A raggedy poster — assumed to be a joke — foretold of a coming campus assault.It was a raggedy piece of paper on the students’ notice board at Garissa University College in Kenya. Few students who spoke with Quartz can remember the exact wording now but the notice was clear enough in its meaning: a terrorist attack would be carried out on the campus any day now.
Even though the last few years has seen Garissa evolve from a sleepy northeastern Kenyan town on the Somali border into an insecure first-stop for al-Shabaab operatives from Somalia, many students felt the notice was a prank in time for April Fools’ day on Wednesday, April 1st.
But just before dawn on Thursday (April 2nd), when most of the students were asleep in their dormitories, the attacks started.
“I first heard about the warning a week ago, the university was informed that there was a threat, then the day before the attack some students were sharing a warning written on a piece of paper, some students even posted on the official notice board as a poster to warn others who did not hear about the threat,” Vincent Mungaru, a Garissa student told Quartz at the local hospital where the injured were being treated. He was one of the lucky ones who survived the attack unhurt.