Isis faction of terrorist group Al-Shabaab linked to foiled Kenyan bus attack

Thwarted attack received worldwide attention after Muslim passengers shielded fellow Christians from militant

A failed bus attack in Kenya has been linked to an Isis faction of militant group al-Shabaab, police have said.

The thwarted attempt on the long-distance bus travelling between Nairobi and Mandera hit the headlines after Muslims protected fellow passengers who were Christians, refusing to leave them to be killed. 

Joseph Boinnet, Kenya’s police chief, said al-Shabaab militants who had split towards Isis were to blame for the attack. The militant Somali terrorist group has divided into two factions this year, with half pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda and the other to Isis. 

Passengers on the ambushed bus were ordered to disembark in the city of Mandera. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers told them to split into groups of Muslims and non-Muslims, but the Muslims refused and dared the extremists to kill them too. 

"The Muslims stood with the Christians and dared the attackers to kill them all or leave," Ali Roba, the governor of Mandera, told the Andalou Agency.

"This forced the militants to leave in a hurry fearing retaliation by residents from nearby villages.”

The group is known for carrying out attacks around the Horn of Africa. In April, al-Shabaab killed 148 people in an attack on Garissa University College and a bus was attacked near Mandera last December by militants from the group, who killed 36 non-Muslims travelling to Nairobi for the Christmas holidays.