Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview
Foreign fighters, a small number of al-Qa’ida operatives, and other indigenous violent extremists continued to pose a threat to regional security throughout East Africa. Al-Shabaab continued to conduct frequent attacks on government, military, and civilian targets inside Somalia while the group’s leadership remained actively interested in attacking U.S. and Western interests in the region. In the Trans-Sahara region, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continued kidnap for ransom operations against Western Europeans and Africans. AQIM conducted small-scale ambushes and attacks on security forces in Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Regional efforts to contain and marginalize AQIM continued, as did capacity building efforts of military and law enforcement personnel. Conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northern part of the country with hundreds of casualties as indigenous terrorist attacks increased. The Nigerian extremist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for some of these attacks.
TRANS-SAHARA COUNTERTERRORISM PARTNERSHIP (TSCTP)
Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a U.S.-funded and implemented multi-faceted, multi-year effort designed to counter violent extremism and contain and marginalize terrorist organizations by strengthening individual country and regional counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s security and intelligence organizations, promoting democratic governance, and discrediting terrorist ideology. The core goals are to enhance the indigenous capacities of governments in the pan-Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso) to confront the challenge posed by terrorist organizations in the trans-Sahara; and to facilitate cooperation between those countries and U.S. partners in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). TSCTP has been successful in slowly building capacity and cooperation despite political setbacks over the years caused by coups d’etats, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that have interrupted work and progress with select countries of the partnership. In 2011, some partner nations succeeded in disrupting the movement and operations of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the trans-Sahara. For example, Mauritania and Mali defeated AQIM twice at Ouagadou Forest and Mauritania defeated AQIM at Bessiknou.
THE PARTNERSHIP FOR REGIONAL EAST AFRICAN COUNTERTERRORISM (PREACT)
PREACT, formerly known as the East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative (EARSI), is the East Africa counterpart to the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). First established in 2009, PREACT is a U.S.-funded and implemented multi-year, multi-faceted program designed to build the counterterrorism capacity and capability of member countries to thwart short-term terrorist threats and address longer-term vulnerabilities. It uses law enforcement, military, and development resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including reducing the operational capacity of terrorist networks, expanding border security, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s security organizations, improving democratic governance, and discrediting terrorist ideology. PREACT member countries include Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Overview: The Government of Burkina Faso remained vigilant and responsive to the threats and dangers posed by terrorist organizations, specifically, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), despite instability resulting from political unrest and violence in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire, the spring Burkinabe military mutinies, and student demonstrations. The Government of Burkina Faso proactively issued several notices to the diplomatic and international community regarding the threat posed by AQIM and was responsive to U.S. government requests for military and security assistance.
Burkina Faso actively participated in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). In response to President Compaore's requests for counterterrorism, intelligence, and border security assistance, the first series of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program courses were held with the primary beneficiaries being the National Police and National Gendarmerie. Although Burkinabe government's counterterrorism capabilities remained limited, the initiation and delivery of U.S. government training and equipment and its continued participation in regional counterterrorism conferences and training opportunities were important benchmarks for 2011.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Despite continued financial constraints, the Burkinabe government increased armed patrols in the capital and along the border in response to the January and November AQIM kidnapping operations in neighboring Niger and Mali. The Burkinabe government developed response plans should a kidnapping for ransom operation be attempted in Burkina Faso.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. According to Burkina Faso’s most recent GIABA Action Plan, the Ministry of Finance’s newly created Financial Intelligence Unit, known as the Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF) will likely require additional personnel, additional training, and better funding in order to be able to carry out its mission. CENTIF collects and processes financial information on money laundering and terrorist financing. In October, CENTIF organized a workshop for the financial sector on money laundering and terrorist financing with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. There were no known terrorist financing prosecutions in 2011.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Burkina Faso participated in regional and international counterterrorism conferences and training exercises. The Burkinabe military continued its participation in AFRICOM's annual regional counterterrorism FLINTLOCK exercise. The Burkinabe government signed an agreement with France in 2011 to improve and construct border security checkpoints in the tri-border area with Mali and Niger, and to install systems designed to track movement into and out of the country at border posts. Burkina Faso participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Sahel Working Group.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Burkinabe government encourages regular and ongoing interfaith dialogues as a way to mitigate violent extremism. Muslim religious leaders regularly denounced violence and called for peaceful coexistence of all religions.
Overview: Although Burundi's continued participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia has made it a target of al-Shabaab, international terrorism has not yet struck Burundi. While Burundi lacked a sophisticated capacity to foil potential attacks, it has shown an interest in addressing international terrorism. A counterterrorism cell was formed in 2010 and consists of elements of the police, military, and the National Intelligence Service. The cell's physical security recommendations have been put into operation but the cell has not yet implemented a comprehensive plan to counter terrorism.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Burundi has provisions in its penal code defining all forms of terrorism. Sentences for acts of terrorism range from 10 to 20 years or life imprisonment if the act results in the death of a person. The law was applied in court for the first time in December when a group was arrested for plotting domestic terrorist activities. Burundi also continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Financing: Burundi was not considered a significant center for terrorist financing. The Government of Burundi has created counterterrorist financing laws but has yet to commit funding, provide training, or implement policies.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Burundi cooperated with neighboring countries to exchange information on suspected terrorists but did not participate in any formal regional or international counterterrorism working groups. Occasionally, Burundi mounted counterterrorism operations in conjunction with neighboring countries. An example of this was an operation conducted in conjunction with Tanzania to infiltrate and arrest armed groups labeled by Burundian authorities as domestic terrorists.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Several international organizations funded vocational training and economic development programs designed for vulnerable populations.
Overview: The Government of Chad was a strong counterterrorism partner in 2011. Countering international terrorism and extremist threats in Chad were priorities at the highest levels of Chad’s government, with a particular focus on countering potential terrorist threats from across the Sahel region. Special Operations Command Africa, through the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, maintained a Special Operations Forces Liaison Element in Chad to support Chadian counterterrorism forces with training and logistical support. This element works primarily with the Chadian Special Anti-Terrorism Group (SATG), who has the mandate to conduct nation-wide security and counterterrorism operations with a specific focus on border security and interdiction of those trafficking in illicit goods.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Chadian criminal law does not explicitly criminalize terrorism. However, certain general provisions of the Penal Code (1967) have been used to prosecute acts of terrorism. Chad continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Chad is a member of the Groupe d’Action Contre le Blanchiment d’Argent en Afrique Centrale (GABAC), an observer to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) with the same mandate and status as a FATF-style regional body. GABAC works directly with Chad’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Financial Investigative Agency (ANIF). ANIF is hindered by serious resource constraints, and law enforcement and customs officials need training in financial crimes enforcement.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Chad’s counterterrorism coordination was largely on a bilateral basis, although Chad is a member state and participates in security-related mechanisms of the Economic Community of Central African States. Chad held bilateral counterterrorism discussions at the head-of-state level with Cameroon, Sudan, and Nigeria. Chad co-sponsored the November UN General Assembly Resolution condemning the Iranian plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: As a participant in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), Chad participated in targeted projects to counter violent extremism. Specific activities have included building the capacity of national civil society organizations, engagement of community and youth empowerment, promoting interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance, and media and outreach work.
Overview: There was no credible evidence to indicate a significant presence of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-related groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC is a vast country bordered by nine neighbors. The Government of the DRC lacked complete control over some areas of its territory, especially in the East where various armed groups operate, and had very limited capacity to monitor and disrupt potential terrorist threats. Furthermore, counterterrorism was not a priority issue for the government. The DRC's inability to control its porous borders and its lack of authority over remote areas provided opportunities for terrorist organizations seeking safe havens.
