Chapter 2. Country Reports: Africa Overview
Africa experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2014. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab remained the primary terrorist threat despite a series of significant setbacks. African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces were able to supplant al-Shabaab control of several urban areas inside Somalia in 2014, forcing al-Shabaab out of lucrative port cities and further into the countryside. In addition to the group’s declining revenues, al-Shabaab lost three critical members of its leadership circle to airstrikes – the group’s leader, the head of intelligence, and the chief of external operations and planning. The loss of territory, revenue, and leadership hampered al-Shabaab’s operational capabilities for a time, but the organization regrouped in new safe havens to continue planning and launching attacks and suicide bombings in Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti. In Somalia, al-Shabaab conducted a complex assault against the Mogadishu International Airport on December 25, killing three contractors – one American, one Kenyan, and one Ugandan - and eight Ugandan AMISOM soldiers. Djibouti suffered its first bombing in May when two suicide operatives detonated their explosive devices at a French restaurant in the capital. One Turkish citizen was killed along with the two suicide bombers. Al-Shabaab launched mass-casualty attacks in several Kenyan towns and villages along the porous border with Somalia that resulted in over 200 deaths, Kenya’s deadliest year against al-Shabaab to date. While still focused on striking targets outside Somalia, particularly within countries contributing troops to AMISOM, al-Shabaab attempted to delegitimize the Federal Government of Somalia through assassinations, suicide bombings, and other asymmetric attacks within the country.
The United States continued to support counterterrorism capacity building throughout the Horn of Africa, including bolstering of AMISOM’s operational efficacy, contributing to the development and professionalization of Somalia’s security sector, and improving regional critical incident response capabilities. In the wake of the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, various East African countries increased their efforts to detect, deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute terrorist incidents. In October, Kenyan Defense Forces interdicted a vehicle with five suspected al-Shabaab operatives, several suicide vests, and other explosive materiel at the Moyale border crossing between Kenya and Ethiopia. Border security initiatives remained high on the list of national security and counterterrorism priorities in East Africa.
In West Africa, conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northeast, with Boko Haram and related actors committing hundreds of attacks, resulting in over 5,000 casualties in 2014. This violence spilled over into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The kidnapping of 276 female students from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, brought global attention to the conflict and highlighted Boko Haram’s deliberate targeting of non-combatants, including children.
France’s Operation BARKHANE, an operation focused on countering terrorists operating in the Sahel, continued and was supported by important contributions of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali to bolster and restore that country’s stability. Peace accord discussions, hosted by Algeria, continued through year’s end in northern Mali.
TRANS-SAHARA COUNTERTERRORISM PARTNERSHIP
Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a U.S.-funded and implemented, multi-faceted, multi-year effort designed to build the capacity and cooperation of military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across North and West Africa to counter terrorism. Areas of support include:
(1) enabling and enhancing the capacity of North and West African militaries to conduct counterterrorism operations;
(2) integrating the ability of North and West African militaries, and other supporting partners, to operate regionally and collaboratively on counterterrorism efforts;
(3) enhancing border security capacity to monitor, restrain, and interdict terrorist movements;
(4) strengthening the rule of law, including access to justice, and law enforcement’s ability to detect, disrupt, respond to, investigate, and prosecute terrorist activity;
(5) monitoring and countering the financing of terrorism (such as that related to kidnapping for ransom); and
(6) reducing the limited sympathy and support among communities for violent extremism.
TSCTP partners include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon (joined in 2014), Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
TSCTP has built capacity and cooperation despite setbacks caused by a restive political climate, violent extremism, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that have interrupted work and progress with select partner countries. Prosecutorial capacity to adjudicate terrorism cases has been improved in Niger through training for prosecutors.
Regional cooperation, a strategic objective of U.S. assistance programming in this region, has increased substantially in West Africa among most of the partners of TSCTP. Countries bordering Nigeria agreed to form a Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram in late 2014, and Nigeria’s neighbors remained actively engaged in countering Boko Haram throughout the region. The TSCTP partners are joined in this effort by the AU and by Benin, who is not a TSCTP partner.
PARTNERSHIP FOR REGIONAL EAST AFRICA COUNTERTERRORISM
First established in 2009, the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT), is a U.S.-funded and implemented multi-year, multi-faceted program designed to build the capacity and cooperation of military, law enforcement, and civilian actors across East Africa to counter terrorism. It uses law enforcement, military, and development resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including:
(1) reducing the operational capacity of terrorist networks;
(2) developing a rule of law framework for countering terrorism in partner nations;
(3) enhancing border security;
(4) countering the financing of terrorism; and
(5) reducing the appeal of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism.
Active PREACT partners include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Comoros, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, and Sudan are also members of PREACT.
In 2014, the U.S. government, through PREACT, continued to build the capacity and resilience of East African governments to contain the spread of, and ultimately counter the threat posed by, al-Qa’ida, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist organizations. PREACT complements the U.S. government’s dedicated efforts, including support for AMISOM, to promote stability and governance in Somalia and the greater East African region. Joint training exercises for Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan first responders and law enforcement professionals have supported efforts to enhance regional coordination and cooperation, protect shared borders, and respond to terrorist incidents. Similarly, training for Ugandan and Kenyan prosecutors has supported efforts to improve prosecutorial capacity to adjudicate terrorism cases.
Overview: Burkina Faso showed an increase in its overall willingness to expand its involvement in regional counterterrorism and stability operations, enabled by approximately US $10 million that has been provided to its security forces through Africa Contingency Operations Training & Assistance, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, and National Defense Authorization Act Section 1206 funding initiatives.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Burkina Faso’s Terrorism Suppression Law of 2009, modeled after French law, criminalizes a wide range of terrorist-related activities, and imposes criminal punishment of up to life in prison.
Several officials, including Burkina Faso’s Director General of Internal Security, expressed concern that Burkina Faso’s security forces lacked interagency coordination and incident command structure, and asked for assistance in this area. During a 2014 assessment of host country needs and capabilities, the U.S. Department of State determined that incident command structure is one of the most pressing needs of Burkinabe security forces. Further complicating this issue is the problem of overlapping areas of jurisdiction faced by the police and gendarmerie – which has led to confusion over which force would have primary responsibility in the event of a terrorist incident.
Burkinabe security forces actively have sought and received training from the United States on key areas requiring technical assistance. In 2014, Burkinabe law enforcement and judicial officials received training on cross-border security, criminal justice procedures, and prosecution of terrorists through the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law. The Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program provided trainings and equipment related to managing terrorist incidents, forensic examination of terrorist crime scenes, and post-blast investigation. Burkina Faso adopted the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) in 2013 in an effort to secure borders and identify fraudulent travel documents. Burkina Faso has the capability to conduct biographic screening at multiple land and air ports of entry.
Burkina Faso’s Counterterrorism Strategy, Mission de Securitization du Nord, strives to eliminate the possibility of terrorist activities along its northern border.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style body that is part of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS). Burkinabe law enforcement has the will to improve its ability to counter terrorist financing, but lacks resources and experience. In recent years, the Burkinabe government put in place a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Ministry of Economy and Finance. This unit is a task force composed of magistrates, police, gendarmerie, and financial experts. The FIU continued to work on developing database connectivity with regional neighbors and other international parties, such as the United States. There are some laws in place that help the unit carry out its mission, such as a requirement for local banks to report large deposits. Other laws and customs, however, complicate their mandate. For example, Burkina Faso is a cash society, making money difficult to track. Also, an agreement between West African countries for the free movement of people and goods allows individuals from those countries uninhibited entry to and exit from Burkina Faso with any amount of money.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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 was active in regional organizations and international bodies, including the UN, AU, ECOWAS, and the GCTF. Burkina Faso is a member of the G-5 Sahel group that was created in February 2014 to enable regional collaboration.
Overview: Burundi demonstrated its continued commitment to addressing international terrorism in 2014, and contributed six battalions to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). A counterterrorism unit, formed in 2010, consists of elements of the police, military, and the Burundi National Intelligence Service. In the aftermath of the September 2013 al-Shabaab attack in Nairobi, the Burundian National Police (BNP) conducted several counterterrorism operations throughout the country in an attempt to disrupt and dismantle potential terrorist operations. However, the BNP was hampered by a lack of training, resources, and infrastructure. In addition, the BNP focused counterterrorism efforts on the Muslim community and foreigners in Burundi, rather than basing its actions on operational intelligence. This reflects the BNP’s belief that these groups pose the greatest terrorist threat to Burundi.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Burundi has provisions in its penal code defining forms of terrorism. Sentences for acts of terrorism range from 10 to 20 years in prison to life imprisonment if the act results in the death of a person. Burundi continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and the International Law Enforcement Academy. Through ATA, BNP officers received counterterrorism training to bolster their leadership and management skills, build investigative capacity, and identify fraudulent documents.
Burundi’s land and water borders are porous, and therefore pose significant border security challenges. Burundi does not use biometric screening capabilities such as fingerprinting or retinal scans. Burundi screens travel documents, however, at official border crossings.
Deterrents to more effective law enforcement and border security included corruption, resource constraints, limited judicial capacity, lack of training, and porous borders lacking security.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Burundi is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body but is an observer of ESAAMLG, the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. While the government has created counterterrorist financing laws, it has yet to commit funding, provide training, or implement policies. Very few people in the country have access to the formal banking sector. The anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance regime in Burundi does not include regulatory requirements for or supervision of money/value transfer services, precious metal and jewelry dealers, real estate agents, exchange houses or new payment methods. Each local commercial bank operation is recorded within the bank’s system and the banks exchange information with their foreign correspondent banks through their compliance officers. However, banks are not asked to share this information with the Burundi government’s Financial Intelligence Unit. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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 is a member of the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT), and through PREACT received funding for military and law enforcement counterterrorism training. Burundi cooperated with neighboring countries to exchange information on suspected terrorists. Burundi has also contributed battalions to AMISOM to stabilize the situation in Somalia.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Burundian government does not have any formal programs to counter violent extremism. However, several international organizations fund vocational training and economic development programs designed to provide positive alternatives for populations vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment into terrorist organizations.
Overview: Cameroon became a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) in 2014. Countering terrorist threats remained a top security priority for the Government of Cameroon, and the government worked with the U.S. government to improve the capacity of its security forces. Boko Haram took advantage of weaknesses in Cameroon’s border security to conduct a number of terrorist attacks in the country’s Far North and East Regions in 2014, including targeted killings and kidnappings of Cameroonians and foreigners. Cameroon responded to the attacks with an increased security presence in these regions.
In 2014, the United States provided a number of training programs on terrorism and security to help Cameroon address the Boko Haram threat in the Far North. In addition to bolstering the operational capacity of its security forces, Cameroon’s prospects for preventing terrorism also depends on the ability of the government to address humanitarian concerns in its northern regions as well as socio-economic and political challenges—such as widespread youth unemployment, poor transportation infrastructure, inadequate public service delivery, endemic corruption, and political marginalization.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: In 2014, Boko Haram was responsible for targeted killings of Cameroonians in Mayo-Sava, Mayo-Tsanaga, Mayo-Danay, and the Logone and Chari Divisions of the Far North Region – including the villages of Kolofata, Fotokol, Waza, Amchide, and other localities at the border with Nigeria. Terrorist incidents in 2014 included:
- On June 30 in Mayo Sava Division of the Far North Region, Boko Haram killed the village chief of Magdeme, who they suspected was collaborating with security forces.
- On May 16, Boko Haram kidnapped 10 Chinese engineers in the Far North Region of Cameroon, where they were working on a road construction project. The assailants attacked the engineers’ camp in Waza, and took the hostages to Nigeria before eventually releasing them in October.
- On July 6, a group of 10 men on motorcycles stormed the Lamida of Limani in the Mayo-Sava division and kidnapped two teenagers, both students at the local high school.
- On July 27, Boko Haram launched a cross-border attack on Kolofata and kidnapped over a dozen people, including the Lamido (traditional ruler) of Kolofata and the wife of Cameroon’s Vice-Prime Minister, Amadou Ali. The assailants took the hostages to Nigeria before releasing them, along with the Chinese nationals, in October.
- Between October and December, Boko Haram targeted civilians and military patrols in different areas of the Far North Region using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, stationary improvised explosive devices, and mines.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Certain provisions of the 1965 Penal Code were used to prosecute acts of terrorism. These include sanctions for efforts to undermine state authority, threats to public and individual safety, destruction of property, threats to the safety of civil aviation and maritime navigation, hostage taking, and the use of firearms and explosive substances.
Prior to 2014, Cameroonian law did not explicitly criminalize terrorism. However, in December, the National Assembly adopted legislation specifically addressing terrorism. The Law for the Fight Against Terrorism confers the death penalty for those found guilty of carrying out, abetting, or sponsoring acts of terrorism, including any activity likely to incite revolt in the population or disturb the normal functioning of state institutions. The bill was controversial, and members of the political opposition claimed that the definition of terrorism was too broad and could be used as a tool for political repression.
