Country Reports on Terrorism
In the Trans-Sahara region, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) took advantage of a renewed Tuareg rebellion in northern Mali and a coup d’état in Bamako to overrun northern Mali by joining with violent extremist mercenary fighters returning from Libya in the wake of the revolution there. Alongside regional efforts to contain and marginalize AQIM and its allies in northern Mali, the international community urged Mali’s interim government to restore an elected government to Mali, negotiate with groups in northern Mali that reject terrorism and accept Mali’s territorial integrity, and respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northern part of the country, with hundreds of casualties as indigenous terrorist attacks increased. The Nigerian violent extremist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for some of these attacks.
In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab remained the primary terrorist threat. Along with progress on government formation, Somalia saw significant progress in 2012 on security as Somali National Security Forces and the AU Mission in Somalia along with Ethiopian and allied Somali militia forces battled al-Shabaab and drove them out of many population strongholds in south-central Somalia. Most notably, Kenyan forces gained control of the port city of Kismayo in late September. Al-Shabaab continued to employ indirect assaults and asymmetric tactics in Somalia, as well as claim credit for some attacks in Kenya.
Various East African countries continued to enhance domestic and regional efforts to bolster border security; detect, deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute terrorist incidents; and create integrated and dedicated counterterrorism practitioners.
TRANS-SAHARA COUNTERTERRORISM PARTNERSHIP (TSCTP)
Established in 2005, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) is a U.S.-funded and implemented multi-faceted, multi-year effort designed to counter violent extremism and contain and marginalize terrorist organizations. TSCTP’s core goals are to enhance the indigenous capacities of governments in the pan-Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso), to confront the challenge posed by terrorist organizations in the trans-Sahara, and to facilitate cooperation between those countries and U.S. partners in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia).
TSCTP has been successful in building capacity and cooperation despite setbacks caused by coups d’état, ethnic rebellions, and extra-constitutional actions that have interrupted work and progress with select partner countries. For example, U.S. training and equipment have assisted Mauritania to monitor its border with Mali and sustain professional units during operations against AQIM, similarly, training and equipment have supported Niger’s efforts to protect its borders and interdict terrorists attempting transit through its territory. Several TSCTP programs have worked to counter the pull of violent extremism on youth, including educational and training courses in Algeria and Morocco in the Maghreb, and extensive youth employment and outreach programs, community development and media activities in Niger and Chad.
In March 2012, assistance to Mali under TSCTP was suspended following a military coup that overthrew Mali’s democratically elected government.
THE PARTNERSHIP FOR REGIONAL EAST AFRICA COUNTERTERRORISM (PREACT)
PREACT, formerly known as the East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative, 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, counter violent extremism, and address longer-term vulnerabilities. It uses law enforcement, military, and development resources to achieve its strategic objectives, including reducing the operational capacity of terrorist networks, expanding border security, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s security organizations, improving democratic governance, and discrediting terrorist ideology. PREACT member countries include Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 2012, in concert with political developments in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, the U.S. government continued to help PREACT member countries to address near-term threats as well as build strategic counterterrorism capacities and bolster international counterterrorism cooperation.
Overview: In 2012, the Government of Burkina Faso was vigilant and responsive to the threats and dangers posed by terrorist organizations, specifically al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The government continued to stress that regional cooperation is imperative to combat and defeat terrorism. It proactively issued notices to the diplomatic community regarding the AQIM threat.
In recent years, the Government of Burkina Faso has been instrumental in securing the release of Western hostages from AQIM and other organizations in the region. In April and July, Burkinabe officials successfully negotiated three separate agreements to release hostages held by AQIM, Ansar al Dine, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). The first release, on April 17, was of an Italian citizen who had been held hostage for 14 months. The second release, on April 24, was of a Swiss hostage who had been kidnapped earlier in the month by a private militia, handed over to AQIM, and then transferred to Ansar al Dine. The third release, on July 19, included one Italian and two Spanish citizens who had been kidnapped by MUJAO in Algeria in October 2011. The Government of Burkina Faso did not release information to the public regarding the terms of these hostage releases.
These three cases highlighted earlier comments, made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to reporters, that Burkina Faso had contacts to secure the release of Western hostages held by AQIM and other unidentified groups in the region. The Foreign Minister acknowledged that Burkina Faso has been spared so far from terrorist activities, but that the threat is real and Burkina Faso is not immune. In October 2012, Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore ordered the deployment of 1,000 combat troops to the northern region of the country bordering crisis-hit Mali, to guard against kidnappings.