The three principal foreign armed groups that operated in the DRC and posed a threat to security and stability were the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (known by its French acronym as FDLR) and two Ugandan armed groups, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU). The FDLR, which includes former soldiers and supporters of the regime that orchestrated the 1994 Rwanda genocide, continued to operate with relative impunity in parts of the North and South Kivu Provinces. While no longer the military threat to the current Rwandan government it once was, the FDLR contributed to the destabilization of the area through its continued promulgation of anti-Tutsi propaganda and through its cruel treatment of the local civilian population.
As a result of continued military pressure from both the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), the FDLR has been reduced to approximately half of its original strength in the provinces of North and South Kivu. Additionally, the arrest of key leaders and numerous FDLR defections, including some by high-ranking leadership such as the strategy and plans chief, also contributed to low morale amongst the rank and file.
The ADF/NALU is made up of Ugandan opposition forces, particularly in North Kivu province. ADF/NALU has been described by the Government of Uganda as an Islamic extremist group. In early 2011, ADF/NALU increased its activities and became a security threat to the population of North Kivu.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: The year witnessed numerous attacks by the LRA, FDLR, and ADF. The ADF remained active but has suffered setbacks due to a number of FARDC offensives. MONUSCO attributed 32 attacks to the LRA in the month of June, making it the most active month, while September was the least active with only five registered attacks.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The DRC has no comprehensive counterterrorism legislation, but a 2001 presidential decree established a National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-International Terrorism within a counterterrorism office in its Ministry of Interior. The DRC government made some progress on its border security management program. In collaboration with the Organization for International Migration (IOM), the Government of the DRC established national and provincial oversight committees to further develop the program’s implementation. The Congolese National Police was equipped with biometrics, and the Director General of Migration established a personal identification and recognition system, developed by IOM, that was used at eight strategic border posts.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The DRC has Anti-Money Laundering/Counterterrorist Financing legislation and a Financial Intelligence Unit (CENAREF). Many banks installed new computerized communications and accounting networks, making it easier to trace formal financial transactions. The DRC is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. There were no legal restrictions in the DRC prohibiting the sharing of financial account information with foreign entities. In 2011, the DRC signed a mutual assistance agreement with Belgium's Financial Intelligence Unit, the Cellule des Traitements des Informations Financieres.
The DRC is home to a Lebanese expatriate community that numbers several thousand, some of whom ran businesses that were owned or controlled by Hizballah supporters, including Executive Order 13224 designees and brothers, Kassim Tajideen, Ali Tajideen, and Husayn Tajideen. CENAREF received 170 suspicious transaction reports in 2011. Several DRC government agencies, including the courts and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), sent 15 cases involving suspicious financial transactions to CENAREF for further investigation. CENAREF also received 52 cases from anonymous sources or public information and another 103 that required analysis.
Regional and International Cooperation: The FDLR and LRA threats have a regional impact on security. Affected countries have cooperated in the past to counter the threat and ensure regional stability. The Government of the DRC met several times in February, June, and July with the Government of Uganda to discuss countering LRA and ADF threats. In April, the Government of the DRC also participated in an AU-led regional assessment on counter-LRA issues. In September, for the first time, the Government of the DRC hosted Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic delegations in Kinshasa to formulate a common strategic plan on the eradication of the LRA.
The Government of the DRC is a member of numerous regional organizations and has diverse cooperation agreements – with the South African Development Community, the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries, and the Economic Community of Central Africa – to exchange information and enhance border security. The DRC is a member of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and will head this organization for the next five years.
Overview: Djibouti remained an active counterterrorism partner. Its 2011 counterterrorism efforts focused on increased training for police and military members.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Due to its geographic location and porous borders, counterterrorism remained a high priority for all Djiboutian law enforcement entities. The most visible of these efforts were ad hoc checkpoints within the capital city and an increased emphasis at border control points to screen for potential security threats. Djibouti continued to process travelers on entry and departure at its international airport and seaport with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison Evaluation System (PISCES) and added fingerprinting capability this year. Djibouti continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Djibouti is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In May, its anti-money laundering legislation was amended to include the criminalization of terrorist financing. The Central Bank of Djibouti has a Financial Intelligence Unit, the Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU). Charged with investigating money laundering and terrorist finance-related issues, the FIU received notifications for approximately 10 suspicious transactions in 2011. Djibouti has been the focal point for discussions on money laundering and trafficking in the region.
Regional and International Cooperation: Djibouti hosts Camp Lemonnier, the only U.S. military site in Africa, which served as headquarters to close to 4,000 U.S. troops, including those serving with the U.S. Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. In 2011, the Government of Djibouti deployed the advance party for a battalion of troops from the Djiboutian Armed Forces to join the African Union Mission in Somalia.
Overview: There was no dialogue between the Eritrea and the United States regarding terrorism. In May 2011, for the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State determined, pursuant to section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act, that Eritrea was not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts.
The Government of Eritrea has been under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions since December 2009. United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1907 demanded that Eritrea “cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members, including al-Shabaab, that aim to destabilize the region.” In December, UNSCR 2023 was adopted, which condemned the Eritrean government’s violations of UNSCRs and prohibits Eritrea from using the “Diaspora Tax” to destabilize the Horn of Africa region and to violate the sanctions regime. (See http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10471.doc.htm for further information on UNSCR 2023.)
The Government of Eritrea has cooperated in providing over-flight clearance to U.S. military aircraft engaged in regional security missions. However, it has linked broader cooperation to the unresolved border dispute with Ethiopia.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Security was strengthened on the Eritrean/Ethiopian border, but it appeared this was only to deter citizens from fleeing Eritrea. The Government of Eritrea has a shoot-to-kill order for Eritreans trying to flee their country by crossing the border with Ethiopia. Eritrean troops regularly chased escapees into Sudan to try to capture them and bring them back to Eritrea.
Countering Terrorist Finance: There was very little transparency and disclosure by the banking and financial sector in Eritrea.
Overview: The Government of Ethiopia viewed instability in Somalia as a critical national security threat and maintained a defensive military presence along the Somali border to stem potential infiltration of extremists into Ethiopia. It also remained concerned about domestic groups such as the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Despite the Ethiopian government’s peace agreement with the United Western Somali Liberation Front (UWSLF) and a faction of the ONLF in 2010, elements from both groups, as well as the OLF, continued their attempts to target Ethiopian government officials and infrastructure. This included a foiled attempt by OLF elements to attack Addis Ababa during the African Union (AU) Summit in January 2011. The Ethiopian government cooperated with the U.S. government on military, intelligence, and security issues.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Ethiopia's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation, is responsible for overall counterterrorism management. The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) worked in conjunction with NISS on counterterrorism.
The Ethiopian government used its sweeping antiterrorism legislation to arrest dozens of people, many of them journalists and opposition figures charged under provisions of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP). The Ethiopian government charged those arrested with either material or “moral” support for terrorist activity, or both. On December 21 the Federal High Court found two Swedish journalists guilty of “rendering support” to the ONLF, and handed down sentences to each of 11 years in prison.
The Ethiopian Parliament issued a proclamation in May that declared five groups to be outlawed terrorist organizations. The groups include OLF and ONLF, violent domestic ethnic-based groups; Ginbot 7, a diaspora-based group that has called for the violent overthrow of the ruling party of Ethiopia (the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front); al-Qa’ida; and al-Shabaab.
The Ethiopian government introduced the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) biometric security measures at immigration enforcement stations at Bole and Dire Dawa International Airports, as well as other points of entry throughout the country. Ethiopia continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Ethiopia is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body, but has obtained observer status in the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group in preparation for membership. Ethiopia was publicly identified as being under review by the FATF International Cooperation Review Group in February 2010. In June 2011, Ethiopia was downgraded to the FATF Public Statement for its failure to make sufficient progress on its Action Plan. However, in 2011 Ethiopia made progress in developing its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), but it was not operational at the end of the year.
