The Somalia-based, U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab continued to conduct frequent attacks on government, military, and civilian targets inside Somalia while the group’s leadership remained actively interested in attacking regional U.S. and Western interests. In July 2010, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for carrying out twin suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda that killed 76 people, underscoring the increased terrorist threat in East Africa due to al-Shabaab’s demonstrated capacity to conduct bombings outside of Somalia. Foreign fighters, a small number of al-Qa’ida (AQ) operatives, and likeminded indigenous violent extremists continued to pose a threat to regional security throughout East Africa. Al-Shabaab’s leadership continued its support of AQ, and in December, al-Shabaab entered into a tenuous merger with disparate factions of the now-defunct violent extremist group Hizbul Islam. While this infusion of clan militias may have slightly increased al-Shabaab’s fighting numbers, the merger did not give the group a significant or new advantage in its on-going fight against the Somali government.
In the Trans-Sahara, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continued kidnap for ransom operations of Western Europeans and Africans. AQIM murdered a French citizen in response to Mauritanian attacks on AQIM cells in northwestern Mali and AQIM continued to hold five French, a Malagasy, and a Togolese citizen hostage, seized in Arlit, Niger. AQIM conducted small-scale ambushes and attacks on security forces in Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Regional efforts to contain and marginalize AQIM continued, as did capacity building efforts of military and law enforcement personnel. Inter-religious conflict in Nigeria continued throughout Northern Nigeria with hundreds of casualties while indigenous terrorism attacks increased with several bombings over the Christmas holiday season in Abuja and Maiduguri. The Nigerian extremist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for some of these attacks but whether they carried out other attacks remained unclear.
Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Established in 2005, TSCTP is a U.S. funded and implemented multi-faceted, multi-year strategy designed to combat violent extremism and contain and marginalize terrorist organizations by strengthening individual country and regional counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s security and intelligence organizations, promoting democratic governance, and discrediting terrorist ideology. The overall goals are to enhance the indigenous capacities of governments in the pan-Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Chad, and Niger, as well as Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso); to confront the challenge posed by terrorist organizations in the trans-Sahara; and to facilitate cooperation between those countries and U.S. partners in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). TSCTP has been successful in slowly building capacity and cooperation despite political setbacks over the years caused by coup d’etats, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that have interrupted progress and work with select countries of the partnership. In 2010, select partner nations have been successful in disrupting extremist movement and operations in the trans-Sahara.
The Partnership for Regional East African Counterterrorism (PREACT). PREACT, formerly known as the East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative (EARSI), is the East Africa counterpart to the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). First established in 2009, PREACT is a U.S. funded and implemented multi-year, multi-faceted program designed to build the counterterrorism capacity and capability of member countries to thwart short-term terrorist threats and address longer-term vulnerabilities. It utilizes law enforcement, military, and development resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including reducing the operational capacity of terrorist networks, expanding border security, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s security and intelligence organizations, improving democratic governance, and discrediting terrorist ideology. PREACT member countries include Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Overview: The Government of Burkina Faso remained a serious, stable ally, fully cognizant of the threats posed by regional extremism in the Sahel and elsewhere in West Africa. Burkina Faso’s counterterrorism capabilities were limited owing to financial constraints, but it was consistently responsive to U.S. requests for cooperative operations. In an effort to improve its counterterrorism capabilities, senior Burkinabe officials requested U.S. assistance in the form of training and equipment and specifically identified regional intelligence sharing, border security, and airport security as three vulnerabilities to address. There was still no formal method for tracking movement into and out of the country at border checkpoints or at either of the country's two commercial airports in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso.
Although there were no terrorist incidents in Burkina Faso in 2010, al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) remained a threat, particularly in the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso tri-border area where AQIM attempted to locate and kidnap Westerners.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The President of Burkina Faso issued a decree in 2010 underscoring his support for the Suppression of Terrorism law passed in 2009 by the National Assembly. The law’s passage and the President's decree demonstrated the country's political will to ensure that its territory is not used as a staging ground for violent extremists or transnational terrorist attacks.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Burkina Faso was a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Government of Burkina Faso provided UN lists of designated terrorists or terrorist entities to financial institutions. There were no known terrorist financing prosecutions in 2010.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Burkina Faso government participated in regional and international counterterrorism conferences and training exercises. It expressed its desire to collaborate with neighboring countries to counter violent extremism through a multilateral approach, such as participating in joint training exercises and regional partnerships. Burkina Faso cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and participated in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Its cooperation and partnership in the TSCTP were demonstrated in May when the government hosted U.S. Africa Command's (AFRICOM) annual regional counterterrorism exercise FLINTLOCK 10 and attended a related Joint Combined Exchange Training program in Mali. Burkina Faso's government also participated in numerous regional efforts to combat terrorism, including with the Economic Community of West African States, the AU, and other international organizations.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Burkina Faso and the Embassy conducted several joint projects, including a medical outreach program in the far north of Burkina Faso, a predominantly Muslim and Touareg region. The government encouraged regular and ongoing inter-faith dialogues as a way to mitigate extremism.
