Reports on Hebrew radio claim that Kenya has requested military and security assistance from the Israeli government to deal with a “radical Islamic youth militia”. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga apparently made the request to Israel’s President Shimon Peres during their meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
The request was confirmed in an official statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. Prime Minister Odinga, it said, has asked for Israel’s help to train the Kenyan police force “to face the extremist Islamic youth militia”; Mr Odinga claims that this militia is “linked to Al-Qaida”.
The request follows Kenya’s despatch of hundreds of troops to Somalia to help quell unrest there. In response, Islamist groups have threatened to launch attacks in Nairobi.