In Ethiopia, terrorist financing is criminalized, but prosecutions are rare. Although the Ethiopian government froze and confiscated assets, delays sometimes existed because of technical issues, chiefly the lack of an operational FIU, meaning that the confiscation has to be done by the National Bank of Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Agency had general responsibility for monitoring NGOs, but had no real expertise in the area of terrorist financing.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ethiopia is a member state of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and participated actively in its Capacity Building Program Against Terrorism, which aims to bolster the capacity of IGAD member states to mitigate, detect, and deter advances by terrorists. Ethiopia was an active participant in the AU’s counterterrorism efforts and participated in its Center for Study and Research on Terrorism and in meetings of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Largely in response to attacks by fundamentalist Muslims on Protestant churches near the city of Jimma in March, as well as a sense that fundamentalist sentiment was growing among some parts of the Muslim population, in July the Ministry of Federal Affairs began a controversial nationwide training program for religious leaders to counter violent extremism. To encourage tolerance, the Ethiopian government additionally hung posters near the site of the March attacks showing an embrace between a Muslim, an Orthodox Christian, and an Evangelical Protestant.
Overview: The Kenyan government demonstrated increased political will to secure its borders, apprehend suspected terrorists, and cooperate with regional allies and the international community to counter terrorism. On October 16, in response to a series of kidnappings of Westerners, Kenya initiated military action in Somalia against al-Shabaab militants. Al-Shabaab responded to the Kenyan incursion into Somalia by threatening retaliation against civilian targets in Kenya. Arms smuggling, reports of extremist recruiting within refugee camps and Kenyan cities, and increased allegations of terrorist plotting enhanced recognition among government officials and civil society that Kenya remained vulnerable to terrorist attack. The government increased security along the Kenya/Somalia border in an effort to stem the flow of armed militants crossing into Kenya; however, al-Shabaab’s continued dominance of most of southern Somalia provided a permissive environment for a small number of al-Qa’ida operatives to conduct training and terrorist planning with other violent extremists.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: No terrorist group claimed responsibility for the following attacks:
- On October 14, two Spanish nationals working for a non-governmental organization were kidnapped in Dadaab refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya, where they remained in captivity at year’s end.
- In the early morning of October 24, a hand grenade was tossed into a night club in downtown Nairobi, injuring 14 Kenyan patrons. Later that day, another grenade exploded at a crowded bus stop, killing one and injuring 16 others.
- On October 27, in the northeast, a vehicle carrying officials from the Ministry of Education was attacked, leaving four dead.
- On October 28, a police vehicle was heavily damaged after driving over an explosive device.
- On November 5, suspected al-Shabaab militants hurled grenades into a Pentecostal church in Garissa town, killing two people and seriously injuring five others. The same day, a police vehicle escorting a UN convoy to the Dadaab refugee camp sustained minimal damage when it hit an improvised explosive device.
- On November 22, two police officers were injured when their vehicle was ambushed by suspected al-Shabaab militants near Liboi (near the Somali border).
- On November 24, a military truck patrolling on the outskirts of Mandera struck a land mine, killing one soldier and seriously wounded five others. Later on the same day, a hotel and a shopping center in the northern town of Garissa were attacked with hand grenades, killing five and injuring several others.
- On November 26, suspected al-Shabaab fighters raided a police post near Mandera seizing weapons and burning a mobile phone transmission mast. There were no injuries or deaths reported in the attack.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Kenya’s lack of counterterrorism legislation hindered its ability to detain terrorist suspects and prosecute them effectively, and because there was no counterterrorism legislation, terrorist suspects were often prosecuted under other offenses, such as murder and weapons possession. With assistance from the United States, Kenya agreed to expand its Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) border control system to additional ports of entry and upgrade it to capture biometric information.
Kenya remained a critical partner for the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program; the Kenya program was of a relatively large size and scope. It focused on strengthening border security, enhancing investigative capacity, and building critical incident response capacity through training, mentoring, advising, and equipping Kenyan counterterrorism focused law-enforcement agencies.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Kenya is a member of the Eastern and Southern Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Kenya was publicly identified by the FATF in February 2010 for strategic anti-money laundering/ counterterrorist finance deficiencies. Kenya developed an action plan with the FATF to address these deficiencies, but in June 2011 was identified in the FATF Public Statement for its failure to make sufficient progress on this action plan.
Kenya has not passed or enacted any law criminalizing terrorist financing. Kenya does not have in place sufficient laws, regulatory structures, or the institutional capacity to track, seize, and confiscate the assets of al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups. The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) came into operation in 2010, yet key policies and structures have not been implemented, and Kenya’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had not been established eighteen months after the POCAMLA was promulgated. Kenya made some progress, however, with the August 26 appointment of the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board, the oversight body that will guide the creation of the Financial Reporting Center (Kenya’s FIU). While government representatives touted this action as a significant achievement and a demonstration of Kenya’s commitment to combating financial crimes, they acknowledged the slow pace of implementation.
Regional and International Cooperation: Kenya is a member of the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Community of Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community, and coordinated with these groups significantly during its military and diplomatic campaign against al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. Kenyan law enforcement agencies worked closely with the international community to increase their counterterrorism abilities, secure porous land borders, and improve maritime security. The ATA program also provided support for Kenya’s regional antiterrorism training center, encouraging both East and West African nations to increase their cooperation on regional counterterrorism initiatives.
Kenya and the United States signed a memorandum of intent with the objectives of consolidating and securing especially dangerous pathogens and enhancing the Kenyan government’s capability to prevent the sale, theft, diversion, or accidental release of biological weapons-related materials, technology, and expertise.
Overview: Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) maintained encampments in remote parts of northern Mali during 2011, principally as rear bases for its activities in neighboring countries.
Mali reaffirmed its support for activities countering AQIM and has been an advocate for enhanced regional cooperation. Mali-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation was strong in 2011. U.S.-led Joint Combined Exercises and Trainings have built the capacity of Malian mobile units called Echelons Tactiques Inter-armes, and the 33rd Paratrooper Regiment to conduct effective patrols and interrupt the activities of AQIM. Mali has participated in the multinational military exercise, FLINTLOCK, since its inception. Malian National Police, Gendarmerie, and National Guard have benefitted from Anti-Terrorism Assistance programs.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Mali experienced a significant uptick in terrorist activity during 2011, including kidnappings and hostages held on Malian soil. In the past year, AQIM has expanded its area of operation to southern Mali, particularly along Mali's northern border with Mauritania.
- On January 5, Bechir Sinoun, a Tunisian national who had received training in AQIM camps in the north of Mali, repeatedly fired a handgun and attempted to detonate an improvised explosive device in front of the main gate of the French Embassy in Bamako. He was eventually overcome by a Malian pedestrian and was subsequently arrested.
- On October 23, an AQIM-affiliated group kidnapped three aid workers – two Spanish and one Italian – from a Polisario-run refugee camp near Tindouf. AQIM are suspected of holding the hostages on Malian soil.
- On the night of November 23-24, armed individuals possibly affiliated with AQIM kidnapped two French nationals in Hombori, Mopti Region, and reportedly delivered them to AQIM, which is believed to be holding them on Malian soil. Malian security forces arrested two suspects involved in the kidnapping; investigations continued at year’s end.
