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Monday, September 30, 2013

NIS asks Safaricom, Airtel for Westgate mobile intel

National Intelligence Service (NIS) agents have asked mobile network operators Safaricom and Airtel to provide details of incoming and outgoing calls from the Westgate Mall at the time of the attack on shoppers by armed militants said to be Shabab.

This is another development that illuminates the number of areas security agencies need to incorporate in their national security plans.

Safaricom technicians say the information is gleaned from the four masts nearest to the Mall and of the data provided to the NIS agents, a lot of it involved international calls incoming most likely from relatives of those who were caught up in the mall during the attacks.

They added that had the authorities alerted them, they could have told them the closest they can provide information to real time is with a delay of 30 minutes.

But it is also possible to isolate all Mobile Outgoing Calls from Westgate that terminated in say Eastleigh or any other location in Kenya.

That would certainly be the tactic that NIS would seek to apply to try and narrow down to the suspected Shabab terrorists in case they were using mobile phones to communicate.

If they have credible leads then from there what they would seek to do is to establish pattern and networks.

This means they will go back to Safaricom and Airtel and get the call logs for those numbers they suspect were used by the terrorists.

Anyone who called them, and how often, and anyone they called and how often would also be snared into the dragnet so as to establish other liaisons as well as to nab high-worth suspects that can provide high-grade actionable information.

So expect a wave of arrests in the next two months or so.

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