Overview: Since 2009, al-Shabaab has threatened repeatedly and publically to attack Burundi in retaliation for its participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Since the al-Shabaab terrorist attacks in Kampala, the Burundian security forces have shifted some of their focus from internal political issues and begun to build counterterrorism capacity. The lack of resources and training has meant that the focus has been primarily on the physical security of their more vulnerable sites. In addition to strengthening their physical security posture, the Burundians created an Anti-Terror Cell, chaired by the Minister of Public Security, which first convened in March but then remained dormant until the Kampala terrorist attacks. The cell consisted of investigators and intelligence and operations officers from the police, military, and intelligence services. At year’s end, the Anti-Terror Cell did not have a plan or the capacity to develop the intelligence sources crucial to combating terrorism.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Burundi has provisions in its penal code (Title IX, Chapter IV) defining all forms of terrorism. Sentences for acts of terrorism range from 10 to 20 years or life imprisonment if the act results in the death of a person. In 2010, this provision was not applied in a Burundian court of law, as no case had been tried by year’s end. In August, Burundian authorities cooperated with Ugandan authorities in connection with a Ugandan national in Burundi who was believed to be associated with Ugandan terrorist suspects.
Regional and International Cooperation: Burundi and Uganda were the only two troop contributing nations participating in AMISOM, which, with support from the Transitional Federal Government’s National Security Forces (NSF), was a critical partner in the fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Overview: Comoran government security forces had limited resources and training in counterterrorism and maritime security, so the country remained vulnerable to terrorist transit. In April, a Comoran Coast Guard unit was created and received an ArchAngel patrol boat from the United States to help with maritime surveillance. Training to Comoran Coast Guard officials on its proper operation and maintenance was also provided.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Comoros has introduced a number of measures to establish an anti-money laundering/countering terrorist finance (AML/CTF) regime, including a 2009 law providing for the establishment of a financial intelligence unit, expanding the scope of preventative measures, and covering terrorism financing. However, the legal framework has many shortcomings and the government has not effectively implemented it. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mutual evaluation assessors found Comoros “largely compliant” (the FATF’s second highest rating) for four of the FATF 40+9 recommendations, and it received ratings of partially compliant or noncompliant on the rest. An inadequate budget, dysfunctional ministries, and a nonfunctioning judiciary limit effectiveness of Comorian AML/CTF efforts, despite apparent high-level political support. Thus far, most institutions subject to the law have not yet put AML/CTF policies and procedures in place. Although the central bank has begun to monitor implementation of the AML/CTF preventive measures, limited resources hampered the government’s ability to enforce the AML regulations, and local institutions and personnel lacked the training and capacity to enforce the law fully.
There have been no investigations or convictions for money laundering to date. The criminalization of terrorist financing does not comply with the 1999 UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. There were no provisions allowing the Comorian authorities to freeze the assets of terrorists and other persons designated by the UNSCRs 1267 and 1373.
As of December, Comoros was a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), a FATF-style regional body. ESAAMLG became an Associate Member of the FATF in June.
Regional and International Cooperation: Comoros acted as Chair of the East African Standby Brigade (an AU body for peacekeeping and intervention missions) in 2010.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: President Sambi, democratically elected in 2006, with Comoran religious leaders, has publicly rejected religious extremism. President Sambi has also sought close partnership with the United States to develop Comoros economically and to create opportunities for the country's youth. To this end, he has requested that the Peace Corps return to Comoros as soon as possible.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Overview: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a vast country bordered by nine neighbors; the government did not have complete control over significant swathes of its territories, especially in the east where various armed groups operate. The DRC is home to a large Lebanese expatriate community (several thousand), some of whom ran businesses linked to Hizballah fundraising.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Democratic Republic of Congo has no comprehensive counterterrorism legislation and has little capacity to enforce law and order in its vast territory.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Democratic Republic of Congo has legislation criminalizing money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as a Financial Intelligence Unit. Many banks installed new computerized communications and accounting networks, which made it easier to trace formal financial transactions. Limited resources and a weak judicial system hampered the government's ability to enforce anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, however, and local institutions and personnel lacked the training and capacity to enforce the law and its attendant regulations fully. To date, the DRC has not completed any money laundering prosecutions or convictions.
Regional and International Cooperation: In 2010, the DRC ratified the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in 2010. At year’s end, the AU was working on establishing a joint brigade and operations center that would include the Central African Republic, Uganda, Sudan, and the DRC.
Overview: Djibouti has been an active partner in countering terrorism. An increase in police and military training and new legislation improved Djibouti’s ability to counter terrorism within its own borders and to aid in regional efforts to thwart terrorist activities.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Due to its geographic location and porous borders, counterterrorism was a high priority for all Djiboutian law enforcement entities. The most visible of these efforts were ad hoc checkpoints within the capital city and a somewhat increased emphasis at border control points to screen for potential security threats. The government increased security at some key border checkpoints using biometrics and sought further counterterrorism training for its law enforcement and military personnel.
