Feds issue travel warning ahead of Obama’s trip to Kenya
Weeks before President Obama is set to make a historic visit to Kenya, the State Department is warning Americans about the risks of crime and terror attacks in the country.
On Monday, the State Department issued a travel alert notifying Americans that the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi could turn them into targets.
“As with all large public events, there is the opportunity for criminal elements to target participants and other visitors,” the State Department said in its Monday warning. “Large-scale public events such as this summit can also be a target for terrorists.”
Obama is scheduled to visit the summit later this month, in his first visit to his father’s homeland as president.
“I’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the brilliant young entrepreneurs from across Africa and around the world,” he said earlier this year.
Hopefully, he added, “we’ll be able to announce new investments and commitments that will pay off for years to come.”
Among other steps, the State Department on Monday encouraged travelers to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and stay on the lookout for possible criminals and terrorists.
Despite its growing economy and status as a regional hub, Kenya has been hampered by spillover violence from neighboring Somalia, where al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab controls large swaths of the country.
In April, al-Shabbab gunmen killed 148 people — many of them students — at the Garissa University College, 230 miles east of Nairobi. A 2013 attack at Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall left at least 67 people dead and injured five Americans along with hundreds of other people.
The State Department’s alert expires on July 30, after the summit ends.