In an update to its travel advice, the FCO said: “The Kenyan authorities have alerted the public to a heightened threat from terrorist attacks in Nairobi.

“We believe that terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks. Attacks could be indiscriminate and target Kenyan institutions as well as places where expatriates and foreign travellers gather, such as hotels, shopping centres and beaches.”

It added: “We strongly advise British nationals to exercise extra vigilance and caution in public places and at public events.”

The Kenyan authorities claimed to have thwarted attempted attacks by Al-Qaeda-connected Al Shabab militants in southern Somalia over Christmas and New Year.

Colonel Cyrus Oguna, a Kenyan military spokesman (pictured), said: “We carried out pre-emptive strikes and disruptive strikes in Somalia and police secured things here at home and as a result of that we were able to have peaceful Christmas and New Year festivities.”

Kenya is suffering a PR crisis in the travel industry after several Europeans were kidnapped from the country towards the end of last year. Kenya blames Al Shabab for the crimes.

The abducted include British holidaymaker Judith Tebbutt, who was snatched from a five-star resort and her husband shot dead in September.

Picture: Getty