Faced with the security challenges at its borders with Nigeria and the Central African Republic, the Cameroonian government increased coordination and information sharing among law enforcement, military, and intelligence entities, including the General Delegation for External Research, the National Army, the Rapid Intervention Unit (BIR), and the National Gendarmerie. During the year, Cameroon received U.S. capacity building training to improve its counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts, including programs on the civil–military response to terrorism and the legal aspects of defense. These measures supported Cameroon’s improvements in the detection of and responses to terrorist attacks, although further efforts are needed for the country to be able to more effectively deter terrorist incidents.
In 2014, Cameroon continued to issue regional biometric passports aimed at providing enhanced security for residents of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States zone. In response to terrorist incidents, Cameroon reinforced its border security by establishing more control posts and deploying additional military units, including the BIR, to the Far North Region of the country. The government also stepped up screening efforts at ports of entry and highways, using terrorist screening watchlists as well as biographic and biometric technology in some cases. However, the capacity of security forces to patrol and control all land and maritime borders remained limited due to inadequate staffing and resources, leading to some uncontrolled border crossings.
Cameroonian military and police units proactively confronted and disrupted the activities of suspected Boko Haram members. Several large arrests were made. According to reports, the police arrested 104 Boko Haram members, including 84 minors and 20 adults, operating in a madrassa in the Mayo-Danay Division of the Far North. The adults were allegedly teaching their students how to become messengers, combatants, and suicide bombers for Boko Haram.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Cameroon is a member of the Central African Action Group Against Money Laundering (GABAC) which holds Financial Action Task Force (FATF) observer status and is seeking to become a FATF-style regional body. Through its membership in GABAC, Cameroon has adopted a legislative architecture to implement anti-money laundering and financial supervision actions. It established a financial intelligence unit, the National Financial Investigation Agency, which processes suspicious transaction reports and initiates investigations. There were no prosecutions or convictions for money laundering during the year. Under the newly adopted legislation, any person convicted of financing or using financial proceeds from terrorist activities would be sentenced to death. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Cameroon actively participates in AU peacekeeping operations, and its military schools train soldiers and gendarmes from neighboring countries. Cameroon has pledged forces as part of the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram with neighboring countries.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Cameroonian authorities have taken a series of measures to counter violent extremism, including forming partnerships with local, traditional, and religious leaders to monitor preaching in mosques. The Government of Cameroon partnered with faith-based organizations such as the Council of Imams and Religious Dignitaries of Cameroon (CIDIMUC) to educate citizens on the dangers of radicalization and violent extremism, promote religious tolerance, and present religion as a factor for peace. This objective was furthered through targeted messaging in mosques, special prayer sessions, press releases, and through roundtable discussions and conferences bringing together people from various religious backgrounds. One of CIDIMUC’s strategies has been to work for improving the living conditions of imams.
Overview: The Government of Chad considered countering violent extremist threats a priority at the highest level, with a particular focus on countering potential terrorist threats from across the Sahel region. Chad’s counterterrorism strategy focused on promoting regional stability and securing its borders. Chad provided combat forces to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) that also included Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger, and took an active role in leading that coalition and fighting violent extremists in Nigeria and neighboring states. This follows Chad’s important contribution to the French intervention in northern Mali, Operation SABRE; and its contribution to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: 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. In addition, in 2014, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights began certain reforms, including drafting a revised Penal Code that eliminates the death penalty and criminalizes terrorism, piracy, and pedophilia.
While Chadian law enforcement units displayed basic command and control capacity, some Chadian units had limited investigation, crisis response, and border security capacity. Specialized law enforcement units possessed some necessary equipment and better tactics. Essentially all 22 police brigades performed counterterrorism functions, however interagency cooperation and information sharing was rarely practiced. Law enforcement units had a mixed record of accountability and respect for human rights.
Frequently, the head of the police and security are replaced suddenly and without explanation. In addition, law enforcement and security chiefs are sometimes appointed for political reasons rather than merit and therefore are limited in their capability of identifying the type of training, skills, and equipment needed.
In 2014, the Government of Chad increased border-crossing screenings to prevent infiltration by members of Boko Haram and Central African militias and transit of illegal arms, drugs, weapons, and other contraband into the country. Border patrol was provided by a combination of border security officials, gendarmes, police, and military. Border officials, particularly police at the Ngueli bridge border crossing between N’Djamena and Kousseri in Cameroon, took security measures that included: eliminating taxi and motorcycle traffic; searching cars, trucks, and pedestrians at points of entry to screen for weapons, drugs, explosives, and other contraband; and continuing the use of the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) biometric screening system, that was adopted in 2013. Chad has the capability to conduct biographic screening at multiple land and air ports of entry.
Chadian security forces executed several cordon and search operations in the Lake Chad region in 2014, extending south to the capital, in an effort to prevent spillover from ongoing security operations on the opposite side of Lake Chad undertaken by the Nigerian government directed against Boko Haram. In May, Chadian customs officials intercepted two containers of arms and ammunition allegedly destined for Central African Republic (CAR). In June, the Minister of Territorial Administration announced the arrest of two suspects and the seizure of 12 rocket propelled grenade, 43 machine guns, 80 anti-tank rockets, 33 rockets, and over 11,000 rounds of ammunition as a result of increased patrols in the capital of N’Djamena.
Chad continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. In 2014, ATA provided training on Quality Control in Civil Aviation Security and Interviewing Terrorist Suspects, and provided two boats to assist the Chadian River Police Brigade.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Chad is a member of the Action Group against Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), an observer to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), with the same mandate and status as a FATF-style regional body. GABAC worked directly with Chad’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Financial Investigative Agency (ANIF). In 2014, ANIF joined the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
Chad’s underdeveloped financial sector is primarily cash-based and lacked sufficient capacity to enforce banking regulations. ANIF faces serious resource constraints, and financial intelligence reporting and analysis is limited. Additionally, law enforcement and customs officials require training in financial crimes enforcement. Several banks reported suspicious transactions, but the practice was not universal. The government also lacks sophisticated equipment to monitor transactions and does not track money transactions through wire transfer services (i.e. Western Union), hawala remittance systems, or SMS mobile money transfers.
In August 2014, ANIF held a two-day seminar for financial institutions to increase awareness of their obligations in the fight against terrorist financing, including suspicious transaction reporting.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: In 2014, Chad participated in the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s effort to establish the MNJTF, and deployed a contingent of 700 troops along Chad’s Lake Chad border to prevent infiltration by Boko Haram. It has also cooperated actively with Cameroon in operations to counter the threat of Boko Haram in its border regions, and continued to work with Sudan on the joint border commission the two countries had established in 2012 to better control Chad’s eastern border. It also began talks with Niger and Libya to form a tripartite border commission.
In January, Chad assumed one of the rotating seats on the UN Security Council. Chad participated in MINUSMA, providing 1,400 troops to combat violent extremists. Chad is a member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and participated in the Sahel Region Capacity Building Working Group in March in Dakar, Senegal. Chad is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and the AU.
The G-5 Sahel was created in February 2014 to enable region-wide collaboration on the Sahel-Sahara region’s political and security situation, and Chad participated in the five G-5 Sahel meetings held among the five member countries: Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali, as well as representatives of the AU, UN, the Economic Community of West African States, the EU, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In a July 2014 visit to Chad, France’s president Francois Holland launched Operation BARKHANE, a successor to Operations SERVAL and EPERVIER formerly based in Mali and Chad. In August, France deployed 1,300 troops to Chad as a base of operations for its regional initiative to fight terrorism in the Sahel.
In 2014, Chad served as a base of operations for U.S. air surveillance in search of the Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped on April 14-15.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: As a participant in the TSCTP, Chad participated in targeted projects to counter violent extremism. Activities included building the capacity of national civil society organizations; engagement of community and youth empowerment; promotion of interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance; and media and outreach work. President Idriss Déby Itno (Déby) instructed the High Council for Islamic Affairs to monitor religious activities closely in mosques to counter violent extremism.
President Déby encouraged religious tolerance through public statements and urged religious leaders to promote peaceful cohabitation among religious groups. During the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, he urged each religious group to advocate for harmony among all Chadians. Leaders from the country’s principal religious organizations, including the secretary of Evangelical Mission for Harmony and the vice-president of the Episcopal Conference publicly stated they supported President Déby’s public statements advocating religious tolerance.
The Regional Forum on Interfaith Dialogue, composed of representatives of evangelical churches, the Catholic Church, and the Islamic community, met three times in 2014 to promote religious tolerance and counter prejudice. On January 25, President Déby presided over the group’s fifth annual National Day of Peace, Peaceful Cohabitation, and National Concord, which consisted of prayer and pardon for people of all faiths and aimed to promote tolerance and eliminate verbal and physical violence.
On August 20, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant leaders launched a project to teach values of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence for refugees and Chadian returnees from CAR.
Overview: Djibouti remained an active and supportive counterterrorism partner in 2014. Djibouti hosts Camp Lemonnier, which serves as headquarters to the U.S. Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. Djibouti’s efforts to counter terrorism focused on increased training for Djibouti’s military through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, and deploying soldiers to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: On May 24, two suicide bombers attacked the La Chaumière restaurant in a popular area in downtown Djibouti City. A female suicide bomber entered the restaurant and detonated a suicide vest in the midst of three tables situated in the bar. Immediately following this initial blast, a male attacker threw a grenade onto the patio and then detonated his suicide vest. One Turkish citizen was killed and more than 20 others were injured, some severely. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that it targeted Djibouti because the country hosts foreign militaries and contributes troops to AMISOM.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Djibouti has a legal framework for prosecuting terrorism-related crimes and tries terrorists in criminal courts using its penal code.
Counterterrorism remained a high priority for all Djiboutian law enforcement entities in 2014, due to Djibouti’s geographic location, porous borders, and the May al-Shabaab attack. Djiboutian officials arrested and detained individuals connected to the terrorist attack. At year’s end, no dates were set for their prosecution.
Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations consist of the Djiboutian National Police (DNP), the Djiboutian National Gendarmerie, and the Djiboutian Coast Guard. In 2014, all three organizations received equipment and training through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, as well as the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone. ATA assistance focused primarily on counterterrorism instruction covering post-blast investigations, crisis response, and tactical operations. Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations routinely interacted with U.S. government personnel, and the DNP, Gendarmes, and Djiboutian Coast Guard frequently sought U.S. input to identify potential terrorist suspects.
Generally, Djibouti’s law enforcement organizations have personnel and units that have received training in complex investigations and crisis response. The majority of law enforcement units, however, lacked operational experience responding to terrorist incidents or significant crises. Specialized law enforcement units possessed some necessary equipment yet lacked sustainment training to maintain the skills they have been taught through ATA and ILEA.
Djibouti’s most visible counterterrorism efforts were checkpoints and cordon-and-search operations within the capital city. There was also an increased emphasis at border control points to screen for potential security threats, which included the prohibition of any vehicle entering Djibouti from Somalia after the May 24 bombing. The Government of Djibouti requested and received assistance from the U.S. government to conduct a post-blast investigation. The Government of Djibouti also enhanced protection of soft targets, including hotels and grocery stores, but it is unclear to what extent this level of increased protection will be sustainable.
Djibouti adopted the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System in 2003 in an effort to secure borders and identify fraudulent travel documents. Djibouti has the capability to conduct biographic screening at multiple land, sea, and air ports of entry. Djibouti has regularly issued passports to non-citizen Somalis with close personal or business relationships to the Djiboutian government, as well as to residents of Somalia with no legal claim to Djiboutian citizenship.
While the airport and seaport are important entry points, the vast majority of travelers cross into Djibouti by land at one of three land border points, one of which is the Loyada border crossing at the Somali border. The DNP has control over border checkpoints and the Djiboutian Armed Forces has responsibility for patrolling the border. Djiboutian law enforcement personnel acknowledged the difficulty of securing their land borders as well as the coast. Officials at the DNP-manned checkpoints remained susceptible to bribes.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Djibouti’s request for observer status at the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, was pending at year’s end. The Central Bank of Djibouti houses a Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU). Given its very limited financial and human resources, the FIU is unable to perform its core functions and instead focuses on banking supervision. The FIU has made no referrals of cases to law enforcement involving suspected terrorist financing.
