Master Emergency Measures: Most public buildings these days have emergency measures including fire assembly points and equipment. Those who have read my article; My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs.
now know that emergency preparedness and response can contribute toward reduction of the impact in an attack by more than 50%. In turn that reduces the suitability of a target to a planner who is looking to create maximum impact. If all Kenyans actively take interest even request their building managers to organize appropriate response programs it will sum up in a disciplined security responsive society less likely to suffer extreme impact in an attack. As you enter any premises take time to note fire escapes etc that could be used if circumstance calls for it. When time is available or at regular places you visit, try thinking like a terrorist/ criminal, what would they do? How would they attack? Putting yourself in their shoes even just mentally will open you up to ideas of what could happen and thus you are better armed to device what your response would be if just a thing like that happened. Past events found on the web can help you visualize those possibilities better after all, history repeats itself. For example did you know the first time terrorist attempted hijacking multiple aircrafts (4) simultaneously was in 1970 by PFLP and not in 2001 in the US by al Qaeda? Well taking time to go through different historical scenarios will give you a good focus on future events. Coupled with situational awareness [last point below] you will have increased your survival/ escape chances considerably. In addition you could also organize/ attend emergency response training with agencies like ICRC, fire fighting etc. In the event an incident actually occurs make your different resources available to help and also to reduce the impact as quickly and as much as possible. You could decided you will do specific things before hand once you determine what exactly it is you can do in such a scenario I hope the National Emergency Response Center [NERC] has or can have a data bank of all these voluntary assistance offers that I hope will come forth so they can better focus the activities as precisely as possible. That center can learn from previous public out pouring of voluntary assist to victims and or emergency responders. NERC must encourage now wide spread growth of this culture in order to secure the largest/ best public response in time of need.
Develop Your Situational Awareness: one of the points that stood out for me in the 9/11 report after aircraft hit the twin towers & pentagon, is that the security agencies never thought that such an incident could happen to the US.  At that individual level where ever you are, situational awareness is called for; being aware of what is happening around you during the course of your day is a critical skill required of the best security operatives round the world. For the average person on the street it is equally important the advantage being it is a skill that anyone can train themselves to wield expertly. Perhaps the most important factor affecting a person's reaction to a life-threatening incident is their mindset going into that situation. Often when we train air crew on how to deal with an aircraft highjack scenario I tell them to live through the situation in their minds, to feel the emotions and see themselves overcoming any initial fears so as to do the things we recommend that they do in order to survive and help others survive. The way we human beings are wired makes it very difficult for a person to go from a mental state of utter unawareness if you like perceive ignorance to the likelihood of such situations occurring to a state of heightened alertness. Picture the mind working like a manually operated car if the driver tries to shift from gear one to gear six straight without going through the other gears the car will stall. Preparedness therefore calls for mental preconditioning on your part to avoid going into a stall/panic. Many times you see or hear stories of victims going into situational paralysis, which makes you freeze, unable to respond to a dangerous situation thus limiting your chances of survival only to the existence of luck. The victim must have tried to shift gears up, mentally too fast. Other than being aware of your situation you must also learn to trust in your gut feeling when it says something isn't quite right. In the police force of the time we called it, ‘akili ya sita’, English translation, ‘the sixth sense’. By overriding this ‘akili’ through rationalizing away your sense of danger is deadly. As a first step in mastery of these skills, accept that our society is living through security trying times. Secondly each day everywhere you may be, look out for small tell, tell signs of evolving dangerous situations, much as one does when cruising along on the road relaxed but alert for the goat that not knowing any better suddenly jumps onto the road chasing after better grazing on the other side. The driver alert can pick up the signs early and slows to allow him pass. In the same fashion not being paranoid but yet sufficiently aware of your environment you are able to see danger approaching and step on the brakes or divert the course of your movement. The greatest hindrance here is the self, who vows security is the work of police or KDF, who says they have no role in it. They are the kind of people who mostly get caught up moving from ignorant, obstinate citizen to victim or casualty and possibly statistic very quickly.