The Djibouti government proposed a law specifically defining terrorist acts and setting penalties at 15 years or life imprisonment for any act resulting in a loss of life. The proposed law also addresses arms and explosives trafficking, and criminal acts aboard an air or sea vessel. Djibouti has a clear legal framework for prosecuting terrorism-related crimes.
On June 23, a Djiboutian court convicted in absentia former prominent businessman Abdourahman “Charles” Boreh of inciting terrorist acts and criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise.
Djibouti continued to process travelers on entry and departure at its international airport and seaport with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), and started building infrastructure for PISCES installation at Loyada land border.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Central Bank of Djibouti has a Fraud Investigation Unit that investigates money laundering- and terrorist finance-related issues. In September, the government proposed a law to clearly define terrorist financing and establish preventative measures. The law addresses the freezing of assets or seizure of funds, cooperation with international entities and other states, and penalties.
Regional and International Cooperation: Djibouti hosts Camp Lemonnier, the only U.S. military base in Africa, which serves as headquarters to more than 3,000 U.S. troops, including those serving with the U.S. Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. The Government of Djibouti has committed to sending a small contingent of Djiboutian Armed Forces personnel to join the African Union Mission in Somalia. Djibouti hosted training for approximately 500 Somali police and an additional group of Transitional Federal Government security forces.
Overview: In May 2010, for the third consecutive year, the Department of State determined that Eritrea was not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts pursuant to section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act. In 2010, there was no counterterrorism dialogue between the United States and Eritrea. In 2010, the UN sanctioned the Government of Eritrea under Resolution 1907 in December 2009 demanding that the Eritrean government "cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members including al-Shabaab, which aim to destabilize the region." There was no indication that the Government of Eritrea complied with the UN resolution in regards to ceasing the support of armed groups in Somalia.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Security was strengthened on the Eritrean/Ethiopian border, but it appeared it was used only to deter citizens from fleeing Eritrea. (There was a shoot-to-kill order for Eritreans trying to flee their country.)
Regional and International Cooperation: The Eritrean government has linked broader cooperation on counterterrorism programs to the unresolved border dispute with Ethiopia.
Overview: Over the last four years, East Africa violent extremist networks led by a limited number of al-Qa’ida personnel and other violent extremists linked to and supportive of al-Shabaab have increased in capability, numbers, and strength. The threat posed by these disparate and often times fluid decentralized networks, particularly the apparent increase of foreign fighters and other recruits, was a growing concern. The Government of Ethiopia has been historically concerned about the activities of terrorists in neighboring Somalia.
2010 Terrorist Incidents:
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Ethiopia's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and VIP protection, was responsible for counterterrorism management. The Ethiopian Federal Police worked in conjunction with NISS. Ethiopia viewed instability in Somalia as a critical national security threat and maintained a defensive military presence along the Somali border to stem potential infiltration of extremists into Ethiopia.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In March, Ethiopia's central bank issued a customer due diligence directive for banks. In 2010, Ethiopia enacted anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) legislation providing for the establishment of a financial intelligence unit, the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC). As of December, however, the FIC had not become operational nor did it issue specific AML/CTF directives. In August, Ethiopia applied for observer status in the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ethiopia was an active participant in AU counterterrorism efforts, participating in the AU's Center for Study and Research on Terrorism, and in meetings of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa. Ethiopia acted as a member state of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and participated actively in IGAD's Capacity Building Program Against Terrorism to bolster the capacity of IGAD member states to mitigate, detect, and deter advances by terrorists.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Ethiopia has established a vocational training program for former Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) members from the ONLF faction that signed a peace agreement with the government in 2010.
Overview: The Kenyan government demonstrated increased political will to secure its borders, apprehend suspected terrorists, and cooperate with regional allies and the international community to counter terrorism, despite facing perennial challenges that limited its growth in counterterrorism capabilities such as corruption, a lack of counterterrorism law, and severe resource constraints. Arms smuggling, reports of extremist recruiting within refugee camps and Kenyan cities, and increased allegations of terrorist plotting, enhanced recognition among government officials, the diplomatic community, and civil society that Kenya remained vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The government increased security along parts of the Kenya/Somalia border to stem the flow of armed militants who routinely crossed into Kenya to obtain supplies, funding, medical care, and recruits, but a lack of capacity and coordination among border officials undermined these efforts.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Despite an increased concern over security and Kenya's strong counterterrorism partnership with regional and international allies, the lack of comprehensive counterterrorism legislation hindered Kenya's counterterrorism efforts. Existing laws did not permit police to detain terrorist suspects and prosecute them effectively. The government did not submit a revised version of counterterrorism legislation that was defeated in 2006 and no progress was made in 2010 by the Kenyan Parliament to pass counterterrorism legislation.
The Prevention of Organized Crime Law – unanimously adopted by Parliament in July – allows authorities to designate groups as criminal organizations, but does not explicitly criminalize terrorist activities. In October, the Kenyan government designated 33 groups as organized illegal gangs, including al-Shabaab. The broad definition of membership in an organized crime group probably will help Kenyan authorities detain, charge, and prosecute individuals associated with terrorist networks.