Djibouti’s Central Bank places the responsibility for staying updated on sanctions lists with the financial institutions themselves. Many of the financial institutions operating in Djibouti have software packages that include links to the lists of designated terrorists or terrorist entities from the UN, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the EU. The Djiboutian Central Bank monitors compliance with these lists through routine supervision and audits of the financial institutions.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Djibouti is a member of the AU, is headquarters to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and has deployed troops to AMISOM. In February, Djibouti hosted the Second Gulf of Aden Counterterrorism Forum, a regional meeting that brought together counterterrorism officials from Djibouti, Somalia, and Yemen to examine shared challenges and discuss best practices. Djibouti is a member of the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Most of the Government of Djibouti’s strategic communication efforts focused on countering radicalization of the youth population. Members of Parliament and representatives from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs held monthly meetings in Djibouti’s low-income neighborhoods. The Ministry of Youth and Sports organized sports leagues to engage youth in positive activities. In addition, the Government of Djibouti, via the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, increased its legal authority over all Islamic matters and institutions to counter the potential for radicalization to violence in mosques.
Overview: In 2014, the Government of Eritrea continued to claim that it sought to be a partner in the war on terrorism. Eritrean officials in Asmara, at the UN, and at the AU, issued statements and told Embassy staff that Eritrea wanted to move out of a long period of regional isolation and animosity. Eritrean officials engaged in shuttle diplomacy with nations in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to discuss regional stability, counterterrorism cooperation, and regional initiatives to counter transnational challenges, especially migration and human trafficking. The UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) continued to accuse Eritrea of sponsoring regional armed groups. The Eritrean government denied the accusations and continued to levy charges that Ethiopia supported groups committed to the violent overthrow of the Eritrean regime. Eritrea’s poor relations with Ethiopia, Djibouti, the United States, and the SEMG limited opportunities for cooperation or counterterrorism dialogue.
In May, the United States re-certified Eritrea as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act, as amended. In considering this annual determination, the Department of State reviewed Eritrea’s overall level of cooperation with U.S. efforts to combat terrorism, taking into account U.S. counterterrorism objectives and a realistic assessment of Eritrean capabilities.
The Government of Eritrea has been under UNSC sanctions since December 2009 as a result of past evidence of support for terrorism and regional destabilization. UNSCR 1907 (2009) imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea and a travel ban and asset freeze on some military and political leaders, calling on the nation to “cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members, including al-Shabaab, that aim to destabilize the region.” The SEMG’s October report found no evidence that Eritrea is supporting al-Shabaab or opposition groups in South Sudan.
Lack of transparency on how governing structures function means that we do not have a clear picture of the methods the Eritrean government uses to track terrorists or maintain safeguards for its citizens. For a number of years, members of the police have refused to meet with security officials from western nations to discuss policy matters, although the U.S. government had informal contact with law enforcement counterparts in 2014.
The Government of Eritrea remained prone to labeling any persons who advocate change or political reform, or who appear to oppose the Eritrean President, as terrorists.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Articles 259-264, 269-270, and 282 of the Eritrean Penal Code, grandfathered into present-day law from 1957, criminalize terrorist methods; measures of intimidation or terrorism; acts of conspiracy carried out by organized armed bands; offenses that make use of arms, means, or support from foreign organizations; use of bombs, dynamite, explosives, or other terrorist methods constituting a public danger; genocide; and war crimes against the civilian population. Other sections of Eritrean law could also be used to prosecute terrorism, including acts related to offenses against public safety; offenses against property; offenses against the state; offenses against the national interest; offenses against international interests; attacks on the independence of the state; impairment of the defensive power of the state; high treason; economic treason; collaboration; and provocation and preparation.
Entities including the Eritrean Defense Forces, National Security Agency (NSA), Police, Immigration and Customs authorities all potentially have counterterrorism responsibilities. There are special units of the NSA that monitor fundamentalism or extremism. Chain of command may work effectively within some security and law-enforcement elements, but there are rivalries and responsibilities that overlap between and among the various forces. Whether information sharing occurs depends on personal relationships between and among given unit commanders. Many soldiers, police officers and immigration and customs agents are young national service recruits or assignees, performing their jobs without adequate training.
The Government of Eritrea, justifying its behavior based on alleged threats from Ethiopia, continued to reject the need to prioritize adherence to international human rights standards, and instead based many of its law enforcement decisions and practices on statutes resembling martial law.
The Eritrean government closely monitors passenger manifests for any flights coming into Asmara, and scrutinizes travel documents of visitors, but does not collect biometric data. Government officials lack training and technology to recognize fraudulent documents. The Government of Eritrea does not share information gathered at ports of entry with the United States.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Eritrea is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. This gap prevents any overall assessment of the risks the country faces in regards to terrorist financing. Eritrea’s general lack of transparency on banking, financial, and economic matters makes the gathering of definitive information difficult. On September 8, the Government of Eritrea issued Proclamation No. 175/2014 on “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism,” which criminalized terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Eritrea is a member of the AU, and would like to reactivate its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority (IGAD); however, Eritrea’s return to IGAD is opposed by both Ethiopia and Djibouti, both of whom have had military conflicts and have unresolved border disputes with Eritrea.
Overview: Following al-Shabaab’s failed October 2013 bombing attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian security intensified counterterrorism efforts in 2014. Although Ethiopia suffered no terrorist attacks during the year, the persistent risks posed by al-Shabaab dominated the Ethiopian government’s security posture. This threat contributed to the Ethiopia National Defense Force (ENDF) joining the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the beginning of the year. The integration of Ethiopia’s forces into AMISOM was a milestone in the multinational effort against international terrorists, since ENDF counterterrorism operations in Somalia have been instrumental in preventing al-Shabaab’s dispersion into Ethiopia.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Ethiopia continued to use the Antiterrorism Proclamation (ATP), implemented in 2009, to prosecute crimes associated with terrorist activity. The government also used the ATP to suppress criticism, and continued to prosecute and convict journalists and opposition political figures under the proclamation, including the high-profile “Zone 9” case against six bloggers and three journalists.
The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) – with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation – is responsible for overall counterterrorism management in coordination with the ENDF and the Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP). In 2014, the ENDF, EFP, NISS, and regional special police successfully blocked al-Shabaab attacks on Addis Ababa and other major towns in Ethiopia. NISS has the mandate to facilitate interagency and international coordination, although rivalries and overlapping authorities between NISS and ENDF hinder information sharing and overall counterterrorism strategy, including coordination with the United States. In 2014, the Ethiopian government received training and equipment through the U.S.-funded Regional Strategic Initiative, the International Law Enforcement Academy, and the Antiterrorism Assistance program.
Border security is a persistent concern for the Government of Ethiopia, and the government worked to mitigate uneven border controls by expanding the presence and reach of military forces in border regions with Somalia and by joining AMISOM. Ethiopia adopted the Terrorist Interdiction Program’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System in 2003 in an effort to secure borders and identify fraudulent travel documents. Ethiopia has the capability to conduct biographic screening at multiple land and air ports of entry. Ethiopia’s vulnerable borders include the frequently transited southern and eastern borders with Kenya and Somalia, especially in Dolo Odo – a town located in southeast Ethiopia on the border with Somalia – and Moyale, located on the Kenyan border.
Regional police in the Somali region captured two accomplices of the al-Shabaab suicide bombers responsible for the May 24 attack in Djibouti.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Ethiopia is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The FATF removed Ethiopia from its monitoring process due to the overall improvement in the legal and regulatory framework and addressing its action plan. In 2014, Ethiopia passed regulations for freezing terrorists’ assets.
In 2014, the Ethiopia took part in the Cross Border Financial Investigation Training, but the lack of capacity and experience within law enforcement remained an impediment to effective responses. Additionally, Ethiopia’s poor record-keeping system in general, and lack of centralized law enforcement records in particular, hindered the ability to identify and investigate trends in money laundering and terrorism financing.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Government of Ethiopia participated in AU-led counterterrorism efforts as part of the AMISOM forces in Somalia. Ethiopia is a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and participates in its counterterrorism programs and trainings. The Ethiopian government also supported counterterrorism efforts in Somalia with the Somali National Army and other regional security groups in Somaliland, Puntland, and southern Somalia.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Government of Ethiopia remained concerned about violent extremism and looks to engage in local mediation and conflict mitigation strategies to defuse ethnic or religious tensions, especially in the Oromia and Somali regions. The Government of Ethiopia’s continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation hinders the expansion of robust NGO activity, including countering violent extremism programming targeting at-risk youth and engaging communities and credible leaders.
Overview: Kenya is a member of the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism and a strong partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. Kenya faced a continuing terrorist threat from al-Shabaab, against which Kenya Defense Forces engaged in military operations in Somalia since 2011. Despite some successes, including the discovery of a large unexploded vehicle-born improvised explosive device in Mombasa, Kenya continued to face serious domestic security challenges, growing radicalization and violent extremism within its own borders, and a spike in al-Shabaab attacks in 2014. While no single incident drew the level of international attention garnered by the 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall, more than two dozen terrorist incidents occurred throughout Kenya in 2014, resulting in more than 200 dead and many more injured – making 2014 the deadliest of the past four years. There were allegations of violations of human rights by Kenya’s police against civilians during counterterrorism operations, including allegations of extra-judicial killings. There were also reports that highlighted a public perception of a bias against members of the Somali community.
Kenyan officials cooperated closely with the United States and other partner nations on counterterrorism issues – including investigating and prosecuting terrorism cases – and pledged deeper cooperation. Kenya is one of six countries participating in the President’s Security Governance Initiative (SGI) announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit. SGI focuses on the management, oversight, and accountability of the security sector at the institutional level.
The Kenyan government focused increased attention on preventing the flow of foreign fighters, including Kenyan nationals, to join al-Shabaab in Somalia, as well as on Kenyan national foreign fighters returning from abroad.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: Of the two dozen terrorist attacks in Kenya in 2014, al-Shabaab publicly claimed responsibility for three major attacks.
- On June 15, armed attacks in the village of Mpeketoni in Lamu County left at least 48 people dead.
- On November 22, a bus hijacking in November in Mandera County in Northeast left 28 people dead.
- On December 2, an armed attack in December at a quarry also in Mandera County left 36 workers dead. While Kenya had seen deadly attacks in these counties near the Somali border before, the brutality of the Mandara County attacks in which non-Muslims – including women – were singled out for killing, was especially troubling and prompted some non-Muslims, particularly civil servants and teachers, to flee the areas.
Other notable deadly incidents included multiple explosions in March in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood that left seven dead; bombings in May targeting buses and a hotel in Mombasa and Nairobi that left seven dead; bombings in May in Nairobi’s Gikomba Market that left 12 dead; and a series of additional attacks in June and July in Lamu County and coastal Tana River County that left at least an additional 45 people dead.
The discovery in March of a powerful and sophisticated but unexploded vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in an impounded car at a Mombasa police station was also significant.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Kenya’s 2012 Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2011 Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, and 2010 Prevention of Organized Crime Act together provide a strong legal framework under which to prosecute acts of terrorism. In December, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014, a set of provisions that altered 20 existing laws in an effort to further strengthen further Kenya’s legislative framework to fight terrorism. Positive steps included the criminalization of the receipt of terrorist training, creation of a coordinated border control agency, strengthening the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, and a relaxation of evidentiary standards to allow greater use of electronic evidence and recorded testimony. Other provisions, including those that affected freedom of speech and the rights of the accused and refugees, sparked controversy and garnered criticism that they violated constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties and contravened Kenya’s international obligations. In December, a Kenyan High Court judge suspended implementation of eight provisions of the Act and formed a three-judge panel to fully examine the Act’s constitutionality. [In January 2015, the High Court temporarily suspended the implementation of eight provisions of the Act, determining that the provisions in question raised human rights concerns. In February, the High Court struck down the eight provisions on the grounds of unconstitutionality.]
During the year, the Kenyan judiciary demonstrated independence and competence, but remained hampered by a lack of key procedures to allow effective use of plea agreements, cooperation agreements, electronic evidence, and other undercover investigative tools.
In line with the security sector reorganization outlined in the 2013 Kenyan Constitution, the Government of Kenya divided counterterrorism functions among the three branches of the National Police Service – the Kenya Police (including the investigative Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and the paramilitary General Services Unit), the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, and the Administration Police – as well as non-police agencies such as the National Intelligence Service and elements of the Kenya Defense Forces. Operational effectiveness was impeded by poor interagency coordination among and within police, intelligence, and military forces; limited resources; insufficient training; endemic corruption; and an unclear command and control of, and politicization of, some terrorist incidents. In an effort to reverse this trend and improve operational effectiveness, the government made significant leadership changes.
Kenyan security and justice sector officials participated in a range of U.S. government-sponsored capacity-building programs funded and implemented by the U.S. Departments of State, DHS, DOJ, and DoD, in a range of areas including crisis response, investigations, and prosecutions. Notable among these was the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program’s East Africa Joint Operations exercise, a month-long crisis response training series – hosted in Kenya for Kenyan, Ugandan, and Tanzanian law enforcement personnel and first responders – that culminated in a large-scale simulation of a terrorist incident.
