Analysts say the recent kidnapping of an aid worker in Kenya, who apparently is being held for ransom, has the marks of al-Shabaab, a group of Islamists who have terrorized the region of Africa that also includes Somalia.
Authorities say the relief worker, Julia Juincy, of the U. S. Agency for International Development, was taken when her car broke down while she was traveling from Garissa to Habesein in northern Kenya.
Police spokesman Emmanuel Chiluma reported that Juincy called to say she was leaving Garissa, but never arrived at her destination. Her car was found along the highway.
Detectives say her cell phone has been traced to the Kenyan village of Nkubu.
International Christian Concern’s Africa analyst William Stark says the incident bears the marks of the Islamist group.
“Al-Shabaab has been known to kidnap Western aid workers and did so in October of 2011,” Stark said. “That’s one of the factors which prompted Kenya to make a military incursion into Somalia.”
“It seems that al-Shabaab took this woman because they want to hold her hostage and make some money,” Stark said.
This is not new to al-Shabaab.
The BBC reported in June 2012 that al-Shabaab carried out a raid and kidnapping in a Kenyan border town.
Reported at the time was that a Kenyan driver was killed and four foreign aid workers kidnapped near a refugee camp in Kenya close to the border with Somalia.
The foreigners are from Canada, Norway, Pakistan and the Philippines, and worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council. They were traveling in a convoy when they were ambushed by gunmen in Dadaab.
The report followed a 2011 “Daily Motion” report of the kidnapping of two Spanish doctors with Doctors Without Borders.
The kidnappings are taking place at the same time as a developing pattern of anti-Christian violence in Kenya.
WND reported in April 2012 about an attack in the coastal city of Mtwapa, about 100 miles from the Kenya-Somalia border.
A band of Muslims launched a grenade attack against a crowd of 150 Christians attending an open-air meeting near the Kenyan town of Mtwapa, killing two and wounding more than 30, authorities report.
Human-rights groups say that the Muslim attackers were hyped into action by a militant Muslim preacher holding an alternate rally only 900 feet from the Christian gathering.