In September, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) successfully completed pilot testing for biometric upgrades to Kenya’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), which was used at nine Kenyan ports of entry to identify suspect travelers against a computerized Kenyan stop-list. JKIA’s processing of travelers on entry and departure was the first to incorporate new PISCES biometric features; Kenyan officials at JKIA made productive use of their new capabilities.
Countering Terrorist Finance: On June 30, the Kenyan Anti-Money Laundering Act became effective. The act provides mechanisms for detecting and seizing proceeds of money laundering, including the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Kenya’s FIU did not become operational in 2010, however. Kenya was a member of the Eastern and South African Anti Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
Regional and International Cooperation: Kenyan law enforcement agencies worked closely with the international community to increase their counterterrorism abilities and secure porous land borders as well as address ongoing maritime security concerns. Kenyan authorities cooperated with Uganda in the investigation of the Kampala bombing.
Overview: The Government of Mali called for greater regional cooperation to counter al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and participated in training programs to increase the capacity of its security and military forces. Although Malian leaders were generally sincere in their desire to counter terrorism, their ability to do so continued to be hindered by limited resources and the lack of an adequate state presence in the distant and vast northern regions of the country. During the year, AQIM continued to operate in parts of northern Mali, and held, released, and claimed to have killed hostages kidnapped for ransom. In addition, AQIM engaged in skirmishes with the Mauritanian military on Malian territory.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: In contrast to 2009, there were no terrorist incidents directed against Malian interests and no kidnappings of foreigners on Malian soil in 2010. AQIM continued to hold hostages on Malian territory throughout the year, including hostages kidnapped in Niger in 2010. On July 25, AQIM claimed to have executed French citizen Michael Germaneau, whom it was holding hostage in Mali in retaliation for French support of a Mauritanian July 22 raid on AQIM camps in Mali. There were conflicting reports, however, that Germaneau may have already died, due to natural causes exacerbated by his captivity, prior to the Mauritanian raid.
Six hostages abducted by AQIM or bandits associated with AQIM and held in Mali were released:
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Malian judiciary did not prosecute any terrorist cases except in connection with the release of Pierre Camatte.
Countering Terrorist Finance: In November, the Malian National Assembly adopted legislation to strengthen the authority of the National Financial Information Processing Unit, Mali’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The National Assembly also reinforced the judicial controls available to Malian authorities to counter terrorist financing and money laundering offenses, as well as bring Malian code into conformity with regional standards and the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The legislation had not been signed by the President of Mali at year’s end, however. Mali is a member of the Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mali ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Mali continued to press for greater regional cooperation to counter terrorism. Mali cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and is a Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership country. Along with Mauritania, Niger, and Algeria, Mali participated in the establishment of a Joint Command Center in Tamanrasset, Algeria, that once fully operational will allow the four countries to coordinate regional responses to AQIM activities.
Overview: The Government of Mauritania launched military operations against al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) camps in northern Mali in July and September and continued to strengthen its security forces' capacity and improve border security. It also continued arresting terrorism suspects, including those involved in targeting Westerners.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: After suffering from an unprecedented wave of kidnappings and terrorist attacks in 2009, Mauritania registered one suicide car bombing in 2010. On August 25, a car bomb drove through a checkpoint and exploded at the entrance of military barracks in Nema, 1200 kilometers east of Nouakchott. The driver died instantly and three soldiers were wounded. AQIM claimed responsibility for the attack in an August 31 Internet press release. This was the second suicide attack in Mauritania; the first attempt took place in August 2009 outside the French Embassy.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In May, the largest terrorism trials in Mauritania’s history took place. Fifty-six terrorist suspects received sentences ranging from fines and imprisonment to the death penalty in the case of the 2007 murders of four French nationals who were shot in the southern city of Aleg.
The Mauritanian government took steps to improve border security through plans to build 10 new border posts. The Ministry of the Interior was also establishing a program to produce secure national identity documents.
Countering Terrorist Finance: A new counterterrorism law enacted in July replaced the existing legislation and outlawed terrorist financing in all its forms. Mauritania has a Financial Intelligence Unit called "CANIF," under the Mauritanian Central Bank, which is in charge of investigating financial crimes, including terrorist financing. Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mauritania cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and is a Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership country. In March, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania gathered in Algeria and issued a joint statement rejecting ransom payments. In September, Mauritania participated in a meeting gathering sub-regional chiefs of staff in Algeria to coordinate efforts to counter terrorism in the Sahel. On September 30, along with Mali, Niger, and Algeria, Mauritania participated in the establishment of a Joint Command Center in Tamanrasset, Algeria, that once fully operational will allow the four countries to coordinate regional responses to AQIM activities. On October 10, Mauritania participated in the Syrta meeting to coordinate counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel. Mauritania, which recalled its Ambassador to Bamako in February following Mali's release of four terrorist suspects, restarted cooperation with Mali in September, and had joint patrols in northern Mali in December.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Mauritania adopted a series of measures to counter radicalization and violent extremism. The government conducted a census of mosques, opened a Quranic radio station, and featured television and radio programs emphasizing moderation in Islam. The government favored a conciliatory approach towards extremists willing to renounce violence. It sponsored a dialogue between moderate imams and imprisoned extremists in January leading to the repentance of 57 individuals, 52 of whom received Presidential pardons during the Muslim holidays of Eid-el Fitr and Eid-el Adha. A national dialogue on terrorism and extremism was held in October, and the Government of Mauritania organized conferences and roundtables regarding moderation in Islam and gathered key decision makers in the government, civil society, and among religious authorities to decide on a common strategy. At year’s end, the Mauritanian government was planning reinsertion programs for repentant extremists.