Border security remained a challenge for Kenya due to the country’s vast, sparsely populated border regions and porous borders, as well as corruption. Kenyan officials emphasized the importance and challenges of border security in their initial discussions with U.S. counterparts in the context of the Security Governance Initiative. A lack of capacity on border security and inadequate systems of national identification hampered law enforcement’s ability to identify and detain potential terrorists.
However, terrorist screening watch lists, biographic and biometric screening, and other measures were largely in place at major Kenyan ports of entry. Kenya continued its partnership with the United States to strengthen Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System border controls at major ports of entry, adding new ports of entry and upgrading systems nationwide.
The Kenyan government focused increased attention on preventing the flow of foreign fighters, including Kenyan nationals attempting to join al-Shabaab in Somalia, as well as Kenyan national foreign fighters returning from abroad.
Kenyan security services detected and deterred a number of terrorist plots during 2014, and responded to about two dozen significant terrorist incidents. Kenyan law enforcement, in large-scale security operations in April and May called “Usalama Watch,” rounded up thousands of potential suspects, primarily in the Nairobi and Mombasa areas. However, the operations were widely criticized as fraught with abuse, corruption, and violations of civil liberties – including in a report of Kenya’s own civilian oversight body, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
Allegations of abuses, extra-judicial killings, and arbitrary detentions by Kenyan security services persisted in 2014. A July report by Kenya’s civilian oversight body, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority. indicated that 332 Somalis had been deported to Mogadishu and outlined a range of violations by police of constitutional guarantees, including detention of suspects without arraignment before a court past the constitutional limit of 24 hours; extortion; and overcrowding in detention facilities. The report also included a set of time-bound recommendations, to which the government had not responded to by year’s end.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority made progress in fulfilling its mandate by investigating multiple cases of police misconduct and referring these to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, two of which had already moved to the prosecution stage by year’s end.
At the end of 2014, several major terrorism cases remained ongoing, including the trial of accomplices in the Westgate Shopping Mall attack and the case of the unexploded Mombasa VBIED.
Kenyan law enforcement agencies worked with regional organizations and the broader international community, including the United States, to increase its counterterrorism capacity and to secure land, sea, and air borders.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Kenya is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Kenya made progress in implementing its anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism regime, and was removed from the FATF’s continuing monitoring process in 2014 due to achieving the goals of its work plan. On December 16, the NGO Coordination Board de-registered 510 organizations for failure to provide required financial reporting and indicated it would deregister an additional 15 for suspected links to terrorist financing. The list of 510 was public and many of those groups were reinstated after filing the necessary paperwork. The list of 15 groups with suspected ties to terrorism has not been made public.
Kenya’s Financial Reporting Center also continued to make progress in becoming fully operational, and continued to build its capacity to monitor the formal financial system and expand the number of reporting entities that it served. It remained hampered by a lack of essential resources, however, including an electronic reporting system for suspicious transactions. The Central Bank of Kenya took steps to encourage more people to use the formal financial sector to increase financial integrity by ensuring regulatory oversight.
Regional and International Cooperation: Kenya is a member of the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Community of Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community. Kenya’s primary contribution to regional counterterrorism efforts was its significant troop contribution to AMISOM since 2012. In 2014, Kenya hosted a head-of-state level meeting of the AU’s Peace and Security Council focused on counterterrorism, as well as regional meetings of East African Community intelligence and police chiefs. In addition, Kenya hosted numerous trainings and the aforementioned crisis response exercise involving law enforcement professionals from neighboring countries to build counterterrorism capacities and increase regional cooperation.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Government of Kenya took some steps to increase engagement with civil society on issues of countering violent extremism, including participation by government officials along with religious and civil society leaders in the First National Conference on Security and Countering Violent Extremism in January, at which a Violent Extremism Advocacy and Accountability Charter was developed and adopted. The Kenyan government also developed, but had not implemented by year’s end, a comprehensive National Counter-Radicalization Strategy. Senior leaders made some overtures to communities at risk of violent extremism, but also used divisive and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in the wake of terrorist incidents that further increased tensions. “Usalama Watch” and other heavy-handed security operations risked further alienating communities at risk of violent extremism. Some Kenyan civil society organizations actively worked to address the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism in Kenya, often with assistance from the United States and other international partners, without significant government involvement.
Overview: The Government of Mali remained a willing U.S. counterterrorism partner, despite serious challenges, which included renewed fighting and insecurity in some northern regions, and a protracted peace process that hampered the return of government services and security to the north. The government’s counterterrorism efforts remained focused on violent extremist elements who continued to play a destabilizing role in Mali’s largely ungoverned northern regions. Despite continued security efforts and successes in expelling violent extremists in some parts of the vast northern region, violent extremist groups remained active, exploiting the lack of effective control of swathes of territory by governmental forces, northern armed groups, and troop drawdowns linked to the reconfiguration of French military operations. The government’s ability to effectively disrupt terrorist activities was hampered by the Malian army’s defeat in May at the hands of northern armed rebel groups in Kidal.
Mali relies heavily on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and French forces to provide a measure of stability and security to the northern regions. MINUSMA significantly expanded its northern presence in 2014, including in Kidal, and it continued to work with the Malian government and armed groups to facilitate the redeployment of Malian administrators and security forces to the north.
The United States resumed initial security assistance cooperation with Mali in 2014, with an emphasis on institution building, civilian control, and respect for human rights. To help strengthen Malian counterterrorism crisis response capacity, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program offered an initial crisis management seminar for senior Malian officials involved in planning responses to terrorist incidents.
The French military’s 18-month mission in Mali, Operation SERVAL, was replaced in July by an integrated counterterrorism force for the Sahel region entitled Operation BARKHANE. In cooperation with Malian forces, BARKHANE launched numerous operations to degrade remaining violent extremist elements operating in northern Mali, including al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Murabitoun (AMB), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Ansar al-Dine (AAD). Other key counterterrorist efforts included a September French and Malian joint military operation in response to increased improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. On December 10, Malian and French forces eliminated 10 members of AMB, including Ahmed el Tilemsi, a senior leader of AMB and founding member of MUJAO.
Mali is one of six countries participating in the President’s Security Governance Initiative (SGI) announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit. SGI focuses on the management, oversight, and accountability of the security sector at the institutional level.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: AQIM, MUJAO, AMB, and AAD continued to conduct terrorist attacks in 2014; IEDs were used with higher frequency and success compared to 2013, and regularly targeted MINUSMA, French, and Malian forces. Detonated IEDs alone resulted in over 100 injuries to these forces and the deaths of 19 MINUSMA personnel in 2014, a stark increase from the four peacekeeper deaths in 2013. Violent extremists also used rocket or mortar fire, landmines, and suicide bombings. Incidents linked to terrorism included:
- Between May 27 and September 15, a total of 27 IED, landmine, and rocket or mortar attacks targeted MINUSMA premises and personnel (15 IED or mine incidents and 12 rocket or mortar fire incidents). This included a June 11 suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in Aguelhok that killed four peacekeepers and injured six, along with four Malian Defense and Security Forces elements.
- On September 2, four UN peacekeepers from Chad were killed when their truck was blown up by a landmine near Kidal.
- On September 18, five UN peacekeepers from Chad were killed when their truck drove over a mine in the Kidal region.
- On October 3, nine UN peacekeeping troops from Niger were killed in an ambush in the Gao region of Mali.
- On November 25, an IED targeted a governmental convoy carrying the Minister of Rural Development, killing two Malian soldiers and injuring nine.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Mali’s criminal justice system continued to implement the new penal code of 2013, intended to help counter terrorism and transnational organized crime. In an effort to prioritize and strengthen criminal justice institutions with a responsibility for terrorism-related activities, Malian authorities began staffing the specialized counterterrorism unit’s judicial component (composed of police, investigators, and judges). The Malian Ministry of Justice and Police Agencies began to work directly with the U.S. government to promote efficient practices and conduct appropriate rule of law training. Around 25 members of the Malian police and Gendarme also participated in a U.S. Africa Command-funded Crime Scene Investigation Course focused on the collection and storage of evidence.
The Malian Armed Forces and Air Force under the Ministry of Defense remained the primary entities responsible for securing Mali against terrorist threats. The General Directorate of State Security under the Ministry of Security has the authority to investigate and detain persons for terrorism offenses. Law enforcement and military units did not coordinate on counterterrorism missions, inhibiting their capacity to detect, deter, and respond to terrorist incidents. Law enforcement units displayed insufficient command, lacked resources and control capacity, and had a poor record of accountability and respect for human rights. In order to improve its counterterrorism crisis response capacity, the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program offered an initial crisis management seminar for senior Malian officials involved in planning responses to terrorist incidents.
The Ministry of Internal Security and Civilian Protection’s interagency working group to reform the security sector in Mali, conceived in 2013, had yet to move beyond the discussion phase; MINUSMA worked with the Malian government in 2014 to move this from discussion to action. Mali also lacked a national counterterrorism strategy.
Although Mali has basic border security enforcement mechanisms, law enforcement units lacked capacity, training, and mobility assets to effectively secure Mali’s porous borders. In May, Mali began using the U.S.-funded Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System at its international airport for passenger screening and biometric collection. The gendarmerie – which reports to both the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior – and the national border police – under the Ministry of Interior – continued to provide paramilitary support to prevent and deter criminal activity at borders. Customs officials under the Ministry of Economy and Finance continued to monitor the flow of goods and enforce customs laws at borders and ports of entry. Access to the Interpol list is restricted to senior authorities and is made available to investigators upon request.
Customs officials have travel forms to collect biographical information from travelers at airports and manifests for information on goods transiting borders. When conducting investigations, customs officials and border police increasingly compare the biographic data on forms against presented travel documents or manifests against goods possessed. However, the exit and entry stamps used by border officials are inconsistent in size and shape due to poor training and resources, undermining efforts to authenticate travel documents. Additionally, illegal reproduction of these stamps is easy.
In May 2012, Mali introduced an updated machine-readable passport linked to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The new passport contains several security additions, including micro printing, ultraviolet features, and a full-color digital photo. However, Malian diplomatic and official passports have still not been updated. Unfortunately, many of the relatively sophisticated anti-fraud characteristics of the new Malian passport are rendered moot by the relative ease with which imposters can obtain fraudulent documents, such as birth and marriage certificates.
While the Prosecutor’s office estimates 200 arrests since 2013 for crimes in connection with terrorism and rebellion against the state, data on number of terrorism-related arrests made in calendar year 2014 was not available at year’s end. Mali did not prosecute any terrorism cases in 2014. As in 2013, resource constraints, a lack of training in investigative techniques, and inexperience with trying terrorism cases continue to plague a weak judicial system. Although no longer in the immediate post-coup environment of 2013, the government remained primarily focused on achieving a peace agreement with northern armed groups.
Mali is very cooperative in working with the United States to prevent acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens in the country. In March, the Malian government extradited Alhassane Ould Mohamed – also known as Cheibani – to the United States to face charges for the murder of one U.S. diplomat and the attempted murder of another U.S. diplomat in Niger in 2000. Cheibani, who had been providing support to AMB, was captured by French forces in late 2013. Efforts also began in 2014 on a Special Program for Embassy Augmentation and Response program with the Malian National Guard, aimed at developing the country’s capacity to effectively respond and coordinate with the United States to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks directed at U.S. citizens in Mali.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mali is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In May 2013, the National Assembly passed a law amending the Penal Code and the Penal Procedures Code and created a judicial unit focused on the fight against terrorism and trans-border crime. A prosecutor in charge of this “anti-terrorist” judicial unit was appointed in July 2014. In November, the prosecutor formed an investigative team composed of judges and gendarmerie, rendering the court operational. The court has the authority to implement Article 30 related to financial terrorism, including a mechanism to freeze assets administratively.
The Malian government freezes and confiscates terrorist assets without delay. The asset seizure must first be authorized by a judge in the new judicial unit targeting terrorism and trans-border crimes. Assets can be frozen indefinitely during the investigation period. However, coordination between investigative agencies is poor, thus not all suspected cases make it to court.
Because the majority of transactions in Mali are cash-based, it is difficult to monitor and regulate money/value transfer and other remittance services given resource constraints. Additionally, non-financial businesses and professions are not subject to customer due diligence requirements.
Regional and International Cooperation: During 2014, Mali continued its cooperation with regional and international partners both militarily and politically, and remained active in bodies including ECOWAS, the UN, and the AU. Mali is also a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership and participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum.