- On November 25, armed assailants possibly affiliated with AQIM kidnapped three European tourists and killed a fourth in Timbuktu city, Timbuktu Region. The hostages – Dutch, Swedish, and South African/British nationals – were reportedly being held on Malian soil; the individual who was killed, a German national, died while resisting the kidnapping attempt. Malian security forces reportedly arrested two of the assailants. The investigation continued at year’s end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Mali’s law enforcement efforts have increased over the past year, including the arrest of Bechir Sinoun for the attempted bombing of the French Embassy in Bamako, the detention of two individuals affiliated with AQIM in Bamako, and the arrest of two individuals implicated in the Hombori kidnapping. The Malian judiciary tried and convicted Bechir Sinoun, sentencing him to death on November 29; however, the Malian government subsequently repatriated Sinoun to Tunisia at the request of the Tunisian government so he could be tried there. Mali continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Mali is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, or GIABA, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Mali's Financial Intelligence Unit, the Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF), organized training in November for bank employees, key civil servants, and judicial officials in Kayes Region, which received one of the highest volumes of remittances in Mali. Following Mali's accession to the Egmont Group in July, CENTIF personnel attended an Egmont-sponsored Counterterrorist Finance seminar in Bamako on August 16-19. CENTIF also participated in a workshop sponsored by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Dakar, Senegal on March 9-11 related to freezing assets belonging to individuals suspected of money laundering or terrorist finance. The main impediments to improving law enforcement response to terrorist finance were a lack of coordination between CENTIF and the law enforcement community as well as insufficient judicial capacity to transform CENTIF investigations into effective prosecutions.
Mali lacked the capacity to trace informal networks and money/value transfer systems including hawala. Like most West African countries, Mali relies on cash for virtually all daily transactions. While businesses were technically required to report cash transactions over approximately U.S. $10,000, most do not.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mali has significantly increased its cooperation with regional partners both politically and operationally. Mali has been a member of the Combined Operational General Staff Committee (CEMOC), based in Tamanrasset, Algeria, since its creation in 2010. It chaired the CEMOC for the year ending November 21, at which time the chairmanship passed to Mauritania. Mali has hosted ministerial level conferences including a summit of foreign ministers as well as periodic meetings of the armed forces chiefs of staff of the CEMOC partner countries. Mali also participated in joint operations with Mauritania, driving AQIM elements out of the Ouagadou Forest region for a period of time. Malian military elements were reported to be training with Algerian military counterparts in Kidal Region in December.
In addition to the United States, Mali continued to work closely with other international partners including Canada, France, the European Union, and United Nations (UN) Agencies. Mali’s security forces have benefitted from French counterterrorism and UN Office on Drugs and Crime training.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Malian officials and prominent religious leaders routinely condemned violent extremist ideology and terrorist acts. In general, violent extremist ideologies have not found a receptive audience among Malians. In September, the Malian government secured funding and began work on the Special Program for Peace, Security and Development in the North. The program’s overarching goal is to reestablish state authority in northern Mali, but it also provides development assistance and a communications program that may have a countering violent extremism component.
Overview: The Government of Mauritania continued to address terrorism threats proactively. Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) remained a threat, which was most visibly demonstrated by the group's attempt to mount a coordinated attack in the capital in February. Mauritania applied effective measures to counter terrorist activity and enhanced initiatives launched in 2010. The government continued to prosecute terrorists, supported efforts to reinforce regional cooperation, allocated additional resources to the national de-radicalization program, and continued training with its partners to enhance border security and law enforcement capacity. Significantly, improved coordination between Mauritania and Mali led to successful joint operations in areas close to the shared border and increased the ability of both countries to counter the transnational threat posed by AQIM.
Under the framework of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, U.S. training of small infantry and support units continued in 2011. Mauritania also participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On December 20, AQIM abducted a gendarme from his post in Adel Bagrou, approximately 1,700 kilometers east of Nouakchott near the border with Mali. The abduction followed a series of successful Mauritanian military operations against AQIM.
On July 5, the Mauritanian military successfully repelled an AQIM attack led by a 17-vehicle convoy against a garrison in Bassiknou, near the southeastern border with Mali, and killed six terrorists. AQIM stated the strike on the outpost was planned as retaliation for a joint Mauritanian-Malian raid on June 26 in Mali, known as Operation Benkan, which killed 15 AQIM members and left two Mauritanian soldiers dead.
While these events occurred in the border zone with Mali, Nouakchott was the target of a foiled truck-bombing plot on February 1-2. The Mauritanian military successfully interdicted three vehicles attempting to attack the French Embassy and assassinate President Aziz. Mauritanian forces captured one vehicle containing 1.2 tons of explosives, munitions, and logistics equipment roughly 200 kilometers south of Nouakchott, along with two of the three individuals involved. The Mauritanian military then neutralized a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) 12 kilometers southeast of Nouakchott, killing both terrorists involved. This was the third attempted suicide attack in Mauritania after AQIM attacked the military barracks in Nema by VBIED in August 2010, and a lone suicide bomber targeted the French Embassy in Nouakchott in August 2009.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: After passing a new counterterrorism law in July 2010, Mauritania continued to revise legislation, vigorously prosecute individuals suspected of terrorism, and train security forces and judicial officials. On May 5, Mauritania launched an initiative to modernize identity documents and enroll Mauritanian citizens and foreign residents in a national electronic database. The impetus for the development of secure identity documents stemmed from a desire to replace the current, non-machine readable, handwritten passports with state of the art biometric technology and accurately identify individuals at ports of entry. The new government agency charged with executing this project, the National Agency of the Population Register and Secure Documents, under the Ministry of Interior, has verified the identity of 100,000 individuals since it was established.
The EU signaled the priority it accords to assisting Mauritanian border security with a ceremony held on September 18, along with the Spanish Civil Guard, to mark the U.S. $2.6 million investment in Project Western Sahel, which will introduce new technology for border screening and training programs for border control personnel.
Mauritania continued its efforts to convict major terrorist suspects in judicial proceedings. The significant terrorism trials of May 2010 were followed by several high-profile trials and convictions in 2011. On March 20, four individuals were sentenced to death and one individual to two years in prison and a U.S. $1,700 fine for their role in the September 2008 attack against Mauritanian soldiers in Tourine. On March 21, one Mauritanian and two Malian citizens received prison terms ranging from two to five years for the December 2009 kidnapping of an Italian couple near the Malian border. The Mauritanian judiciary convicted 33 terrorists in 2011, bringing the number of convictions to a total of 140 since 2009.
On October 17, the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched a four-day training seminar with 20 local magistrates to discuss the judicial framework for fighting terrorism and organized crime. In early October, Mauritanian security service personnel participated in the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott.
Mauritania cooperated closely with the United States to resolve the case of an American citizen killed in June 2009 by AQIM in Nouakchott. On March 15, three terrorists were convicted for the murder. Mohamed Abdallahi Ould Mohamed Salem Ould H'Mednah (Abou Anas), Sidi Mohamed Ould Bezeid (Abou Qotada), and Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Ahmed Salem were charged with pre-meditated murder and unlawful membership in an illegal organization. H'Mednah, who was accused as the shooter in the death of the American citizen, received the death penalty and was fined US $19,000; Bezeid was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and Salem received a three-year prison term. The public prosecutors lodged an appeal after the trial seeking harsher sentences; the appeal was pending at year’s end.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Mauritania’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Information Analysis Commission, includes representatives of the Mauritanian Ministries of Finance and Justice, as well as the customs authority, national police, and Gendarmerie working together to identify, investigate, prevent, and prosecute financial crimes linked to narcotics and terrorist finance networks. Although there is legislation regulating money or value transfer systems, Mauritania did not have the resources to monitor the sizable flow of funds through hawala or other money/value transfer systems.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mauritania was committed to enhancing regional cooperation across the Sahel. A founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and Combined Operational General Staff Committee (CEMOC), Mauritania assumed CEMOC’s rotating chairmanship on November 21 from Mali. Nouakchott hosted a summit for chiefs of defense on November 15 and for defense ministers on December 11 under the framework of the 5+5 Defense Initiative drawing together Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Malta. At the December 11 5+5 meeting, Mauritanian Defense Minister Radhi led the call for an end to the practice of paying ransoms to hostage-takers.