Overview: Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continued to exploit ungoverned space in Nigerien territory. It took advantage of porous borders and the huge expanse of Niger not under government control to conduct contraband smuggling and kidnappings. Niger was committed to fighting AQIM and worked with other regional partners and organizations to support its counterterrorism efforts, notably the General Staff Joint Operations Committee (CEMOC), which also included Algeria, Mali, and Mauritania.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: Niger continued to be a victim of AQIM attacks, including kidnappings and anti-government operations:
Countering Terrorist Finance: In January, Niger passed a law implementing the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. In July, Niger created the National Coordinating Committee on the Fight against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
Regional and International Cooperation: Niger cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and is a Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership country. Over the past year, Niger has entered into a partnership to establish and conduct operations with Mali, Algeria, and Mauritania out of the CEMOC center in Tamanrasset, Algeria. In September, after the kidnapping in Arlit, Niger agreed to permit French forces to conduct surveillance operations in Niamey.
Overview: The Nigerian government took actions to improve coordination, communication, and cooperation among its various government agencies and internationally on counterterrorism matters. In the wake of the December 25, 2009, unsuccessful attempt by a Nigerian national to detonate an explosive aboard a U.S.-flagged air carrier over Detroit, Nigeria cooperated closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and the International Civil Aviation Organization to strengthen its safety and security systems at four major international airports. Other than ad hoc high-level security meetings after the October 1 car bombings in Abuja, the National Focal Point on Terrorism (an interagency task force formed in 2007 including the State Security Service, Nigerian Customs Service, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Immigration) did not actively operate in 2010.
Nigeria faced threats from Delta-based militants who claimed to be seeking better government services but who commonly resorted to violence, and from northern-Nigeria based militants known as Boko Haram who have attacked the Nigerian government with an aim to establish a government in the north functioning under a strict interpretation of Sharia law.
After the July 2009 confrontations between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces, in which several hundred persons died, many Boko Haram members had reportedly dispersed to neighboring countries to regroup, recruit, and train. The Nigerian military deployed a brigade of troops to the Borno state in July 2010 in anticipation of a violent retaliation by members of Boko Haram on the one-year anniversary of the death of their leader Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed by the police, but no attacks occurred on that date.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On September 7, 2010, Boko Haram members stormed a prison in Bauchi State, freeing over 700 prisoners including about 100 sect members, and killed seven guards and bystanders. For the rest of 2010, Boko Haram members in Borno and Bauchi states attacked police, military, state officials, and anyone perceived as assisting the Nigerian government in efforts to bring Boko Haram members to justice. Approximately 50 individuals were killed and scores were wounded. Police and military personnel have since arrested over 150 Boko Haram members. On October 21, Boko Haram placed posters at key road intersections in northern Nigeria warning the local public against assisting police in apprehending members of the sect. Each poster bore the signature of al-Qa‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and warned that "any Muslim that goes against the establishment of Sharia law will be attacked and killed." It has not been established whether AQIM and Boko Haram have operational links. In late December, violent extremists detonated explosives in Jos, Plateau State, killing at least 32 persons and wounding many others.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Revised counterterrorism legislation has been stalled since 2008. After the October 1 bombings in Abuja, the executive branch announced plans to forward additional language to strengthen the bill, and leaders in both the Senate and the House publicly indicated that they would accelerate passage of the legislation. As of late December, however, the National Assembly had yet to conduct the final reading and approve the bill.
Corruption and lack of capacity hindered the ability of the National Police Force to respond to security and terrorist threats within Nigeria's borders. While senior police officers were well-educated and able to articulate the fundamentals of police organization theory and practices, most of the rank-and-file police personnel lacked skills, training, and equipment. Nigerian police conducted limited border security operations but lacked communications, surveillance, and vehicle support to detect and apprehend terrorists and criminals transiting the country's borders. The Nigerian Navy remained unable to patrol its coastal waters effectively, thereby making the Niger Delta region and offshore sites more vulnerable to attacks by criminals and extremists.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Nigeria has some laws that addressed terrorist financing, but they did not comply with international standards. Nigeria’s laws for money laundering were more extensive. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act covers the provision or collection of funds used to carry out terrorist acts, but does not cover provision or collection of funds used by terrorist organizations or individual terrorists. The Act does not reference terrorist financing as a predicate offense for money laundering.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Nigerian government participated in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. Nigeria signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.