The Malian military participated in multinational counterterrorism operations in 2014, including Operation BAOBAB in cooperation with Operation BARKHANE, and the Mauritanian military. The AU created a follow-up and support group for the political and security situation in Mali and has held six meetings in Mali with international partners on enhancing international cooperation to bring political stability and security in Mali. President Keita participated in the inaugural “G-5 of the Sahel” summit in Nouakchott in December to discuss security and terrorist concerns with fellow heads of state from the Sahel.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: While Mali has no official strategy in place to counter violent extremism (CVE), the Malian government has developed a National Reconciliation Policy that considers the need to delegitimize extremist ideologies and the promotion of social cohesion between communities. CVE considerations are also integrated into Mali’s "Program for Accelerated Development in the Northern Regions," as well as a draft decentralization policy. The Ministry of Religious Affairs, by working with the High Islamic Council and other religious associations to promote moderate Islam and maintain a secular state, is developing a coherent approach to address rising radicalization in Mali. Conversely, efforts to prevent increased radicalism and recruitment by violent extremist groups have been hindered by the absence of the Malian government in much of the north.
Mali volunteered to serve as an initial pilot country for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, a public-private funding mechanism designed to support local, community-based projects to strengthen resilience against violent extremism.
Overview: The Mauritanian government continued to oppose terrorism actively and effectively, building on an approach that hinges on improving the capacity of security forces and securing the country’s borders. As in years past, the Mauritanian authorities cooperated with the United States on counterterrorism efforts and seized opportunities to participate in U.S.-sponsored training on counterterrorism tactics and techniques. Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) remained the leading terrorist threat to Mauritania in 2014, although it has not conducted a successful attack in Mauritania in several years.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Mauritania’s national counterterrorism laws define terrorism as a criminal act, describe court procedure in terrorism cases, and proscribe punishment for convicted terrorists. The Mauritanian government continued to send prosecutors and investigative magistrates to terrorism prosecution training organized by the United States and other international partners.
Mauritania’s National Gendarmerie – a paramilitary police agency – and its National Security Directorate – which falls under the Ministry of Interior – are the primary law enforcement units performing counterterrorism functions. Cooperation and information sharing between the two organizations occurred sporadically.
Throughout the year, security forces personnel participated in eight courses funded by the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which conferred expertise in relevant tactical and technical skills related to border security and investigative capacity building, with a particular emphasis on regional cooperation.
Border security remained a priority of the Mauritanian government, yet remained difficult due to a lack of capacity and different formations of security forces bearing responsibility for the various sections of the country’s long land borders. Mauritania’s border forces employed biometric screening capabilities at some, but not all, ports of entry. Information sharing efforts within the government and with other countries remained nascent.
Mauritanian authorities continued to arrest terrorist suspects during the reporting period. In contrast to years past, no terrorism prosecutions took place in 2014. Terrorism-related arrests in 2014 included:
- On October 1, the Mauritanian authorities apprehended Haiba Ould Zouein, an alleged leader in AQIM, in Vassala, a village located along the border with Mali. At year’s end, Ould Zouein remained in pre-trial confinement.
- On October 12, Mauritanian security forces arrested four men in Zouérate – a city in the country’s northwest – who had allegedly declared their allegiance to and sought to recruit fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The authorities released one of the detainees after two days and charged the remaining three with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group. At year’s end, they remained in pre-trial confinement.
- On November 5, Mauritanian security forces captured Ali Ould Soueilim in F’derik, a town in the country’s far northwest. Suspected of collaboration with unspecified terrorist groups, Ould Soueilim was in custody and awaiting trial at year’s end, after more than six years in hiding.
In addition, on November 17, the Supreme Court of Mauritania upheld the prison or death sentences of five appellants convicted of terrorism-related offenses. Among the petitioners was El Khadim Ould Semmane, who is reputed to be the former leader of the Mauritanian branch of AQIM.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and maintains observer status within the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa. On February 10, Mauritanian officials from the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank’s financial intelligence unit met in Nouakchott with counterparts from the United States to outline the broad strokes of a legal framework to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.
Although legislation regulating alternative remittances exists, the Mauritanian government neither has the resources to monitor sizable flows of funds through the informal hawala money transfer system, nor considers doing so a priority.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mauritania was an active member of the UN, the AU, and the Sahel G-5 – a regional cooperation partnership organized in February. On December 19, Mauritania hosted the first meeting of the presidents of the five member states of the Sahel G-5: Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad. All signatories pledged to cooperate to combat urgent cross-border security threats – namely, terrorism and organized crime. Mauritania is also a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership.
On March 26 and 27, Mauritanian officials participated in a two-day Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) workshop on border security, co-sponsored by the U.S. and Senegalese governments, in Dakar. On April 22 and August 4, Mauritania co-hosted meetings of the GCTF’s capacity building coordination group in Nouakchott.
In early May, Mauritania’s Ministry of Justice and the UN Development Program co-hosted a two-day capacity building workshop on investigation and prosecution of criminal organizations, including terrorist groups. Over 60 Mauritanian prosecutors, investigative magistrates, police investigators, and customs officials participated in the seminar, which featured presentations on investigative techniques and coordination practices outlined in the GCTF’s Rabat Memorandum.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Malian government continued to manage programs designed to counter violent extremism and to offer alternatives to “at-risk” individuals. For example, in 2014 the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education trained over 300 former mahadra (Qur’anic school) students in vocational subjects at three education centers in Nouakchott, Atar, and Kaedi. Officials from Ministry of Interior and Decentralization introduced this program, and other aspects of the national strategy to combat terrorism and violent extremism, during public workshops that took place in regional capitals throughout the summer and fall. The government also continued to collaborate with independent Islamic religious organizations to promote non-violence, sponsoring radio and television programming on the themes of temperance in Islam, and paying monthly salaries of US $170 to 200 moderate imams who fulfilled stringent selection criteria.
Overview: In 2014, the threat of terrorist activity by Boko Haram in the area near Niger’s southern border with Nigeria increased substantially. While most Boko Haram-related violence occurred outside Niger, a few isolated incidents occurred on the Nigerien side of the border, and suspected Boko Haram members were arrested there. Additionally, hundreds of Nigerian soldiers and tens of thousands displaced persons fleeing from Boko Haram crossed into Niger – adding to tensions in Niger’s region of Diffa. The Government of Niger deployed additional military and law enforcement resources to this area.
Suspected members of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other terrorist organizations continued to transit through the vast northern part of Niger in the areas bordering Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Chad. Weapons and contraband were believed to move through these areas, some of which were interdicted by the Nigerien military. The terrorist group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility for one attack against government personnel in Niger. During 2014, with foreign assistance, the Nigerien military continued to increase its capability to patrol, collect information, and interdict in the north.
Niger remained an outspoken opponent of terrorism in the region, continued to cooperate with international partners – including the United States, and received substantial international counterterrorism assistance. Niger is one of six countries participating in the President’s Security Governance Initiative (SGI) announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit. SGI focuses on the management, oversight, and accountability of the security sector at the institutional level.
Nigerien officials took credit for mediating the release of several Europeans held hostage by AQIM who were released in 2014, allegedly after payments were made.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: Attacks included:
- On May 2, the president of the local Chamber of Commerce in the Diffa region was killed at his home by suspected Boko Haram sympathizers. Reports indicated that the victim was targeted and killed because he was believed to be an informant working for the Government of Niger. No arrests were made in connection with this murder.
- On May 20, in the village of Chetimawongo in the Diffa region, the village chief and a shopkeeper were murdered by having their throats slit by suspected Boko Haram militants. It was believed that the village chief and the shopkeeper were targeted because they were suspected of providing information on Boko Haram to Nigerien security services. No arrests were made in connection with this incident.
- On October 30, three simultaneous attacks – using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) – targeting Nigerien personnel and institutions were carried out in the Tillabery region. While no group claimed credit for these attacks, there were reports that the attackers had ties to MUJAO. The first attack targeted a mixed patrol of Nigerien National Police, National Guard, and gendarme personnel who were camped near the Niger/Mali border near the village of Zaroumdaray. The second attack targeted a gendarme post located at a Malian refugee camp near the village of Mangaize. The third attack, and subsequent prison break, occurred at a prison protected by the National Guard located in the town of Ouallam. These attacks resulted in at least nine Nigerien security service personnel being killed, several more being wounded, the theft of multiple weapons and ammunition, the destruction of one vehicle, and the escape of over 60 prisoners. Many of the prisoners were recaptured or returned of their own accord, but the ones connected to the attackers were still at large at year’s end.
- On November 19, MUJAO violent extremists attacked a gendarme post near the village of Bani Bangou in Tillabery region using small arms and RPGs. Although the gendarmes were able to repel the attack, one gendarme was killed and three others were wounded. The assailants managed to take a vehicle, several small arms, and ammunition from the gendarme post as they fled. A local telecommunications operation was destroyed in the attack, presumably in an attempt to prevent the gendarmes from contacting other security services for reinforcements.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Niger’s legislation criminalizes acts of terrorism consistent with the international instruments on terrorism. Recent amendments to the code of criminal procedure created a specialized counterterrorism jurisdiction and authorized more robust investigative techniques. In 2014, Niger’s interagency counterterrorism investigative cell, the Central Service for the Fight against Terrorism (SCLCT), was expanded to include a separate operational cell in the regional capital of Diffa.
The law enforcement and security services of Niger were actively engaged in detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism in Nigerien territory. However, a lack of sufficient manpower, funding, and necessary equipment made this more difficult. Counterterrorism investigations in Niger are primarily the responsibility of the SCLCT, which is made up of representatives from Niger’s three primary law enforcement organizations: the National Police, the National Guard, and the gendarmerie. Information sharing occurred among the law enforcement agencies of SCLCT, and prosecutors at the Judicial Counterterrorism Center were consulted during investigations.
Niger’s long borders and vast swaths of harsh terrain make border security a challenge, specifically in the north along the borders with Mali, Algeria, and Libya. These borders are very difficult to secure and patrol, and are often exploited by smugglers. Niger attempted to improve its border security by increasing the number of border control facilities and requesting assistance from partners to construct and equip facilities. Niger continued to use rudimentary terrorism watchlists that it shares with the security services and at border checkpoints, although the lists were not frequently updated. The ability to conduct biographic and/or biometric screening remained limited to Niamey’s international airport. Niger’s air surveillance capability increased – Niger has the ability to collect advance passenger name records and is able to use these records in counterterrorism efforts. Information sharing within the Nigerien government is adequate but sometimes slow between services due to stove piping or a lack of communications equipment.
Resource constraints across the spectrum of basic needs – such as electricity, radios, reliable vehicles, computers, and other technology – and personnel, including resource constraints within the Ministries of Justice and Interior, made it difficult for the Government of Niger to carry out strong law enforcement and border security. Additionally, effective whole-of-government coordination in the fight against terrorism continued to present challenges, and capacity remained lacking in areas such as proactive investigations and non-confession-based prosecutions.
Throughout 2014, SCLCT arrested terrorist suspects on charges that included planning acts of terrorism, association with a terrorist organization, recruitment, and terrorist financing. Several proactive operations were conducted in the Diffa and Zinder regions, resulting in multiple arrests. At year’s end, approximately 100 terrorism suspects were detained in Niger awaiting trial. Most of the cases were under investigation by investigating judges.
Niger continued to receive counterterrorism assistance from a variety of international partners, including the United States. The EU supported a 50-person team (EUCAP-Sahel) in Niger to build capacity in fighting terrorism and other organized crime. A number of other international partners provided security sector assistance in Niger, including France and the UN. Niger continued to permit French forces to be based in Niamey as well as in other locations to conduct operations such as ground and air surveillance. The U.S. government, provided terrorism assistance to Nigerien law enforcement – primarily through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program and a Resident Legal Advisor from the DOJ.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Niger’s porous borders and historical trafficking routes make it easy for terrorists to transfer large sums of cash. At year’s end, suspected AQIM and Boko Haram members were awaiting trial on charges of terrorist financing. In 2014, Niger’s financial intelligence unit, CENTIF, continued to increase its activities. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Niger supported the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by contributing a battalion of infantry. Additionally, Niger worked with Mali, Algeria, and Mauritania at the General Staff Joint Operations Committee in Tamanrasset, Algeria. Niger participates in a judicial cooperation organization, the Sahel Judicial Platform, with other countries in the region.
Niger increased its efforts to improve joint patrols and operations with Algeria. Niger also conducted joint patrols with Nigeria and Chad, and increased cooperation with Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries to fight against Boko Haram.
Nigerien officials continued to participate actively in regional programs organized by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Sahel and Rule of Law Working Groups, although Niger is not a GCTF member.