On December 1, Mauritania signed a cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, crime, and drug trafficking. A high-level Mauritanian delegation attended the 10th Mauritanian-Algerian Monitoring Committee on November 15 in Algiers. Mauritania’s Foreign Minister Hamadi hosted bilateral talks with his Malian counterpart in Nouakchott July 28-29 following the regional meeting to reinforce regional cooperation held in Bamako on May 20 between Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, and Niger.
An important example of improved regional cooperation, particularly between Mauritania and Mali, was demonstrated in the aftermath of the failed February 1-2 truck-bomb plot when the Malian authorities identified the leader of the attack in their territory and extradited him and others to Mauritania. In addition to the joint Operation Benkan mentioned above, Mauritania carried out air strikes against AQIM elements in the Ouagadou forest area in Mali in October.
Mauritania co-sponsored the UNGA Resolution passed in November condemning the Iranian plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Mauritania continued its rehabilitation program for repentant extremists. It provided 35 former prisoners with U.S. $7,000 each as seed capital for revenue-generating enterprises to encourage their reintegration. Mauritanian authorities confirmed that among the original 52 extremists granted amnesty last year, one was involved in the February 1-2 truck-bomb attack and was killed during the counterterrorist operation. While two others have returned to terrorist training camps and four others are missing, these recidivist rates compare favorably with other programs.
Overview: Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continued to exploit undergoverned space in Nigerien territory and conducted kidnap for ransom operations there. Porous borders and the huge expanse of Niger not under full government control provided opportunities for terrorists to move about the area. Niger worked with other regional partners and organizations to support its counterterrorism efforts, including the Algerian-led General Staff Joint Operations Committee (CEMOC) that also included Mali and Mauritania.
The presence of Boko Haram (BH) in northern Nigeria also posed a threat. Niger was committed to fighting AQIM and BH, but without external support and greater regional cooperation, Niger will likely remain vulnerable to terrorist activity.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Niger was a victim of AQIM attacks, kidnappings, and anti-government operations. On January 7, two French citizens were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niamey. The two hostages died during an immediate rescue attempt by French and Nigerien forces near the Malian border. On February 24, AQIM released two Africans and a female French national who had been kidnapped in Arlit in September 2010. Four male French nationals taken in the same incident remained in AQIM captivity at year’s end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On January 27, the government adopted Law 2011-11, amending the law organizing and defining the competence of jurisdictions in Niger to include a special chamber within the Court of Appeals charged with investigating, prosecuting, and punishing all acts of terrorism. In December, the Minister of Defense announced that new counterterrorism and rapid-response units had been positioned along borders with Mali, Algeria, and Libya, and that military patrols along the Libyan border had seized weapons, explosives, ammunition, communications equipment, money, and drugs. Niger established a Counterterrorism Unit and a Counterterrorism Fusion Center to merge the intelligence and operations of its disparate law-enforcement agencies. Niger also continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
On several occasions from June through November, Nigerien security forces clashed with armed men who possibly were affiliated with AQIM, crossing through the northern region of the country. On June 12, they arrested one trafficker and recovered explosives, detonators, arms, military uniforms, and cash. On December 7, four alleged members of BH were arrested in Maine-Soroa and transferred to Kollo Prison near Niamey.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, or GIABA, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Niger’s means to fight money laundering and terrorist financing was limited and no new anti-money laundering legislation was passed in 2011. However, Niger’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Center for the Treatment of Financial Information, came under new leadership in October.
Regional and International Cooperation: Niger continued to work with Mali, Algeria, and Mauritania through the CEMOC center in Tamanrasset, Algeria. In May, the four governments met in Bamako to discuss regional security and agreed to train up to 75,000 troops within the next 18 months to counter AQIM and other militants.
Overview: Nigeria experienced a steady increase in terrorist attacks in 2011, particularly in the northern states of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, and Kaduna as well as in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Nigeria-based extremists, collectively known as Boko Haram (BH), participated in many of these attacks. BH suspects killed Nigerian government and security officials, Muslim and Christian clerics, a journalist, and numerous civilians.
The Nigerian government worked to improve coordination, communication, and cooperation domestically and internationally on counterterrorism matters. Authorities intensified military operations – often heavy-handed – in northeast Nigeria to counter the BH-led terrorist activities. Nigerian efforts to address northern grievances, a key catalyst of the violence, have lagged behind the military campaign against BH. The United States called on the Government of Nigeria to accelerate implementation of its plan to address these issues.
No terrorist attacks occurred in the southern states of Nigeria. Nigerian-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation continued in 2011, particularly following the June attack on the Abuja headquarters of the Nigerian police force.
President Goodluck Jonathan created the position of counterterrorism coordinator and in September replaced its first coordinator, a former ambassador, with a well-respected army general. In practice, the National Security Advisor (NSA) retained the lead as coordinator of the Nigerian government strategy to counter terrorism. The National Focal Point on terrorism – an interagency task force formed in 2007 that includes the State Security Service (SSS), Nigerian Customs Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Immigration – did not actively operate in 2011.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Elements of BH increased the number and sophistication of attacks in six northern states and the FCT, including two vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) suicide bombings in Abuja. In the latter half of the year, the lethality, capability, and coordination of suspected BH attacks rose steadily. Incidents included:
- On January 28, five suspected BH gunmen killed the Borno State All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP) gubernatorial candidate and six others, including two plain clothes policemen and the younger brother of the incumbent governor of Borno state.
- On May 12, unidentified gunmen kidnapped two engineers (British and Italian nationals) from their residence in the city of Birnin Kebbi (Kebbi state), about 30 miles from the international border with Niger. A German employee of an Italian construction company managed to escape the same attack. BH had not released these hostages at year’s end.
- On May 31, three suspected BH gunmen killed the younger brother of the Shehu of Borno at his residence in Maiduguri. (The Shehu of Borno serves as the second-ranking traditional ruler in Nigeria after the Sultan of Sokoto.) The armed men attacked from a motorcycle with automatic rifles.
- On June 16, a terrorist detonated VBIED in the parking lot of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) headquarters in Abuja, killing a police officer, the driver of the car that exploded, and at least two others. The blast damaged at least 50 vehicles and shattered windows on the south side of the NPF headquarters building.
- On August 26, a terrorist rammed two exit gates of the United Nations (UN) headquarters compound in Abuja and crashed into the lobby of the building before detonating his VBIED, killing 24 persons and injuring over 120 persons. BH claimed responsibility via BBC-Hausa radio.
- On October 16, suspected BH members killed one policeman during a pre-dawn bomb attack on the 34th mobile police force base in Gombe state. Assailants burned 15 vehicles, destroyed a building, and looted an armory that police had recently re-stocked with weapons and ammunition.
- On October 24, assailants with assault rifles and sophisticated explosives launched a coordinated attack that destroyed a police station and a bank in Saminaka, Kaduna state, killing a policeman and a security guard. The assailants stole assault rifles and a reported U.S. $106,000.
- On November 4, multiple VBIED and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Yobe and Borno states targeted security force offices, including the NPF, SSS, and the Military's Joint Task Force (JTF) offices, as well as several markets and 11 churches. At least six attacks occurred in Yobe and four in Borno, including a failed VBIED attempt at the JTF headquarters in Maiduguri. Terrorists killed over 100 people, including nearly 70 bystanders at a major traffic circle in the center of Damaturu, Yobe state.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The following developments occurred in the legislative and law enforcement areas:
- In May, the Nigerian National Assembly passed the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011. On June 3, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill into law. The act was modeled on international standards, including UN guidelines. The law, however, did not clearly delineate which police or security agency serves as the lead agency to investigate suspected terrorist crimes.
- The Nigerian government arrested, tried, and sentenced Ali Sanso Konduga (also known as Usman al-Zawahiri), an ex-spokesperson of BH, to three years in prison after he pled guilty November 22 to charges of sending threatening text messages to government officials. On October 14, authorities arrested Senator Ali Mohammed Ndume (Borno state; ruling People’s Democratic Party) and subsequently charged him with four counts under Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 for collaborating with Konduga. At years' end, Senator Ndume had posted bond and was awaiting trial.
