The 1998 terrorist bombing and its implication on security preparedness: a case study of government buildings within Nairobi CBD
Biegon, Anthony K
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Security preparedness in response to emerging terrorism threat in Kenya has over time been treated casually prior to the 1998 terrorist bombing in Nairobi. It is this specific terrorist incident that terrorism threat in the country became more real with buildings increasingly being predisposed to it as an appealing target. The study therefore seeks to examine security preparedness measures in 15 Government buildings within the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD) after the bombing, with more emphasis on their effectiveness while demonstrating the need for enhancement. These measures attempts to fill critical gaps based on 70 responses and focused group discussions. Through an exploratory study, the threat of terrorism is appraised and steps to curtail subsequent plans of attack are explored, based on risk management and threat assessment conceptual framework. Additionally, security preparedness levels evaluated to determine if they adequately addressed the research findings were analyzed for any lessons learned that could be incorporated into the national strategy. The findings uncovered glaring security preparedness and procedural flaws which terrorists can. exploit, with evidence to suggest that security preparedness several years after the bombing is still at naught, and therefore require enhancement, Similarly, it has been found that building structural and non-structural strategies may not effectively ameliorate buildings' protection without other policy frameworks on risk and or disaster management, holistic security preparedness, city building by-laws and legislations. This study argues that enhancement, through a concerted pro-active approach, would be of great importance in addressing such short-comings in Government buildings and the country at large. In this way, existing challenges are critically examined for change as necessary to enhance preparedness, which in no uncertain terms will not only mitigate against future terrorist attacks, but also help identify and neutralize terrorist intents early enough in the attack cycle. The analysis concludes with the recommendations that a comprehensive protective security approach is a crucial national effort towards tackling any terrorist threat This recommendation, among others, complements existing strategies, namely, physical (structural) and non-physical (human).