Barack Obama's Kenyan grandmother threatened by African al-Qaeda branch 9 years ago

Barack Obama's Kenyan grandmother threatened by African al-Qaeda branch

Barack Obama's 88-year-old Kenyan step-grandmother Susan Obama has been threatened by Al-Shabaab, considered the African branch of al-Qaeda.

Kenyan police have been patrolling the elder Obama's house since receiving the threat from the Somalia-based group, which are believed to have emboldened by last weekend's killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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"My life has not been affected in any way," Sarah Obama told reporters. "It has not restricted my movement. If the government has decided to bring more security personnel, we are OK with it."

US network ABC understand that security has been beefed up in the Kenyan village in which Susan Obama resides, as police look to quell any possible fear of reprisal from extremist muslims in the wake of bin Laden's death.

Security at Mrs Obama's home at been stepped up following Obama's presidential election win in 2008 but the threats upon the 88-year-old's life mean that she will now receive around-the-clock surveillance and protection from Kenyan police.

Al-Shabaab are thought to control much of southern and central Somalia as they seek to overthrow the government in the increasingly volatile east African nation.

Somalia borders southern Kenya and just last week the group lost control of the Kenyan town of Dhobley.