- In the wake of the unsuccessful attempt by Nigerian national Umar Abdulmutallab to detonate an explosive aboard a flight bound for Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009, Nigeria cooperated closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. On October 14, 2011, the Nigerian suspect pled guilty to all charges against him in U.S. federal court in Michigan.
The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) programs provided training to bolster the capacity of Nigeria's law enforcement agencies to address terrorist incidents.
Countering Terrorist Financing: Nigeria is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, or GIABA, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Nigeria was publicly identified by the FATF in February 2010 for strategic anti-money laundering/combating terrorist financing (AML/CTF) deficiencies. Nigeria committed to an action plan with the FATF to address these weaknesses, but in October 2011 was identified in the FATF public statement for its failure to make sufficient progress on this action plan. Nigeria enacted into law the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011, which included provisions prohibiting terrorist financing and providing for the seizure of funds and property held by individual terrorists or terrorist organizations. The act covers the provision or collection of funds used to carry out terrorist acts, including property and funds used by individuals or terrorist organizations. In addition, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act includes money laundering and terrorist financing provisions. However, it should be noted that there are some outstanding concerns that the criminalization of terrorist financing may not be fully in line with international standards. The Nigerian government did not prosecute terrorist financing crimes under either of these laws in 2011.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Nigerian government was a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF); Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru attended Secretary Clinton’s launch of the GCTF in New York in September and the working group on Justice and Rule of Law in November in Washington.
The Nigerian government hosted and fully participated in the development of Economic Community of West African states’ (ECOWAS) “counterterrorism strategy and implementation plan.” Nigeria also helped to develop the ECOWAS “political declaration against terrorism.” The May counterterrorism strategy planning and review meeting occurred at the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja. Nigeria sent representatives to the November 2011 “Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism” meeting in Morocco.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The MFA, through its Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, had ongoing initiatives to address radicalization and counter violent extremism. The Institute’s programs included early warning detection for secular or religious violence, teaching tolerance of other religious viewpoints, and deploying mediators to conflict-prone areas to resolve inter-religious disagreements.
Overview: In 2011, a series of grenade attacks targeted Rwandans in public areas. The Government of Rwanda continued security cooperation and information sharing with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to combat ongoing mutual threats. Counterterrorism training for border control officials, police, military, and security forces remained a priority.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: There were at least six reports of grenade explosions or attacks in Kigali or along Rwanda’s border with the DRC in January, March, and July. The grenade attacks typically targeted areas where Rwandans congregated, such as transportation hubs and markets, resulting in up to 61 people injured and two killed.
- January 28-29: Two separate explosions occurred in Kigali. The first grenade attack injured 26, eight critically, and killed two others. The Rwanda National Police (RNP) took four suspects into custody at the scene. The second explosion occurred in a heavily populated residential area; no injuries or casualties were reported.
- March 1: An unknown assailant threw a grenade at a passenger minibus on a crowded road in Kigali in the early evening hours. Ten people sustained injuries, two critical; however, there were no deaths reported. The RNP arrested three suspects.
- July 10-12: Three attacks struck Rwanda’s western border with the DRC. The first reported grenade explosion occurred close to the border with Bukavu, DRC, at the south end of Lake Kivu. Two separate attacks occurred in Gisenyi/Rubavu near the DRC border with Goma at the north end of Lake Kivu, and targeted the homes of local leaders using gunfire and grenades. There were no reports of injuries or casualties.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: There was no new legislation related to terrorism passed in 2011. The security situation in the eastern DRC put pressure on Rwanda’s western border area, and the Government of Rwanda continued to work to improve border control measures. The Rwandan Defense Forces, the National Intelligence and Security Services, and the RNP received training from the U.S. government to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The Government of Rwanda began prosecuting more than 100 people detained on suspicions of terrorism and accused of being involved in previous grenade attacks. The prosecution tried suspects in three separate tranches; all three trials were ongoing at year’s end.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Rwanda does not belong to a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. It continued its efforts to implement the 2009 law on the “Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.”
Regional and International Cooperation: The Government of Rwanda sought to strengthen regional cooperation and counter cross-border threats through increased information sharing with the DRC. It also worked to increase border cooperation and security with its neighbors in the East African community. The Government of Rwanda hosted security and terrorism-focused conferences held under the auspices of regional organizations like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries.
Overview: In 2011, with the assistance of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somalia’s neighbors, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) made significant gains in degrading al-Shabaab capability and liberating areas from al-Shabaab administration. However, foreign fighters and al-Shabaab members remained in many parts of south and central Somalia and continued to mount operations within Somalia and against neighboring countries.
A multi-front offensive commencing in February by the TFG, AMISOM, and TFG-allied forces against al-Shabaab resulted in significant territorial gains in the capital city of Mogadishu and key cities of southern and central Somalia. Ethiopia, Kenya, and associated Somali forces liberated areas from al-Shabaab control in the Gedo, Lower Juba, and Hiraan regions of Somalia. In August, al-Shabaab withdrew from many Mogadishu districts, leaving the TFG and AMISOM in control of the majority of districts in Somalia’s capital for the first time since the Ethiopians left in 2009. By the end of 2011, the TFG and its allies were poised to make further territorial advances against al-Shabaab in southern and central Somalia.
Al-Shabaab remained in control of much of southern and central Somalia, however, providing a permissive environment for al-Qa’ida operatives to conduct training and terrorist planning with other sympathetic violent extremists, including foreign fighters. The capability of the TFG and other Somali local and regional authorities to prevent and preempt al-Shabaab terrorist attacks remained limited.
Al-Shabaab’s withdrawal from conventional fighting in and near Mogadishu resulted in a change of al-Shabaab tactics to asymmetrical attacks against AMISOM and the TFG. These attacks resulted in the increased use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that became more advanced. In late 2011, al-Shabaab with increasing frequency employed IEDs against Kenyan and anti-al-Shabaab Somali forces in South/Central Somalia.
A severe drought across the Horn of Africa led to a July UN famine declaration for six regions in southern and central Somalia, affecting four million Somalis out of the estimated population of seven million. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs subsequently declared that 750,000 people were at immediate risk of starvation because, in part, al-Shabaab had prohibited the delivery of assistance. A significant number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sought assistance in Mogadishu. Other IDPs found themselves unable to access their homes in al-Shabaab controlled areas of southern and central Somalia although numerous others sought refuge in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Al-Shabaab leaders maintained a number of training camps in southern Somalia for young national and international al-Shabaab recruits. In these camps, AQ-affiliated foreign fighters often lead the training and indoctrination of the recruits. For further information on al-Shabaab, please see Chapter 6, Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
In 2011, al-Shabaab and other violent extremists conducted suicide attacks, remote-controlled roadside bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations of government officials, journalists, humanitarian workers, and civil society leaders throughout Somalia. Al-Shabaab also threatened UN and other foreign aid agencies and their staff. Two examples of high-profile al-Shabaab terrorist attacks included a truck bomb that detonated in Mogadishu on October 4, killing over seventy, including many students waiting outside the Ministry of Education, and the December 5 assassination of a prominent Islamist scholar, Ahmed Hadji Abdirahman, in Bossaso, Puntland.
In addition to high-profile attacks, al-Shabaab routinely terrorized local populations into compliance with al-Shabaab edicts. There were frequent reports of al-Shabaab carrying out amputation of limbs for minor thievery offenses, stoning for suspected adultery, and forced conscription of child soldiers. Al-Shabaab leaders frequently ordered beheaded corpses to be left in streets as an object lesson to local communities. Al-Shabaab bombings targeted secondary schools admitting female students. Al-Shabaab forces also engaged in widespread rape and violence against women.