Overview: In 2010, a series of deadly grenade attacks targeted Rwandans in public areas of Kigali. No one has claimed responsibility. Armed rebel groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), continued to pose a threat to Rwanda. The Rwandan government, which restored official relations with the Government of the DRC in 2009, increased cooperation and information sharing to combat continuing mutual threats. The Rwandan government continued to train border control officials, police, army, and security forces to develop counterterrorism skills.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: In 2010, there were over 20 reports of grenade explosions throughout Rwanda, more than half of which were suspected cases of domestic terrorism. At least 11 grenades were thrown from motorcycles and exploded in public areas of Kigali where Rwandans typically congregate, killing six and injuring 47 people. Police arrested suspects and brought individuals in for questioning, but no suspects were brought to trial. The Government of Rwanda publicly accused two former high-ranking Rwandan military officials in South Africa of planning at least two of the attacks, using the attacks to create fear and destabilize Rwanda around the 2010 presidential elections.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The security situation in the eastern DRC put pressure on Rwanda's western border area, and the Rwandan government continued to work to improve border control measures.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Government of Rwanda enacted a comprehensive law, called the "Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act," which established a legal anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing framework. The government was in the process of implementing this law at year’s end.
Regional and International Cooperation: The Rwandan government sought to strengthen regional cooperation and counter cross-border threats through increased information sharing with the DRC and with its neighbors in the East African Community.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Senegal does not have a terrorism-specific law but offenses are captured under other parts of the penal code. For example, Senegalese legislation criminalizes illegal possession of a firearm. Possession, bearing, transporting, importation, and marketing of weapons and ammunitions are subject to prior authorization from the Ministry of Interior.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Senegal has an anti-money laundering/countering terrorist finance legal framework in place via the West African Economic and Monetary Union Uniform Law. Senegal’s Financial Intelligence Unit is called CENTIF, and is a member of the Egmont Group. CENTIF, law enforcement, and Ministry of Justice authorities worked to coordinate roles and responsibilities and to develop a deeper interagency understanding of terrorist financing. The Central Bank of West African States and CENTIF circulated the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee consolidated list to commercial financial institutions. Senegal is a member of the Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
Regional and International Cooperation: Senegal cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and is a Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership country. Senegal signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.
Overview: Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) continued to have a fragile hold on power and exerted control over only a small portion of the capital of Mogadishu. This, together with Somalia’s protracted state of violent instability, long unguarded coasts, and porous borders, made the country an appealing location for terrorists seeking a transit or launching point for operations there or elsewhere. The capability of the TFG and other Somali local and regional authorities to carry out counterterrorism activities or develop a counterterrorism agenda was extremely limited. Clan dynamics remained an influential factor in governance and security issues.
The terrorist and insurgent group al-Shabaab and other anti-TFG clan-based militias continued to exercise control over strategic locations in central Somalia. The TFG and peacekeepers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) remained confined to parts of Mogadishu such as the main seaport, airport, and neighborhoods near Villa Somalia. Al-Shabaab's continued destabilizing influence gave the group and allied violent extremists a safe haven to train and plan terrorist activities.
Several senior al-Shabaab leaders have publicly proclaimed loyalty to al-Qa‘ida (AQ). In some terrorist training camps, AQ-affiliated foreign fighters led the training and indoctrination of the recruits. Al-Shabaab conducted suicide attacks, remote-controlled roadside bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations of government officials, journalists, humanitarian workers, and civil society leaders throughout Somalia. Al-Shabaab also threatened UN and other foreign aid agencies and their staff, resulting in the withdrawal of significant humanitarian operations, including that of the World Food Program (WFP) from southern Somalia in January 2010.
Al-Shabaab's influence in Somaliland and Puntland, though on a much smaller scale than in southern Somalia, remained a concern to local and regional authorities.
2010 Terrorist Incidents:
Puntland: An estimated 50 government officials, security officers, and leading elders were killed in terrorist-related attacks in Puntland. A clan militia led by Siad Atom, connected to al-Shabaab, in the mountainous Sanag region, was believed to be behind these attacks. From July to November, Puntland forces launched military operations against Atom and his allied clan fighters. Puntland's president announced the end of the operation in November although the ability of Atom to continue future attacks remained viable and strong.
Somaliland: Attacks and government responses included the following:
Mogadishu/South and Central region: During 2010, al-Shabaab carried out multiple attacks, including a number in Mogadishu against the TFG and African Union Mission in Somalia. Among the most deadly were a series of attacks in March, which killed at least 60 people and wounded 160 more; and a string of attacks in late August, which killed at least 87 people and wounded 148. Also in August, al-Shabaab suicide bombers entered the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu and killed 31 people, including six members of parliament and four other government officials, when they detonated their explosives on the roof of the hotel. Attacks and government responses included the following:
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Somalia's Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, under siege by insurgents, called on regional governments to help stem the flow of terrorist financing, requesting local governments trace, freeze, and seize al-Shabaab financing. On May 3, the TFG passed a counterterrorism law, and in July, Puntland followed with similar legislation establishing special courts to try terrorism suspects. Somaliland has not passed any such laws, though its court system has been able to hand out death sentences to al-Shabaab and other extremists for crimes committed.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Somalia was a terrorist financing center. Existing anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance laws were unenforceable, given the security threat to the government and its lack of capacity. The financial system in Somalia operated almost completely outside of government oversight either on the black market or via international money transfer entities known as hawalas. Financial entities in Somalia self-imposed international standards, to the extent they exist, in order to do business elsewhere in the world.