Nigerien officials hosted and attended multiple international meetings concerning international efforts to combat the threat of Boko Haram. In August, the U.S.-African Leaders Summit in Washington included Niger as one of the six initial countries participating in the Security Governance Initiative. On October 7, the Lake Chad Basin Commission summit took place in Niamey; partner countries Benin, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon all pledged to field a Multinational Joint Task Force to counter Boko Haram.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Niger’s strategy to counter violent extremism includes the Sahel-Sahara Development and Security Strategy (SDSS), which aims to improve security through access to economic opportunities and employment, especially for youth; access to basic social services; capacity for good governance at the community and local authority level; and reintegration of forced returnees from Libya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Algeria. The SDSS launched three years ago, but at year’s end remained not fully funded; and therefore, results were limited.
Niger’s SDSS, supported by USAID’s Peace through Development II program, helped reduce the risk of instability and increase resiliency to violent extremism through such activities strengthening moderate, non-extremist voices through radio, social media, and civic education; and working with religious leaders who promote religious tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict.
The Resilient Voices program, supported by the U.S. government, uses credible Nigerien voices to promote peace, tolerance, and respect for Nigerien identity.
In 2014, the Nigerien Ministry of Justice created a new position of Director of Reinsertion and Rehabilitation within its prison administration. While some very basic vocational training programs in prisons exist, there were no programs yet that focused specifically on rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist prisoners into mainstream society in 2014.
Overview: The terrorist group Boko Haram carried out kidnappings, killings, bombings, and attacks on civilian and military targets in northern Nigeria, resulting in nearly 5,000 deaths, many injuries, tens of thousands of displaced civilians, and significant destruction of property in 2014. The states in which attacks occurred most frequently were Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states. Attacks were launched also in Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Taraba states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). While Boko Haram did not claim responsibility for known attacks in the south of the country, it is widely believed the group was responsible for the early December prison break in Ekiti state, and a June bomb attack on the Apapa oil depot in Lagos State. In May, the Nigerian government renewed a state of emergency in the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. The state of emergency expired in November and was not renewed at year’s end. Despite the increased military presence in the region, Boko Haram continued to attack schools and take over large and small towns and villages in Borno (including Bama and Gwoza), Adamawa (including Madagali and Michika), and Gombe states, as well as Buni Yadi and Gujba in Yobe.
In April, Boko Haram invaded a secondary school in Chibok in Borno state, where they kidnapped more than 275 young female students who were taking examinations – the group’s largest mass kidnapping to date. Throughout the year, suspected Boko Haram members killed Nigerian government and security officials and civilians, including both Christians and Muslims.
The state of emergency provided the Nigerian government additional authorities to prosecute a military campaign against Boko Haram, including sweeping powers to search and arrest without warrants. The 7th Army Division, headquartered in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, remained in charge of the operations within Borno, while the 3rd Division became more active in Adamawa state following the significant upswing in activity there. Despite an increased security budget from the National Assembly and the wide arrest authority, the military was unable to repel Boko Haram’s attacks on and control over several key towns in the Northeast. On more than one occasion, Boko Haram attackers forced the Nigerian military to retreat across the border into Cameroon.
The Nigerian government’s efforts to address grievances among Northern populations, which include high unemployment and a dearth of basic services, made little progress. Some state governments in the North attempted to increase education and employment opportunities, with little support from the federal government. The United States called on the Nigerian government to employ a more comprehensive strategy to address Boko Haram that combines security efforts with political and development efforts to reduce Boko Haram’s appeal, address legitimate concerns of the people of northern Nigeria, and protect the rights of all of Nigeria’s citizens.
In April 2014, to assist with Nigeria’s investigation and recovery efforts of the 275 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State, the United States deployed an Interdisciplinary Assistance Team composed of personnel from DOD, USAID, the State Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The establishment of the Joint Coordination Fusion Cell (JCFC) and the Joint Coordination Planning Cell in May modestly improved coordination between the U.S. military and the Nigerian military and interagency coordination between the Nigerian security forces. However, such coordination was not seen between upper levels of the Nigerian military in the JCFC and commanders in the field.
Nigeria is one of six countries participating in the President’s Security Governance Initiative (SGI) announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit. SGI focuses on the management, oversight, and accountability of the security sector at the institutional level.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: In 2014, Boko Haram expanded its attacks primarily in 10 northern states. The number of attacks by female suicide bombers increased in 2014. Notable terrorist incidents committed by Boko Haram included:
- On January 14, 31 people were killed and 50 others injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in a crowded area near the main market in Maiduguri, Borno state.
- On February 16, a group of 100 armed persons believed to be Boko Haram rounded up and shot men in the village of Izghe in Borno state. A total of 107 persons were killed in the attack, which was labeled the “Izghe Massacre.”
- On February 25, 59 boys were killed in their dormitories at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi in Yobe state. The female students were allowed to escape. Although no group formally claimed responsibility, Boko Haram is suspected to have carried out the attack.
- On March 14, Boko Haram attacked Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno state, where suspected Boko Haram members were detained. Approximately 600 prisoners were freed in the attack, which was filmed in a video released by the group.
- On April 14, Boko Haram attacked a girls’ secondary school in Chibok, in Borno state, and, according to the Nigerian police, abducted 276 girls. Of these, 57 students escaped while being transported to a remote camp. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau stated in a video that the girls were considered “spoils of war” and would become brides of Boko Haram members.
- Also on April 14, two devices placed in vehicles were detonated in a motor park in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, in the FCT. The blasts killed approximately 100 persons with more than 200 injured.
- On May 20, two explosions at a busy market area in Jos, Plateau state, killed 118 people, according to officials.
- On June 2, Boko Haram attacked the Local Government Area (LGA) of Gwoza in Borno State and killed more than 200 residents of three communities.
- On July 2, 56 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy market area of Maiduguri.
- On July 4, approximately 200 members of Boko Haram attacked the Damboa LGA in Borno state, destroying the divisional police headquarters, markets, homes, and vehicles. The attackers used IEDs, rocket propelled grenades, and anti-aircraft weapons to attack the Nigerian Army’s 7th Division. Officials stated that 12 soldiers, three police officers, and four civilians were killed.
- On July 28, a female suicide bomber in Kano killed three people and injured seven others.
- On July 30, a female suicide bomber killed two students at Kano State Polytechnic in Kano.
- On August 6, Boko Haram fighters captured the town of Gwoza in Borno, killed up to 100 people, and burned down the divisional police headquarters, the LGA secretariat, and other public buildings.
- On September 6, Boko Haram took control of the town of Gulak in Adamawa state and killed nearly 40 residents.
- On September 9, Boko Haram attacked the town of Hong in Adamawa and killed more than 100 residents, according to police.
- On October 30, Boko Haram took control of Mubi in Adamawa after Nigerian soldiers fled the town in anticipation of the raid. Officials stated several residents were killed, but no casualty figures were released.
- On November 10, a suicide bomber dressed as a student detonated a bomb at a boys’ school in Potiskum, Yobe state. Police believed Boko Haram carried out the attack, which left 47 people dead, including the suicide bomber, and 79 persons wounded.
- On November 25, two female suicide bombers killed at least 30 people in a crowded Maiduguri market in Borno. The first bomber set off her explosives and killed several persons; when others gathered around the scene, the second bomber blew herself up, killing about 30.
- On November 28, three bombs were detonated in an armed raid on the Central Mosque and other locations in Kano. More than 100 people were killed and over 120 injured. Several others were killed when police opened fire to disperse the crowd.
- On December 10, at least four people were killed and seven injured in a double attack by two young female suicide bombers near a market in Kano. Boko Haram militants are suspected of being behind the attacks.
- On December 13, more than 175 women and children were kidnapped and 35 people were killed by Boko Haram militants in the village of Gumsuri, Borno state.
- On December 25, a suicide bomber rammed into a military checkpoint in Bajoga, Gombe state, but failed to detonate his IED. The bomber was apprehended by police while trying to escape.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In April, President Goodluck Jonathan directed the Nigerian National Security Advisor to coordinate and promulgate the National Counterterrorism Strategy (NACTEST), which was made public in November. In 2012, the Terrorism (Prevention) Act was revised, and in February 2013 the revisions were enacted into law. The law appointed the National Security Advisor as the coordinator for all counterterrorism intelligence activities and the attorney general as the lead official for enforcement.
The Nigerian government’s criminal justice institutions were not significantly strengthened in 2014, although several donor countries, including the UK, worked closely with the Ministry of Justice to assist in prioritizing how to investigate and prosecute suspected terrorism cases.
Several Nigerian government agencies performed counterterrorism functions, including the Department of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Ministry of Justice. The Nigerian military had primary responsibility for combating terrorism in northeastern Nigeria. While the counterterrorism activities of these agencies and ministry were ostensibly coordinated by the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA), the level of interagency cooperation and information sharing was limited.
The Nigerian government participated in U.S. counterterrorism capacity building through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, including the training of more than 120 NPF members in the detection and handling of IEDs. This increased the NPF’s awareness and capacity to protect and preserve evidence from the crime scene of a suspected terrorist act. Through the ATA program, Nigerian police, customs officials, and immigration officers also participated in interagency rural border patrol training to build the law enforcement sector’s ability to utilize effectively all agencies in tackling rural border security challenges. The Nigerian government worked with the U.S. FBI to investigate specific terrorism matters.
The Government of Nigeria instituted the collection of biometric data for passport applications of all Nigerian citizens and upgraded the Nigerian machine-readable passports. Screening at the ports of entry of major airports in Nigeria, including Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano, improved, with passenger name records being collected in advance for commercial flights. Border security at rural and extended land borders with Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad was vulnerable to exploitation by Boko Haram.
Among the problems that deterred or hindered more effective law enforcement and border security by the Nigerian government were a lack of coordination and cooperation between Nigerian security agencies; a lack of biometrics collection systems and the requisite data bases; corruption; misallocation of resources; the slow pace of the judicial system, including a lack of a timely arraignment of suspected terrorist detainees; and lack of sufficient training for prosecutors and judges to understand and carry out the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011 (as amended).
Significant law enforcement actions against terrorists and terrorist groups in 2014 included:
- Aminu Ogwuche, the alleged planner of the April 14 Nyanya motor park bombing, was arrested in Sudan and extradited to Nigeria. He has been in custody since his extradition, and on November 10 requested bail in the Federal High Court. A bail hearing was rescheduled for November 24, when the Federal High Court reportedly ruled against the two count indictment against Ogwuche. The NPF, through its Interpol office, was involved in the extradition of Ogwuche but DSS is the investigating and prosecuting agency. Ogwuche remained in DSS custody at year’s end.
- The case against Nigerians Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and Saidi Adewumi, charged under Section 5(1) and 8 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 with recruiting terrorists, remained pending. A six-count charge by the Nigerian government stated the subjects traveled to Iran and rendered support to a terrorist group via provision of materials and terrorism training on use of firearms and other weapons. The two were said to have collected the sum of US $23,350 from the terrorist group in order to source and train terrorist-minded Nigerians fluent in English.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Nigeria is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Nigerian government froze and confiscated terrorist assets as designated by U.S. Executive Orders and by UN Security Council Resolutions; however, delays – up to a few weeks in duration – sometimes occurred. While there was political will to freeze assets, bureaucratic processes occasionally caused delays of up to four weeks before authorities blocked these assets. This is a risk because of the possibility that those whose assets may be frozen will have time to transfer them to other jurisdictions. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Throughout 2014, Nigeria participated in ministerial-level international meetings to address insecurity in northeast Nigeria – first held in Paris in May, then London in June, and lastly in Abuja in September. The effort was concentrated on ensuring a coordinated response to the threat Boko Haram presents to the region. While dialogue between Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Benin, and Nigeria focused on strengthening regional cooperation, the countries took only minimal steps in 2014 to increase cooperation or interoperability of their security forces. In August, the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit was stood up in Abuja to increase intelligence sharing between the countries’ external services. Talks remained ongoing through the Lake Chad Basin Commission to enhance the existing multinational task force to coordinate military action along the border regions. Nigeria is also a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP).
In 2014, the Nigerian government participated in or hosted several multilateral efforts. In January, Nigeria and the United States co-hosted in Abuja a Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Sahel Working Group on the Criminal Justice Sector and Rule of Law. In November in Abuja, the United States and Nigeria co-hosted the GCTF workshop on Prison Security Issues and Implementation of the Rome Memorandum. Nigeria was an active participant in other GCTF events in the region.
Nigeria, primarily through its ONSA, took a lead role in continuing a multilateral dialogue among regional countries – including through GCTF and TSCTP activities – on how to better coordinate regional efforts to confront networks of terrorist groups that span international borders. The Nigerian government has not invested significant resources or time enlisting regional organizations such as the Economic Organization of West African States and Economic Community of Central African States to assist with the Boko Haram problem, instead preferring to engage in direct, unilateral military action.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: In March, the ONSA officially announced a program to counter violent extremism, including educational and employment opportunities and de-radicalization of former Boko Haram members, as well as detained terrorist members.
