Dear ICANN Community,
Within the last 24 hours, we received an unclassified report from the United States’ Department of State related to the Kenyatta International Conference Center, the venue for our upcoming meeting (attached below).
The types of threats outlined in that communication are difficult to assess. ICANN is now reaching out to different parties in Kenya and elsewhere to see if it is possible to better assess the situation, and of course will share any further information with you.
Sammy Buruchara, Chairman of the ICANN 2010 Local Steering Committee in Nairobi has already provided the following information:
“In relation with the Security threat by Al Shabaab to US Embassy and KICC, I wish to on behalf of ICANN 2010 Local Organizing committee and on behalf of the relevant Kenya Government Security Agencies state the following:
The Kenya Government is aware of the Security Threat by Al Shabaab on KICC and on the United States Embassy in Nairobi. Our security organs that include National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) and Kenya Anti-Terrorism Police have been alerted and will make appropriate security responses to deal with this threat. Through their network of security agents, they have made contingency plans to thwart any possible terrorist plot that will target Nairobi City, including KICC and all the Hotels in which delegates will be hosted, and the US Embassy.
I wish to assure ICANN Community that the Kenya Government is committed to ensure your safety during the ICANN event and will take necessary security measures to guarantee the safety of all participants during the Conference.”
In the most transparent manner possible, ICANN will continue to share information as it becomes available. Just like you, we’re processing this information, and seeing how and if we need to update procedures and plans for the upcoming meeting.
Information from U.S. State Department
“As of early February 2010, individuals affiliated with al-Shabaab al-Islamiya were planning suicide bombing attacks on the US Embassy and Kenyan International Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The individuals were targeting the KICC because it was deemed the largest and oldest building associated with the Kenyan government. The US Embassy was targeted for its support of the Kenyan government. As of early February, the individuals planning to carry out the attacks were living in Somali communities in Kenya. We have no additional information regarding the possible individuals involved in the plot, timing, or method of the attack.
This is all the information we have at this time, and we will continue to keep you updated if there are any potential updates.”