In Mogadishu before August 6, al-Shabaab conducted almost daily attacks against the TFG and AMISOM. On June 10, the TFG Minister of Interior was killed at his residence when an al-Shabaab-affiliated family member detonated a suicide vest. After withdrawing from Mogadishu on August 6, al-Shabaab increased the use of asymmetric attacks in Mogadishu. In the last week of August, Shabaab beheaded 12 youths suspected of being spies in the Huriwaa and Dayniile districts of Mogadishu. Near-daily IEDs, grenade attacks, and assassinations targeting TFG security forces and AMISOM also led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
On August 4, Somali TFG President Sheikh Sharif declared in a letter to the UN, “The main cause of the famine has been al-Shabaab, who has denied the Somali people the stability necessary to be self-sufficient in terms of food security.” TFG leaders noted that they were compiling evidence of crimes against humanity by al-Shabaab leaders, including denial of passage for humanitarian assistance to starving populations. NGOs and media reported that al-Shabaab had engaged in forced re-settlement of IDPs, sometimes for the purpose of cultivating cash crops that could be used to buy weapons. On November 28, al-Shabaab imposed an indefinite ban on 16 humanitarian organizations working in al-Shabaab controlled territory, reducing access to humanitarian relief for communities in those areas.
Legalization and Law Enforcement: The TFG and regional administrations continued to pursue al-Shabaab suspects throughout the year. On June 10 in Mogadishu, TFG personnel killed AQ senior leader and al-Shabaab trainer Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, aka Harun Fazul, when he attempted to breach a checkpoint. Harun Fazul was one of several AQ leaders federally indicted for carrying out the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The TFG also requested governments to assist in the enforcement of a long-standing national ban on charcoal exports which are used to finance al-Shabaab activities. On May 3, the TFG passed an anti-terrorism law, and in July, Puntland followed with similar legislation establishing special courts to try terrorism suspects. Somaliland has not passed any such laws.
Somalia received leadership and management training for senior law enforcement officials from Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), as well as from Somaliland and Puntland, through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Terrorist financing in Somalia is directly related to the terrorist organization al-Shabaab. Existing laws in Somalia – anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorism finance (CTF) – were unenforceable, given the limited area of control of the government and its lack of capacity. Somaliland authorities cited the main obstacle to fighting terrorism, including terrorist financing, as a lack of legal framework. Somalia does not have a formal banking sector and although there are a couple entities that provide financial banking services throughout Somalia, they operate in an unregulated environment. Hawala (money transmittal firms) that transfer funds into Somalia from abroad must comply with regulations in the foreign countries from which the transfers originate and therefore do have a degree of transparency and oversight.
Al-Shabaab derived its funding in part through taxation of businesses and private citizens, customs and other revenue from Kismayo port, and financial donations from Somali and non-Somali sympathizers both inside Somalia and abroad. Somalia has one of the longest land borders as well as the longest coastline in Africa. The TFG, and the regional Puntland and Somaliland administrations, have limited control over their borders and many goods flow into and out of Somalia with no government knowledge. In areas controlled by al-Shabaab, the terrorist group may “tax” goods’ movements, including some humanitarian shipments. The TFG has called on regional governments to help stem the flow of terrorist financing, requesting local governments trace, freeze, and seize al-Shabaab financing.
The TFG did not have an independent system or mechanism for freezing terrorist assets. The government lacked capacity and no government entities were charged with or capable of tracking, seizing, or freezing illegal assets. There was no mechanism for distributing information from the government to financial institutions (principally hawala), and the central government enforced no suspicious transaction or large currency transaction reporting requirements on banks or other financial institutions. However, many institutions operating in Somalia had international offices, and therefore adhered to minimum international standards, including freezes on terrorist entities’ finances. Money remittance companies, for example, almost all use electronic anti-money laundering systems which flagged names listed on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee’s consolidated list. Somalia is a signatory to the 2001 UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Somalia is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force-style regional bodies and does not have any mechanisms in place under which to share information related to terrorist financing with the United States or with other developed countries.
Regional and International Cooperation: The TFG’s efforts have focused on trying to build and maintain support within Somalia rather than bolstering external cooperation. However, the TFG is a member of the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The TFG also works closely with AMISOM. The TFG worked with international and regional partners, including Kenya and Ethiopia, to degrade and eliminate al-Shabaab. The TFG and regional governments cooperated fully with U.S. law enforcement on numerous occasions.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The TFG has become more adept at proactively countering al-Shabaab’s violent extremist messaging. This was demonstrated through programs on Radio Mogadishu and the state-owned television station, as well as through press releases. For example, within hours of the October 4 bombing of government buildings that killed over 70 people, the TFG released a press statement condemning the attack. The TFG’s Ministry of Information continued the Islamic Lecture Series, a one-hour call-in radio program begun in 2010, designed to undercut al-Shabaab’s efforts to acquire religious legitimacy for its violent extremist ideology. Respected clerics and sheikhs from Mogadishu presented original lectures on a particular subject – for example, suicide bombing – and discussed how the issue is viewed within Islam. The scripts were read out live on Sundays and rebroadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Following each broadcast, listeners called in and debated the topic with the presenting cleric or sheikh. Members of al-Shabaab have responded to the messages from the show and have attempted to debate them. The messaging is overwhelmingly critical of al-Shabaab, and there was an emerging narrative that al-Shabaab was neither authentically Islamic nor Somali in its actions and objectives.
Overview: Continuing its efforts to counter international terrorism in 2011, South Africa took measures to address border security vulnerability and document fraud which, in the past, hindered the government's ability to pursue counterterrorism initiatives. With an ongoing attempt to centralize all intelligence and security activities under the umbrella of the South African State Security Agency (SSA, formed in 2009), new protocol procedures were placed on counterterrorism coordination and information exchanges. Although the South African Police Service-Crime Intelligence (SAPS-CI) unit has traditionally been the most responsive on counterterrorism matters, the SSA stipulated that any counterterrorism-related coordination should occur directly through the SSA/foreign branch (SSA/FB) and it will determine which other entities within SSA will be involved. As a result, coordination on counterterrorism-related issues suffered from a lack of communication and coordination between SSA/FB and SAPS-CI, which directly affected responsiveness to U.S. requests for information. Also, the SSA has noted up front that it will not provide any information related to South African entities to the United States, even if it relates to counterterrorism matters.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Beginning in July 2010, Brian Patrick Roach, a 63 year old South African citizen, attempted to extort the British government by threatening to release hoof and mouth disease among the livestock in the United Kingdom. He further threatened that if his demands were not met by the British, he would infect livestock in the United States with the same disease. Roach conducted all of this activity from within South Africa and was considered a terrorist by the South African government. This matter was investigated jointly by the South African national prosecuting authority, the South African Police service, New Scotland Yard, and the FBI. On February 12, 2011, the subject was arrested and in June he pled guilty to terrorism charges.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Container Security Initiative team in Durban that works with SARS to screen containers entering and leaving the port for contraband, currency, nuclear materials, and other WMD. SARS is a member of the World Customs Organization and worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security CBP to develop the SARS’ Customs Border Control Unit, which is modeled after the CBP’s antiterrorism contraband enforcement team. South Africa continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: South Africa did not share information related to terrorist financing with the United States. As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a FATF-style regional body, South Africa largely complied with FATF standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance, and had a functioning Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). Those required to report to the FIC included banks, financial institutions, car dealers, attorneys, gold dealers, gambling establishments, real estate agents, foreign exchange dealers, securities traders, money lenders (including those who lend against shares, e.g., brokers), entities selling travelers checks, and Johannesburg stock exchange- registered people and companies. South Africa's FIC is a member of the Egmont group.
Regional and International Cooperation: South Africa is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. South Africa was elected to its second two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (2011-2013) and played a leading role in the African Union Peace and Security Council.