In 2014, several projects were funded by the TSCTP, including:
- A program to protect the human rights and security of almajiri children in northern Nigeria. The program works closely with Kano state government authorities to respond to the challenges facing street children in Kano who are vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremist groups.
- A program to reinforce “Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation” efforts that will carry out training with youth, women, traditional leaders, and religious leaders on conflict transformation skills; and will organize media campaigns to promote conflict transformation strategies in four northern states – Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, and Taraba.
- A program to develop “Youth Leadership and Civic Engagement in Northern Nigeria through English Language Training,” focusing on at-risk youth in the Kano-Kaduna corridor.
Overview: The Government of Senegal continued to take a firm stance against terrorism by strengthening its internal policies and continuing its support to multilateral peacekeeping missions such as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Although Senegal did not have any terrorist incidents in 2014, regional trends – such as the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria and instability in Mali – caused President Macky Sall to label terrorism as the biggest challenge to development in Africa.
The government worked closely with U.S. military and law enforcement officials to strengthen its counterterrorism capabilities. The risk of violent extremism and terrorist activity in Senegal remained elevated from transnational threats due to Senegal’s support of MINUSMA. While there was less terrorist activity within Senegal than in some other parts of the Sahel, the Senegalese government remained concerned that terrorists were crossing its porous borders to escape fighting in neighboring countries.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Since 2007, the criminal code has included criminal offenses for terrorist acts as defined in the Organization of African Unity Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism. Article 279 of the criminal code, allows the state to prosecute an individual or group that “intentionally undertakes an act to disturb public order, or the normal functioning of national and international institutions, through intimidation or terror.” The maximum penalty is life in prison.
In October, the chief of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, Senegal’s domestic intelligence agency, announced that Senegal will develop a department dedicated to fighting terrorism and will create new counterterrorism laws in the criminal code.
Senegal’s gendarmerie, national police, and judicial police have insufficient capacity and resources to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism. Senegal worked to improve its law enforcement capacity by participating in multilateral efforts, such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), and AU and Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) programs. Senegal also continued participating in U.S. government counterterrorism capacity building programs, such as the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which focused on strengthening regional border security and enhancing counterterrorism investigative capacity. Senegal also received significant funding and training from the French government.
Senegalese officials identified a lack of border resources and regional cooperation as major security vulnerabilities. On October 21, the United States notified the Senegalese government that the port of Dakar no longer met U.S. Coast Guard security standards.
The United States continued to provide border security training to Senegalese personnel, including an official visit in July by a Senegalese delegation to the United States to learn about best practices recommended by the U.S. Coast Guard. DHS hosted international interdiction training in McAllen, Texas, in addition to providing tours of land, sea, and air borders for the Senegalese Director General of Customs and Deputy Commander of Gendarmes.
Senegal participated in France’s Action Plan Against Terrorism (PACT), a US $900,000 French capacity building project for local police and gendarmes involved in countering terrorist threats and for magistrates who hear terrorism-related cases.
Significant law enforcement actions against terrorists or terrorist groups in 2014 included the arrest of El Hadji Malick Mbengue in Dakar by security forces. Mbengue was arrested for his alleged links to terrorists in Algeria planning to carry out attacks on American and French interests in Senegal.
Corruption and lack of infrastructure remained obstacles to more effective Senegalese law enforcement and border security, as well as a chronic lack of equipment, insufficient training, and the inability of authorities to maintain their current stock. Additionally, there was a lack of interagency cooperation and coordination across several of the government entities that deal with terrorism.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Senegal is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style (FATF) regional body. At the regional level, Senegal implements the anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing framework used by member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Among WAEMU countries, Senegal was the first to have the new framework in place. The Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets is the body responsible for the control of WAEMU financial markets. Article 279-3 of the Senegalese criminal code also allows for the prosecution of sponsors of terrorism. The text stipulates that individuals who “directly or indirectly finance a terrorist enterprise by giving, gathering or managing funds, valuables or goods or by providing advice” are subject to prosecution. The maximum penalty is life in prison. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: Senegal is a member of the UN, AU, ECOWAS, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. The government also participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Sahel Regional Capacity Building Working Group, and hosted the Second Cross-Border Workshop in Dakar from March 26-27. Additionally, Senegal’s military remained committed to MINUSMA and increased its troop contribution from 200 to 800 during 2014.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Strong cultural and religious traditions make Senegalese society resistant to extremist ideologies. Islam in Senegal is organized around several influential brotherhoods, which are generally tolerant and do not preach violent extremist ideology. These brotherhoods are also fairly resistant to external influences. In addition, the government continued its outreach to the brotherhoods to build partnerships and offer support in resisting violent extremist messaging and recruitment.
Overview: In 2014, Somalia made significant progress in its counterterrorism efforts. The terrorist group al-Shabaab lost control of large sections of rural areas in south-central Somalia, including the key port city of Barawe and other key towns along the main supply route in the Juba, Shabelle, Bay, and Bakol regions as a result of the successful AMISOM-led Operation Indian Ocean. In October, the Puntland Security Forces led an offensive against the al-Shabaab stronghold in northern Somalia’s Golis Mountains, which further degraded al-Shabaab’s operational capability. Separate U.S. military strikes that killed then-leader Mokhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Abdi “Godane,” and Tahlil, the head of intelligence and security, left al-Shabaab in a leadership crisis. Nevertheless, al-Shabaab continued to conduct a broad spectrum of asymmetrical attacks throughout Somalia. These attacks included harder targets in Mogadishu, such as the Mogadishu International Airport, Villa Somalia Presidential Compound, and the Parliament, as well as an increasingly greater number of assassinations of government and security officials. The ability of the federal, local, and regional authorities to prevent and preempt al-Shabaab terrorist attacks remained limited. Somalia remained a safe haven for a number of international terrorists, who continued to plan and mount operations within Somalia and in neighboring countries, particularly in Kenya.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdirahman Beileh represented Somalia at the first ministerial–level plenary for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Brussels on December 3, 2014, where he reaffirmed Somalia’s commitment to work together under a common, multi-faceted, and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: In 2014, al-Shabaab conducted suicide attacks, remote-controlled roadside bombings, and assassinations of government, security officials, and civil society leaders throughout Somalia. Al-Shabaab executed attacks in Mogadishu in a targeted campaign against Somali security forces and other government officials, and targeted government and foreign structures, convoys, and popular gathering places for government officials, the Somali diaspora, and foreigners. Notable incidents in 2014 included:
- On January 1, al-Shabaab targeted the Jazeera hotel in Mogadishu using suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) in a staggered assault. After the first SVBIED detonated at the hotel frequented by Somali government officials and foreigners, a second VBIED exploded shortly after first responders arrived at the scene to tend to the injured. According to Somali officials, at least 20 people were killed and another 30 were wounded.
- On February 13, an al-Shabaab SVBIED hit a UN convoy outside the main gate of Mogadishu International Airport. The attack killed multiple bystanders but no UN employees, according to National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officials.
- On February 21, al-Shabaab militants launched a complex attack against the Presidential Compound, known as Villa Somalia, using a Vehicle-Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) and a team of attackers, some armed with AK-47s and suicide vests. All militants were killed and at least five security officials died, according to the Office of the President.
- On May 24, al-Shabaab militants launched a complex attack against the Somali Parliament compound in Mogadishu using a suicide driver with a VBIED and a team of about seven attackers armed with AK-47s. Two members of Parliament reportedly sustained injuries when the militants detonated the VBIED at the main gate. Security forces reportedly killed all the militants during the attack. Casualties included around 12 security officials from AMISOM, NISA, the Somali National Army (SNA), and Somali National Police (SNP). In addition, some 24 security officials and civilians sustained injuries according to NISA officials.
- On August 4, al-Shabaab used suicide vests to attack and kill the Bosasso City Police Commissioner and about three bystanders in Bosasso City, Puntland, according to Puntland Security Services.
- On August 31, al-Shabaab militants attacked the NISA Godka Jilicow Detention Facility in central Mogadishu. The attackers reportedly employed a VBIED at the front gate of the facility followed by a ground assault using small weapons and grenades. NISA officers reportedly killed all the attackers, preventing them from breaching the interior of the facility.
- On October 12, al-Shabaab launched VBIED attacks against a cafe and restaurant frequented by Somali government officials in Mogadishu. According to a senior police official, a VBIED detonated at the Aroma Café may have been triggered by remote control, killing 11 people and wounding eight others.
- On October 15, attackers killed up to five people and injured several others at the Panorama Restaurant near the Somali National Theater using a VBIED.
- On November 8, al-Shabaab fighters attacked Interim Juba Administration (IJA) Security Forces (IJASF) at Koday, Lower Juba Region. Al-Shabaab militants retook control of Koday, which had fallen to pro-government forces during AMISOM operations October 25 to 27, inflicting heavy casualties, according to IJA officials.
- On November 16, al-Shabaab targeted Villa Somalia with mortar shells, resulting in no reported casualties or damage.
- On December 3, an al-Shabaab suicide bomber detonated a VBIED within 200 meters of the main gate of the Mogadishu International Airport, according to NISA officials.
- On December 25, al-Shabaab operatives launched an attack using small weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices inside the Mogadishu International Airport compound, killing up to eight AMISOM soldiers and an American citizen contractor, a Ugandan citizen contractor, and a Kenyan citizen contractor, according to NISA officials. This attack involved the first one inside the airport compound since September 2009.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Federal Government of Somalia continued its efforts to improve security in Mogadishu. Somalia lacks counterterrorism laws, and possesses limited investigative and enforcement capacity to prosecute terrorists, terrorism financiers, and supporters effectively. Somalia currently follows an outdated penal code, last updated in 1963. Ministries responsible for drafting and submitting legislation to Parliament lack the capacity to draft comprehensive counterterrorism laws. Due to lack of civil judiciary capacity, the Somali government tried all terrorism cases in the military court system. Puntland also lacked regional counterterrorism legislation and tried all terrorism cases using its state military court. On March 21, the Puntland military court convicted 36 people accused of links to al-Shabaab. The court sentenced several individuals to life imprisonment, while others received the death penalty. On April 30, Puntland executed 13 al-Shabaab members and supporters whom the court convicted in March.
Somali law enforcement needs significant training assistance for basic investigation skills, cordon and search operations, and effective coordination with the judiciary. Through participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, the Somali National Police (SNP) received training and equipment to help build professional capacity to respond to critical incidents and coordinate with national and international law enforcement partners. Somalia lacked the capacity, transparency, and technical expertise to operate an effective judicial and law enforcement system, which, in turn, hinders the ability of the government to develop rule of law, prosecute criminals, and provide justice to the Somali population. NISA is the lead counterterrorism organization providing rapid-reaction response forces to respond to terrorist attacks in Mogadishu. Interagency cooperation and information sharing remained weak, and almost all Somali law enforcement actions against terrorists and terrorist groups were reactive in nature.
Somalia has porous borders. Most countries do not recognize Somali identity documents, leaving Somalia with little to no travel document security. Somalia currently does not have a central or shared terrorist screening watchlist, nor does it have biographic and biometric screening capabilities at ports of entry. Minimal cooperation occurred between the federal and regional governments to investigate suspected terrorists, kidnappings, and other incidents of terrorism committed inside and outside of Somalia. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sent an investigative team to Mogadishu following the December 25 al-Shabaab attack inside the Mogadishu International Airport. FBI investigators continued to work with a team of AMISOM and NISA investigators, providing technical expertise and investigative assistance related to the attack.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: In 2014, Somalia applied to become an observer to the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, with the country officially becoming an observer of the MENAFATF in late December 2014. No laws criminalize terrorist financing. During the year, the Central Bank drafted a comprehensive anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance (AML/CFT) law with the help of the World Bank. At year’s end, the Central Bank sought assistance to translate the law to send to Parliament.
In 2014, government entities lacked the capacity to track, seize, or freeze illegal assets. The Somali hawalas, most of which operated abroad, employed self-imposed, minimum, international standards to continue operating in countries with comprehensive AML/CFT laws. In May, Merchant’s Bank, the largest U.S. bank servicing the Somali remittance sector, announced that it would close all Somalia-based accounts. In August, however, after a careful review of Dahabshiil (the largest money transfer operator in Somalia), Merchant’s Bank announced that it would resume services to Somali money transfer operators.
Somalia does not have a commercial banking sector, and the Central Bank lacks the capacity to supervise or regulate the hawala (money service businesses) sector. Somalia does not have laws or procedures requiring the collection of data for money transfers or suspicious transaction reports. The supervisory and examining section of the Somali Central Bank attempted to develop procedures to oversee the policies governing the establishment of commercial banks in the country. The section suffered from limited staffing and lacked additional funding to pay the salaries of its staff.