Al-Shabaab derived most of its funding internally, particularly from control over the key port of Kismaayo and taxation of goods and legitimate commerce. Some of the external financing entered Somalia as cash, but most likely arrived through hawalas. Al-Shabaab also financed its operations through extortion of private citizens and local businesses, revenue from air and seaports under their control, and to an unknown extent by diversion of humanitarian and development assistance. The TFG, Puntland, and Somaliland regional administrations were unable to control transit across their borders, and goods flowed into and out of Somalia without government knowledge. In areas controlled by al-Shabaab, the group "taxed" goods' movements.
The TFG did not have an independent system or mechanism for freezing terrorist assets. No government entities were charged with, or capable of tracking, seizing, or freezing illegal assets. In theory, the Treasury Ministry would be responsible for investigating financial crimes, but it lacked the capacity, including financial, technical, and human resources. U.S. Embassy personnel in Kenya were aware of the interdiction of one suspected terrorist financier carrying cash illegally into Somalia. Interdictions of these sorts by TFG officials result in an arrest, and then indefinite detentions or releases given Somalia's inadequate judicial system.
There was no mechanism for distributing information from the TFG to financial institutions, and the TFG enforced no suspicious transactions or large currency transactions reporting requirements on banks or other financial institutions. However, many institutions operating in Somalia maintained international offices and therefore adhered to minimum international standards, including freezes on terrorist entities' finances.
The government did not distribute to financial institutions the names of suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations listed on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list associated with Usama bin Ladin, members of AQ, or the Taliban.
Somalia did not have any mechanisms in place to share information related to terrorist financing with the United States.
Regional and International Cooperation: Some Western and regional nations worked to assist the TFG/National Security Forces through training and support.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The TFG's Ministry of Information began issuing news releases, which helped make it a credible source of information for both Somali citizens and the Somali media. This in turn has bolstered the credibility of their reports of al-Shabaab atrocities. The Ministry's most effective outreach tool was its multi-media public broadcasting platform, Radio Mogadishu, which broadcast over FM radio, streamed live on the Internet, and maintained a webpage and Facebook presence. The station has made considerable strides in objective reporting about both the extremists and the government and thereby gained audience share.
Radio Mogadishu also launched a religious affairs call-in show that examined, from an Islamic perspective, al-Shabaab's claims to religious legitimacy. The show aired three times a week and received callers and text messages from all over Mogadishu (including al-Shabaab controlled areas) and Facebook messages from around the world. The messaging was overwhelming critical of al-Shabaab.
Overview: In preparation for the 2010 World Cup, there was close cooperation between South African and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. South Africa took measures to address border security vulnerability and document fraud, which had hindered the government’s ability to pursue counterterrorism initiatives. Under the leadership of Minister Dlamini-Zuma, the Department of Home Affairs continued implementation of its turnaround strategy to end corruption and accelerate documentation of all bona fide South African citizens and residents.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Container Security Initiative team located in Durban. SARS is a member of the World Customs Organization and worked closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection to develop the SARS Customs Border Control Unit, which was modeled after the CBP Antiterrorism Contraband Enforcement Team.
Countering Terrorist Finance: South Africa was a member of both the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group. South Africa cooperated with the United States in exchanging terrorist financing information. South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) is a member of the Egmont Group. Amendments to the FIC basic legislation came into effect on December 1, granting the FIC authority to impose administrative sanctions such as monetary penalties. In November, South Africa hosted a joint experts meeting of FATF and the Egmont Group.
Overview: Elements of the terrorist network responsible for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing remained active in the region making Tanzania vulnerable to international terrorism. The Government of Tanzania continued to be an active and helpful partner in bringing Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, one of the key perpetrators of the bombings, to justice in the United States. Following the Kampala bombings on July 11, Tanzania worked closely with authorities in Uganda and Kenya to investigate the attacks.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On the evening of May 16, a 15-year-old boy ran past a guard in front of the U.S. Embassy, lit a bottle containing kerosene and threw it under one of two water trucks parked outside the Embassy walls. The bottle broke, but did not ignite. Embassy security guards captured the boy before he could throw a second bottle. There was no breach of the Embassy compound, no injuries, or property damage. A Tanzanian police officer arrived immediately after the incident and arrested the perpetrator. The boy had a note on him threatening possible future attacks. He told police he was motivated to attack the United States Embassy by violent extremist ideology.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following the Kampala bombings, Tanzania stepped up its efforts to counter terrorism, increased its collaboration, both regionally and internationally, and adopted a more proactive approach. The National Counterterrorism Center continued its participation in several multi-year programs to strengthen Tanzania's law enforcement and military capacity, improve aviation and border security, and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Ministry of Home Affairs worked jointly with the U.S. Embassy to strengthen maritime security, particularly in Africa’s Great Lakes. A National Maritime Training Academy was under construction on the shores of Lake Victoria and two new boats began patrolling these waters during the year. Immigration authorities collaborated with the International Organization for Migration to improve security along the northern and southern borders. This included introducing electronic screening systems, improving regional coordination, and establishing a Border Information Center in Mwanza to help address issues arising from the adoption of the East African Community's (EAC) Common Market Protocol, which allows for the free movement of citizens within the EAC.
