Obama's trip to Kenya may be his most dangerous visit

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Why Obama's Kenya Visit May Be His Most Dangerous Yet

President Obama is scheduled to land in his ancestral homeland of Kenya on Friday, and the landmark visit has the Secret Service working harder than usual.

The State Department has warned that terrorist groups might try to take advantage of the president's visit, including the infamous Al-Shabab, the group which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Westgate shopping mall that left 67 dead in 2013.

Concerns of those threats are only compounded by a major security breach that came from Kenyan officials earlier this week -- who leaked the president's travel itinerary, including his airport arrival and departure times. Such information typically remains tightly guarded in order to thwart potential attacks on Air Force One.

The developments have security analysts dubbing this trip one of the most dangerous the president has taken.

"The main active terror group in the area, Al-Shabab, is known to have surface to air missiles," Fox News' Paul Tilsley said.

SEE: Kenya prepares for Obama's visit
13 PHOTOS
Kenyans prepare for Obama's visit
See Gallery
Obama's trip to Kenya may be his most dangerous visit
Solomon Murimia, a 'matatu' minibus driver, gestures as he calls on clients beside his minibus with a painting depicting US President Barack Obama on a July 22, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama will make a first presidential pilgrimage to his father's homeland of Kenya later this month, the capstone of a weeklong overture to Africa taking in three key nations. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
An man rides a bicycle and a trailer with messages reading 'welcome Kenya Obama' in Nairobi on July 23, 2015, on the eve of the US President's visit. On the eve of his trip to Africa, US President Barack Obama said he was excited about the impending visit to his ancestral continent, which he said had great resilience and enormous potential for growth. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
People read local newspapers with pictures of US President Barack Obama and with headlines 'Welcome Obama' on July 24, 2015 in Nairobi. US President Obama arrives in his ancestral homeland Kenya later today, with a massive security operation under way to protect him from Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militants. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A banner bearing the likeness of the President of the United States, Barack Obama and bearing a 'welcome' message hangs over the arrival lounge of the Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi on July 23, 2015 less than 48 hours ahead of Obama's expected arrival. US President Barack Obama arrives in his ancestral homeland Kenya late on July 24, 2015, with a massive security operation underway to protect him from Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militants. Obama, making his first visit as president to his father's birthplace, will address an entrepreneurship summit and hold talks on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, and democracy and human rights. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenyan vendor Hosea displays his t-shirts with a depiction of US President Barack Obama at the Kogelo market on July 13, 2015 in Kisumu. Excitement is growing in Kenya ahead of Barack Obama's first visit to his father's homeland since becoming president. Anticipation ahead of the late July trip is nowhere greater than in Kogelo, 'a sleepy village' that was 'put on the world map' by its association with the US president, according to his uncle Said Obama. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman buys glasses next to a shop selling t-shirts with a depiction of US President Barack Obama at the Kogelo market on July 13, 2015 in Kisumu. Excitement is growing in Kenya ahead of Barack Obama's first visit to his father's homeland since becoming president. Anticipation ahead of the late July trip is nowhere greater than in Kogelo, 'a sleepy village' that was 'put on the world map' by its association with the US president, according to his uncle Said Obama. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at local newspapers bearing headlines on US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Kenya on July 17, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama is due to visit Ethiopia later this month as well as Kenya, where his father was born. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Maasai woman looks at hawkers selling a poster of US President Barrack Obama and the words written in the Luo language, 'Nonro Mar Obama' meaning 'Arrangements for Obama visit ' to motorists during the Luo cultural festival, on July 11, 2015, in Nairobi. The Luo festival which is the tribe that Obama's family belongs to, comes weeks ahead of US President Barrack Obama's visit to Kenya. President Obama's visit, is his first visit to his father's homeland since becoming the president of the USA. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A man reads next to newspapers bearing headlines on US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Kenya on July 17, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama is due to visit Ethiopia later this month as well as Kenya, where his father was born. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenyan Said Obama, Kogelo-born, raised and current resident and uncle to United State's President Barack Obama, gestures during an interview in Kisumu on July 13, 2015. The Kenyan Obamas are related to the US president through his Kenyan-born father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior, who died in 1982. Excitement is growing in Kenya ahead of Barack Obama's first visit to his father's homeland since becoming president. Anticipation ahead of the late July trip is nowhere greater than in Kogelo, 'a sleepy village' that Said says was 'put on the world map' by its association with the US president.AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks past Kenyan hawker selling posters and T-shirts with the image of US President Barrack Obama and the words written in the Luo language, 'Nonro Mar Obama' meaning 'Arrangements for Obama visit ' to motorists during the Luo cultural festival, on July 11, 2015, in Nairobi. The Luo festival which is the tribe that Obama's family belongs to, comes weeks ahead of US President Barrack Obama's visit to Kenya. President Obama's visit, is his first visit to his father's homeland since becoming the president of the USA. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Pupils of Senator Obama Kogelo primary school head home after classes in Kogelo on July 13, 2015. The school was renamed after the US President Barack Obama's visit in 2006 to Kenya when he was a state senator. The Kenyan Obamas are related to the US president through his Kenyan-born father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior, who died in 1982. Excitement is growing in Kenya ahead of Barack Obama's first visit to his father's homeland since becoming president. Anticipation ahead of the late July trip is nowhere greater than in Kogelo, 'a sleepy village' that was 'put on the world map' by its association with the US president, according to his uncle Said Obama. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


"Kenya's just not the safest place in the world right now," Robert Baer, former CIA operative, told CNN.
"The people that want to hurt the president have been planning for the last seven years for this trip," Jonathan Wackrow, former Secret Service agent, told CNN.

The main threat may not be to the president -- who will be closely watched by the Secret Service -- but instead to the rest of the country.

Many experts fear Al-Shabab or other terrorist groups will attack soft targets, like hospitals and schools, during Obama's visit. U.S. air strike reportedly killed several Al-Shabab leaders earlier this month.

The Kenyan government has tried to downplay the group's influence, both symbolically, by reopening the Westgate mall, and militarily in its own attacks on the group. The losses likely mean the group is looking for an easy win, and an attack on a civilian target while the U.S. president is visiting would fit the bill.

Security will be one of Obama's main agenda items when he meets with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. The U.S. has been supplying the Kenyan military in the fight against Al-Shabab.
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Cops Catch Up To A Suspicious Speeding Vehicle - And Make An Appalling Discovery Inside Cops Catch Up To A Suspicious Speeding Vehicle - And Make An Appalling Discovery Inside
If You Find One Of These In Your Yard, Don't Touch It - And Try Not To Panic If You Find One Of These In Your Yard, Don't Touch It - And Try Not To Panic
Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts