Kenya last night warned its citizens not to travel via Heathrow after claiming US officials said Britain and British targets were at threat from "sophisticated" al-Qa'ida bombs that could bring down a plane.
Dr Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary of Kenya's Foreign Affairs ministry, said the US alert warned that al-Qa'ida operatives in Yemen and Syria were developing sophisticated bombs that could bring down a plane. The information, he said, stated that Britain would be the most likely country to be affected.
"Based on this information, Kenyans are advised not to travel through London Heathrow where there is substantial threat of a possible attack. Kenyans are therefore advised to seek alternative travel routes to connect to the United States and European countries. These include Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Amsterdam and Addis Ababa in order to minimize the risk and avoid possible delays," the statement advised.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office were unavailable to comment on the warning last night but recently issued an increased security risk assessment of travel to and within Kenya for British citizens. Mombasa, Kenya's second largest city and areas adjacent to the east coast and border with Somalia were hightlighted as high risk areas and warned Britons to leave.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed the UK was "undermining" Kenya by questioning its security and insisted it was safe to travel.
Last night's alert follows the tightening of security at UK airports for passengers flying to the US. Airlines told passengers to ensure all electronic devices carried as handluggage are charged before travel. The move follows a request from the US that "certain overseas airports" implement enhanced security measures.