Overview: South Sudan attained independence on July 9, 2011, becoming the world’s newest country. Counterterrorism efforts and counterterrorist finance legislation remained a work in progress. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) represented the main terrorist threat to South Sudan.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: The LRA was responsible for about twenty-five incidents in South Sudan in 2011, chiefly in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: A brand new country, the Government of South Sudan has not yet passed counterterrorism legislation, and it suffers from multiple institutional weaknesses that included insufficient policing and intelligence gathering, inadequate border controls, and deficient aviation security and screening at the country’s two international airports in Juba and Malakal.
Countering Terrorist Finance: South Sudan is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Government of South Sudan has not passed anti-money laundering/counterterrorism financing (AML/CTF) legislation, although a draft AML/CTF bill was under review by the Ministry of Justice. A draft Banking and Foreign Exchange Business Act was also pending approval at year’s end.
Overview: Since the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in July 1998, Tanzania has not experienced any major terrorist attacks. In November, Minister Shamsa Vuai Nahodha of the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that police took custody of 10 young Tanzanians believed to have connections with al-Shabaab, who were arrested by Kenyan immigration authorities along Kenya's northern border with Somalia. Inter-agency representatives of Tanzania's National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), operated by the Tanzanian Police Force with inter-agency representation from the military, prisons, and the Tanzania Intelligence Service, still consider diplomatic missions, foreign investment projects, and tourist areas targets for terrorist attacks.
In October, Tanzania formalized the regulations for its Prevention of Terrorism Act passed in 2002. Progress on the regulations had previously stalled for years as a result of a change in administration and disagreements over the responsibilities assigned in the Act. Now that the law and associated regulations are in place, Tanzania worked to enact a national terrorism strategy to address areas that require improvement.
The most significant example of Tanzania-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation was the case against the perpetrators of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing. In U.S. federal court in New York in January 2011, Ahmed Ghailani was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the attack. The Government of Tanzania was instrumental in assisting with the investigation and providing the testimony that brought Ghailani to justice. The director of Tanzania’s NCTC provided key testimony during the Ghailani trial.
The Tanzania Police Force (TPF) has been very receptive to State Department Antiterrorism Assistance training and over 250 officers were trained in dozens of courses in 2011. The TPF has adopted many of the U.S. guidelines, best practices, and has incorporated U.S. training into its curricula.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The November issuance of implementing regulations for the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act represented the key development in counterterrorism legislation this year. The NCTC reported that the United Kingdom played a central role in assisting Tanzania with its draft regulations. Neither the NCTC nor the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) reported any enforcement actions for the year, but both organizations maintained working relationships with Tanzanian Customs and Border Security (CBS). As the NCTC was composed of a number of inter-agency officials, the organization has access to Customs and Border Security through its Immigration representative. The FIU was regularly in contact with the Tanzanian Revenue Authority, which, in turn, liaised with CBS. Tanzanian Border Security officials continued to use the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) system, with biometric upgrades, at eight ports of entry. Tanzania also continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Tanzania was publicly identified by the FATF in October 2010 for strategic anti-money laundering/ counterterrorist finance (AML/CTF) deficiencies, and committed to an action plan with the FATF to address these deficiencies. In October 2011, the FATF determined that Tanzania’s progress in implementing this action plan had been insufficient and that it needed to take adequate action to address its main deficiencies. The FIU is the Tanzanian government office most closely linked with AML/CTF efforts and it did not have the ability to conduct proactive targeting. Since its establishment in 2007, the FIU has received a total of 40 referrals; only one concerned terrorist finance. The staff of the FIU grew from five to 16 in 2011, as it filled out the staffing requirements set forth by law. The FIU was also working to join the Egmont Group; it was previously unable to apply for membership because it was not a national body; Zanzibar had its own unit. This issue has since been resolved, and the FIU now covers Zanzibar as well.
Tanzania is largely compliant with international standards for the criminalization of terrorist financing. Tanzania monitored formal remittance services, but the FIU said it had no means of identifying or tracking money/value transfer services such as hawala. Non-profit organizations must declare their assets when initially registering with the government, but their assets were not subsequently reviewed on a regular basis. Tanzanian law does not contain a threshold transaction amount that triggers an automatic review. FIU representatives stated that they were working to resolve this. Banks could receive a transfer of any amount without raising any alarm. Travelers coming into the country may enter unimpeded with any amount of hard currency.
Regional and International Cooperation: Tanzania is a member of the South African Development Community and the East African Community, both of which have regular working groups that address counterterrorism. On a regional level, the NCTC has coordinated with Nairobi's Antiterrorism Center, and successfully extradited suspects of the 2010 Uganda bombings to Uganda for trial.
Overview: The Ugandan government demonstrated increased political will to secure its borders, apprehend suspected terrorists, and coordinate with regional allies and the United States to counter terrorism. There were no reported terrorist attacks in Uganda in 2011, but Uganda remained vulnerable to attacks by the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, which killed 76 people including one American, in its July 2010 Kampala bombings. In addition to taking tangible steps to track, capture, and prosecute individuals with suspected links to terrorist organizations, Uganda began prosecuting several individuals arrested for orchestrating the July 2010 bombings. Uganda also increased its troop contributions to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and continued to pursue the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in coordination with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Uganda’s Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce, which is composed of military, police, and intelligence entities and reports to the chieftaincy of military intelligence led Uganda’s counterterrorism response, but was hampered by allegations of human rights abuses. The Police’s Rapid Response Unit also conducted terrorist investigations, but was disbanded in December 2011 due to allegations of human rights violations.
During the year, Uganda continued to build its counterterrorism capacity. With U.S. assistance, Uganda continued to expand its Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) border control system to additional points of entry and upgraded this system to capture biometric information. Uganda also continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program.
In September, the Uganda High Court handed down sentences of five years and 25 years imprisonment to two of the 2010 Kampala bombing suspects for terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism. In November, Uganda also commenced prosecution of 12 other suspects accused of orchestrating the July 2010 bombings, but the trial was placed on hold shortly thereafter due to a legal challenge filed with the Constitutional Court. Although Uganda significantly improved its ability to investigate terrorist acts, additional training and resources are needed. Ugandan police, for example, replaced the outdated system of fingerprint cards with a modern criminal records management system to identify criminal and terrorist suspects.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Uganda is a member of the Eastern and Southern Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Uganda’s financial sector remained vulnerable to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial transactions. Legal and law enforcement measures to counter terrorist financing, based on the Anti-Terrorist Act of 2002 and the Financial Institutions Act of 2004, were inadequate and did not meet international standards.
The Anti-Terrorist Act made terrorist financing illegal, but Ugandan authorities have not used this law to investigate any money laundering or terrorist financing cases. Uganda also lacked the capacity needed to effectively monitor and regulate money/value transfer services and wire transfer data. The Bank of Uganda asked local banks to report “suspicious” transactions, but there was no clear implementation mechanism for enforcing this or investigating potentially suspicious activity. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ugandan Police Force was responsible for investigating financial crimes. However, until Parliament approves anti-money laundering legislation, the understaffed and poorly-trained CID maintained only limited authority to investigate and prosecute money laundering violations.
The Inspector General of Government has not investigated money laundering or terrorist financing cases and Uganda did not prosecute any terrorist financing cases in 2011. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance distributed UN lists of designated terrorists or terrorist entities to relevant Ugandan financial institutions.
Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda is an active member of the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Community of Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. During the year, Uganda worked closely with regional and international law enforcement agencies to respond to terrorist threats. Uganda was the largest troop-contributing nation to AMISOM. Uganda also coordinated with the DRC, CAR, and South Sudan to pursue the LRA.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: After the July 2010 terrorist attacks, Ugandan police increased outreach to local Muslim youth considered at-risk of recruitment by violent extremist groups.