Dakar is under the microscope of the Islamists of Mujao, Ansar-Dine, Boko Haram and other radical groups who want to bomb the Senegalese capital Dakar to ‘punish’ the government of Senegal for sending troops to Mali.
The Islamists are also said to be targeting Western citizens, especially Americans, British and French, not only in Senegal but across West Africa, specifically in the countries that are supporting l’Operation Serval, a military campaign in which French and Malian forces are taking on the Islamists in northern Mali.
The warning came from the Central Intelligence Agency, who is believed to have been working around the clock to foil any potential attack on Western targets residing in West Africa.
Western embassies have warned their citizens living and working in West Africa to avoid any unnecessary outings and to exercise extra-care. In Dakar, panic has gripped residents, as security has been reinforced to prevent a potential terrorist attack.
A Senegalese daily newspaper, l’Observateur, reported on Saturday that two top level security meetings took place in the Senegalese presidential palace to look on the terrorism threat currently hovering the skies of Senegal.
Senegalese security forces could be seen in full force last week in Dakar city centre – an alleged main target in Senegal – conducting stop and search operations, and asking for identity papers. Many more are said to be in civilian clothes and roaming the streets of the country’s main cities, including St-Louis, Thies, Mbour.
Mosques in Dakar have reportedly been infiltrated by ‘spies’, who are looking for signs of Islamist extremists who might be plotting major bombing coups, l’Observateur reported. Imams (Muslim priests) are also being ‘spied’ on, and theirs Fridays sermons recorded as the government of Macky Sall does not take any chance to let extremists ruin the politically-stable and tolerant country.
Watch this space!
*Photo by Romaric Ollo Hien/afp.com. A heavily armed Islamist rebel of Ansar-Dine, near Timbuktu in northern Mali.