On Monday, September 23, the Ethiopian Intelligence Agency (NISS) announced the arrests of suspected jihadist militants linked to both the Somali-based Al-Shabaab group and to the Islamic State (IS). According to the NISS, the suspected militants were planning to attack several locations across the capital Addis Ababa.
A heightened security presence is anticipated in Addis Ababa over the coming weeks. Further counterterrorism operations are possible in the near term.
The terrorist threat remains high throughout the country, especially in the border zone with Somalia due in part to Ethiopia's participation in the African Union's military operation targeting the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in neighboring Somalia. Two suicide attacks were thwarted in Addis Ababa in early June 2014 and September 2014.
On a related note, IS has recently announced its intention to communicate in Amharic, which has raised fears of Ethiopia becoming a potential IS target.
Individuals in Ethiopia, particularly Addis Ababa, are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for security operations and militant behavior, anticipate heightened security measures, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home government.
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