Regional and International Cooperation: Somalia is a member of the AU, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, League of Arab States, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism. The Somali government expressed greater interest in increasing intelligence sharing and conducting joint operations against al-Shabaab with its Horn of Africa neighbors.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Somali government continued to build its capacity to deliver public messaging, to include Radio Mogadishu and state-owned television stations, which countered al-Shabaab’s messaging. The government continued to air the Islamic Lecture Series (ILS) on radio stations in the Somali cities of Beledweyne, Dhusamared, and Abudwaq. The ILS employs an hour-long, call-in radio talk show format designed to undercut al-Shabaab’s efforts to acquire religious support for its violent extremist ideology. The Minister of Information strongly advocated for forward-leaning strategies to inform the Somali people of al-Shabaab’s violent extremist messages and ideology.
Overview: In 2014, the South African government increased its limited counterterrorism cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) remained reluctant to engage with U.S. counterparts on counterterrorism issues. SSA’s Foreign Branch (SSA/FB) is the sole contact for counterterrorism-related coordination, and it determines which other entities within SSA or other parts of the government will be involved. In the wake of the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, South African police have indicated interest in advancing their preparedness for similar incidents.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Intelligence Division, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, and South African State Security Agency are tasked with detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism within South Africa. The SAPS have a Special Task Force specifically trained and proficient in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and hostage rescue. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutes cases of terrorism. All entities possess the knowledge, resources, intelligence capabilities, and techniques to effectively implement South Africa’s counterterrorism legislation.
In May, South Africa amended the Immigration Act aiming to “reduce the country’s vulnerability to the security threats of the modern world.” The new immigration laws include the requirement that visa applications must be done in person in order to collect biometric data, fingerprints, and a photograph. In recent years, South Africa introduced new passports with additional security features in line with international standards.
Measures in place to counter terrorism include advanced technology x-ray machines at some airport ports of entry.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: South Africa is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a FATF-style regional body. Its financial intelligence unit is the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. Those required to report to the FIC include banks, financial institutions, car dealers, attorneys, gold dealers, gambling establishments, real estate agents, foreign exchange dealers, securities traders, money lenders (to include those who lend against shares, e.g., brokers), entities selling travelers’ checks, and Johannesburg stock exchange-registered individuals and companies. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 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: South Africa participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum.
Overview: Tanzania has not experienced a large-scale terrorist act conclusively linked to an international terrorist organization since the U.S. Embassy bombing in July 1998. Smaller instances of alleged domestic terrorism, however, continued to concern government officials. Several bombings targeting religious leaders or institutions occurred in 2014, although at year’s end officials were still investigating whether the perpetrators were members of an organized terrorist group. Police, working with various security elements – including Tanzania’s interagency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Immigration Services Department (ISD), and the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS) – made several arrests of alleged terrorists in 2014, and officials were prosecuting these cases at year’s end. NCTC reported concerns over escalating radicalism and inadequate border security.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: Tanzanian authorities reported two incidents:
- On April 13, 15 people were injured when a homemade bomb exploded at the crowded Arusha Night Park bar, where customers were watching an English Premier League match on television. Arusha is a popular destination for Western tourists in northern Tanzania, although this bar is generally only frequented by local residents. Police arrested the perpetrators and said that the assailants were members of a small group dedicated to the imposition of sharia law in Tanzania who wanted to attack Christians and westerners. Court cases against the perpetrators were continuing at year’s end.
- On September 6, two Tanzanian policemen were killed and another two were injured when assailants raided a police station in Bukombe district, Geita region. Police arrested suspects and said they were members of a small group dedicated to the introduction of sharia law in Tanzania who wanted to raid the police station to steal weapons to use in future attacks against Christians.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Tanzania’s legal counterterrorism framework is governed by the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act. The implementing regulations for the Act were published in 2012. In January 2014, a further amendment to the Act was implemented that strengthened Tanzania’s ability to respond to terrorist financing challenges, particularly with regards to UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1267 and 1373.
Tanzania continued its interagency coordination efforts in 2014, mainly through NCTC, but it had not used advanced investigative forensic techniques and streamlined prosecutions to detect, investigate, and fully prosecute suspected terrorists. NCTC is an interagency unit composed of officers from the intelligence, police, defense, immigration, and prison sectors who worked collectively on counterterrorism issues. The organization continued to lack specialized equipment, especially for border security, and NCTC officers lacked advanced training on intelligence analysis and crime scene investigation. When terrorist incidents occur, the police generally lead the investigation – although officials from the ISD and TISS also participate. Once the investigation is completed, the case goes to the Director of Public Prosecutions before being brought to court.
Border security in Tanzania remained a challenge for a variety of reasons, including problems of corruption and vast, porous borders. All major airports and border crossings screened for weapons, drugs, explosives, and other contraband; and continued the use of the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System border management system. NCTC and the ISD generally worked together to ensure that all border posts had updated terrorist watchlists, although smaller border posts often have to check passports against paper copies of the list.
Significant law enforcement actions related to terrorist activity included:
- In May, police arrested 16 people suspected of participating in various terrorist incidents in Tanzania over the last several years. Eight of the suspects were suspected of recruiting young people for terrorist activity. Seven others were suspected to be involved in several bombing incidents in Arusha while another, Jaffar Hassan Mondo, was arrested for attempting to apply for a Tanzanian passport using false names. All suspects were charged with various offenses including murder and attempted murder.
- On July 17, 17 suspects appeared before Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es-Salaam to face terrorism charges, 16 of whom were charged with conspiracy and recruitment of people to commit terrorist acts throughout Tanzania between January 2013 and June 2014. One suspect, Jihad Swalehe, was charged separately with seeking financial support to facilitate terrorist attacks; conspiracy, promotion, and facilitation of the commission of terrorist acts; and the use of Facebook to coordinate attacks between March 21, 2013 and June 2, 2014. The prosecution said Swalehe communicated with individuals through Facebook, seeking material, financial, and technical support to plant explosives in undisclosed locations in Kenya.
- On July 21, in Arusha, police searched the house of and arrested Yusufu Hussein Ally, also known as Huta, and his wife Sumaiya Juma, for possession of seven Russian-made bombs and a German grenade. Ally was investigated by police in connection with several terrorist attacks in Arusha.
- On October 6, police arrested Yahaya Hassan Omari Hella – also known as “Sensei” – who police say admitted to being the leader behind several terrorist attacks in Arusha, Zanzibar, Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam over the past two years. He died on October 19, en route to the hospital after being shot by the police while allegedly attempting to escape from custody.
- Police in Somalia notified the NCTC in 2014 that three teenage boys from Zanzibar were arrested after attempting to join the al-Shabaab terrorist group. At year’s end, the court case remained ongoing in Somalia.
Through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, Tanzanian law enforcement officials received technical training in the areas of strengthening border security capacity, enhancing investigative capacity, and building response capacity to a critical incident.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In June, the FATF noted Tanzania’s significant progress in improving anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts, as well as improving its legal and regulatory framework in this regard. As a result, FATF removed Tanzania from a list of countries subject to a monitoring process due to AML/CFT deficiencies. In 2014, Tanzania became a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. Tanzania’s Financial Intelligence Unit received 65 suspicious transaction reports related to money laundering in 2014, a slight decrease from the 68 received in 2013.
In January, Tanzania passed implementing regulations which assign specific responsibilities to various government entities in order to implement UNSCRs 1267 and 1373.
Regional and International Cooperation: Tanzania is a member of the AU, the Southern African Development Community, and the East African Community, all of which implement counterterrorism initiatives. In addition, Tanzania participated in counterterrorism training programs sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – even though Tanzania is not a full member. The NCTC continued to coordinate with partner organizations although the East African Police Chiefs’ Organization and the Southern African Police Chief’s Organization. Police officials also continued to work closely with Interpol. Tanzania is a member of the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism and participates in the Global Counterterrorism Forum. Tanzania has especially close relationships with police and counterterrorism officials in Kenya and Uganda, although these were hindered at times from a lack of effective mechanisms to share information electronically.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The current focal point of NCTC’s counter-radicalization strategy is its community policing program. Through this initiative, which has been active in many perceived counterterrorism hot spots for several years, officials aim to build better relationships within key communities and are better able to detect threats tied to radicalization.
Overview: In 2014, the Government of Uganda was a strong advocate of cross-border solutions to security issues, effectively supported U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and showed continued and strong political will to apprehend suspected terrorists and disrupt terrorist activity in Uganda. Terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab, however, continued to put consistent pressure on Uganda’s security apparatus primarily due to Uganda contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Uganda’s ability to respond to such threats remained inconsistent, given its resource and capacity limitations, porous borders, and corruption at all levels of government.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Uganda continued to use the Anti-Terrorism Act (2002) as its main legal framework for deterring, disrupting, and prosecuting terrorist activity and incidents in Uganda. The Uganda Police Force (UPF) Counterterrorism Directorate is the lead Ugandan law enforcement entity charged with investigating, disrupting, and responding to terrorist incidents. While Ugandan law enforcement officers assigned to this directorate are highly motivated, the UPF overall was limited in its capacity to detect, deter, and respond to terrorist incidents due to the lack of manpower, resources, basic skills, and competencies. In addition, police officers are particularly susceptible to corruption. Moreover, the bulk of the counterterrorism police and other law enforcement elements are centrally located in the capital, which limits the effectiveness of law enforcement in the border regions and all areas outside Kampala. The UPF still lacks the technological resources needed to conduct comprehensive terrorism investigations in the most effective manner. Following the Westgate terrorist attack in Nairobi in 2013, the UPF has held regular interagency meetings to ensure coordination among its security agencies.
The United States continued to provide significant counterterrorism assistance to the UPF, specifically through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which builds capacity in the areas of counterterrorism investigations, crisis response, and border security.
Border security remained a persistent concern for the Ugandan government, which continued to work to expand enforcement and monitoring capacity. Uganda continued to employ biometric security measures at airports.
On September 13, Uganda demonstrated its ability to disrupt an imminent terrorist threat when Ugandan security services conducted an extremely complex and large operation to disrupt an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that was in the final planning stages of an imminent attack on unknown targets in Kampala. Approximately 16 suspects were arrested on September 13, and five more were arrested on September 15 and 16. After initial investigations, ten suspected terrorists remained detained at the end of 2014. Security agencies continued to pursue leads throughout the region to garner additional evidence. As of the end of 2014, no trial dates had been announced.
In October, the Constitutional Court ruled on a legal challenge over the jurisdiction, extradition, and treatment of the 12 individuals arrested for orchestrating the July 2010 al-Shabaab bombings following the World Cup, upholding Uganda’s detention of the suspects. One of the victims of those attacks was an American citizen.
The UPF cooperated with the United States on several terrorism-related cases. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation maintained strong relationships with the UPF.
The United States and UPF continued to try to operationalize a 2013 Memorandum of Cooperation to modernize its criminal records management system to replace the outdated system currently used to identify criminal and terrorist suspects. In addition, while the U.S. government provided the UPF substantial counterterrorism training, the UPF lacked training in tactical operations, incident command, cybersecurity, handling of suspects, and crime scene management.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Uganda is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In February 2014, Uganda made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and ESAAMLG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. In October, the FATF noted that Uganda had taken positive actions by establishing its financial intelligence unit and issuing guidance to reporting entities.
In 2014, Uganda made some progress on implementing the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), which passed in 2013, including the appointment in August of an interim executive director of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), which under the AMLA would be responsible for monitoring and regulating remittance services and wire transfer data. The FIA was not fully established at year’s end, however. Once the board of the FIA is fully constituted, the agency will receive reports from financial institutions on suspicious financial activity. The Bank of Uganda asks local banks to report suspicious transactions, but there is no clear implementation mechanism for enforcement or investigation of potentially suspicious activity. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the UPF maintained responsibility for investigating financial crimes. However, the CID remained understaffed and poorly-trained, with only limited ability to investigate and prosecute money laundering violations. The AMLA also does not capture Uganda’s large mobile money sector within its regulatory framework.
Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda is a strong force for regional stability, security coordination, and counterterrorism efforts, and is an active member of the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the East African Community (EAC), the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism (PREACT), and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and as such is a strong force for regional stability, security coordination, and counterterrorism efforts. Uganda contributed troops to AMISOM to counter al-Shabaab, and continued to pursue the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in coordination with the DRC, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. In January, UPF and the Somali National Police Force signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation between the two forces to include training, equipment, and intelligence sharing. Additionally, as a member of the EAC, Uganda signed a regional counterterrorism strategy with other member nations in April that provides for greater counterterrorism cooperation.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Ugandan authorities have shown some interest in partnering with the U.S. government and Ugandan Muslim leaders to conduct more systematic and targeted outreach within the expatriate Somali community in Uganda, particularly since Somali youth living as refugees are often targeted for recruitment by al-Shabaab.