In advance of the trial of terrorism suspect Ahmed Ghailani, accused and convicted for his involvement in the 1998 U. S. Embassy bombing, Tanzanian officials helped U. S. law enforcement agents prepare for the trial, including assisting with witness preparation.
In the case involving the 15-year-old Tanzanian involved in the May 16 U.S. Embassy incident, the police responded quickly, arresting the perpetrator. However, the subsequent investigation and prosecution has proceeded slowly. The suspect, a minor, was released into the custody of his guardians.
Tanzania continued to process travelers on entry and departure at three international airports, two seaports, and one land border with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES).
Countering Terrorist Finance: Tanzania’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) established its Anti-Money Laundering Act. However, with only three technical staff, the FIU had limited resources to investigate potential money laundering or terrorist financing activities. Tanzania’s laws do not allow the assets of suspected terrorists to be frozen unless the individual has been convicted for criminal acts. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, however, gives the Attorney General the authority to submit an application to the court for an order of forfeiture of assets owned or controlled by a terrorist group. Tanzania was a member of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.
Regional and International Cooperation: Regional counterterrorism cooperation intensified following the Kampala bombings. Tanzanian authorities worked closely with their Ugandan and Kenyan counterparts to investigate the incidents and limit the ability of such dangerous elements to operate in the region.
Overview: The Somali-based al-Shabaab posed the most significant terrorist threat to Uganda. Al-Qa’ida (AQ)-linked terrorists moving between the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and Europe used Uganda as a transit point. While in transit, AQ members were believed to have illegally procured government documents and engaged in recruitment activities. In response to the July 11 bombings and continued threat levels, the Government of Uganda increased efforts to track, capture, and hold individuals with suspected links to terrorist organizations. Uganda's Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce, which is composed of military, police, and intelligence entities, led Uganda's counterterrorism response.
In addition to investigating and charging terrorist bombing suspects, Uganda continued to pursue the Lord's Resistance Army in coordination with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
2010 Terrorist Incidents: On July 11, two al-Shabaab suicide bombers attacked an Ethiopian restaurant and a Rugby Club in Kampala where Ugandans and others gathered to watch the World Cup finals, killing 76 people and wounding many more. Accomplices to the suicide bombers detonated a separate explosive device, in addition to the bomb detonated by the suicide bomber, at the Rugby Club. A fourth bomb placed at a nightclub failed to explode.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following the Kampala bombings, U.S. law enforcement worked closely with Uganda to gather evidence and investigate the terrorist attacks. This collaboration improved the coordination and levels of information sharing between Uganda's own security services and strengthened police capacity to investigate terrorist incidents. An archaic criminal records system that relies on fingerprint cards to connect individuals with past crimes continued to hinder Ugandan police. Uganda continued to need a modern criminal records management system to conduct effective counterterrorism cooperation.
Uganda continued to process travelers on entry and departure at two international airports and four land borders with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Uganda’s comprehensive draft anti-money laundering legislation has long been pending before Parliament. As a result, current efforts to combat money laundering are piecemeal and based on older legislation. The Anti-Terrorist Act made terrorist financing illegal, and there was no evidence that the Ugandan government used it to prosecute effectively financiers of terrorism. In addition, the list of terrorist organizations covered by the bill was static, and only included four terrorist organizations (al-Qa'ida and three domestic organizations). There was no suspicious transaction-reporting requirement for terrorist financing. The Inspectorate General of Government has the power to investigate cases brought to it by the public, but in practice has not investigated money laundering and terrorist financing cases. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Uganda Police Force was responsible for investigating financial crimes. However, until Parliament approves the anti-money laundering legislation, the understaffed and undertrained CID maintains only limited authority to investigate and prosecute money-laundering violations. According to Ugandan government officials, criminals often had access to technology that was more sophisticated than what was available to police investigators. Internal corruption within the CID also hampered police investigative capacity.
Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September. The Ugandan government is a strong advocate for cross-border solutions to persistent security concerns in the Great Lakes Region and East Africa. Burundi and Uganda were the only two troop contributing nations participating in AU Mission in Somalia.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Because regions lacking rule of law are often incubators of extremism, Ugandan law enforcement is working with the United States to improve levels of collaboration and trust between the police force and the public in northern Uganda.