While the Burkinabe government’s counterterrorism capabilities remained limited, the continued delivery of U.S. training and equipment, as well as Burkina Faso’s participation in regional counterterrorism conferences and training opportunities, were important benchmarks for 2012.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Burkinabe prosecutors have not developed expertise in terrorism investigations due to the lack of substantive terrorism cases in the country. Prosecutors continued to be included in both bilateral and regional counterterrorism training opportunities to enhance their capacity and develop a rapport with the National Police and National Gendarmerie. Despite financial constraints, the Burkinabe government increased armed patrols in the capital and along the border in response to the crisis in Mali.
Burkina Faso received substantial training support for counterterrorism, intelligence, and border security issues through the International Law Enforcement Academy and the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program. More than 160 Burkinabe law enforcement officials attended and graduated from ATA courses in 2012. The primary beneficiaries of ATA training remained the National Police and National Gendarmerie. Customs, the Municipal Police of Ouagadougou, and criminal prosecutors also participated. The Burkinabe government, with the assistance of ATA training, developed and refined response plans for a kidnapping for ransom (KFR) operation.
In October, Burkina Faso agreed to implement and support the installation of the Terrorist Interdiction Program/Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (TIP/PISCES) at the International Airport of Ouagadougou.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Burkinabe Financial Intelligence Unit, CENTIF, collects and processes financial information on money laundering and terrorist financing. Since its 2008 inception, CENTIF has participated in an extensive training program on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2012, CENTIF completed a research trip to Monaco and participated in training in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Burkinabe government continued to provide financial institutions with the names of UN-listed terrorist individuals and entities. There were no known terrorist financing prosecutions in 2012. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Burkina Faso’s continued participation in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership provided border training, two-way radios, and vehicles to Burkinabe gendarme units in the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso tri-border area. Burkina Faso participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Sahel Working Group. The Burkinabe government remained responsive to U.S. government requests for military and security assistance. It participated in regional and international counterterrorism conferences and training exercises, including with regard to KFR.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Burkinabe government encourages regular and ongoing interfaith dialogues as a way to mitigate violent extremism. Religious leaders regularly denounced violence and called for the peaceful coexistence of all religions.
Overview: Burundi has shown an interest in addressing international terrorism and has contributed troops to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). A counterterrorism cell, formed in 2010, consists of elements of the police, military, and the National Intelligence Service. The cell's physical security recommendations have been put into operation but the cell has not yet implemented a comprehensive counterterrorism plan.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Burundi has provisions in its penal code defining all forms of terrorism. Sentences for acts of terrorism range from 10 to 20 years or life imprisonment if the act results in the death of a person. Burundian law enforcement continued its participation in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program and the International Law Enforcement Academy.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Burundi is not considered a significant center for terrorist financing. The government has created counterterrorist financing laws but has yet to commit funding, provide training, or implement policies. Burundi is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Burundi is a member of the Partnership for Regional East African Counterterrorism, and as such, has received funding for counterterrorism training. Burundi has cooperated with neighboring countries to exchange information on suspected terrorists. Burundi has also contributed troops to AMISOM to stabilize the situation in Somalia and to counter terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Burundian government does not have any formal programs to counter violent extremism. 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: The Government of Cameroon considers counterterrorism a top security priority and worked with the United States to improve the capacity of its security forces. Cameroon’s prospects for preventing terrorism also rested on the ability of the government to address humanitarian concerns in its northern regions (following a slow response to catastrophic flooding in September and October 2012) 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.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Cameroon does not have specific counterterrorism legislation, but rather relies on various provisions in its penal code to respond to possible terrorist acts. These include sanctions for efforts to undermine state authority, threats to public and individual safety, the destruction of property, threats to the safety of civil aviation and maritime navigation, hostage taking, and the regulation of firearms and explosive substances.
Cameroon participated in targeted U.S. capacity building projects to improve its counterterrorism and law enforcement capacities, including training in the areas of airport security, border control, cyber security and cyber crimes, fraudulent document detection, and small arms trafficking. Significant political will to counter terrorism exists in Cameroon, but efforts were hampered by corruption and a lack of coordination among Cameroonian law enforcement and security forces.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Cameroon is a member of the Central African Action Group against Money Laundering, an entity in the process of becoming a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. As a member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), Cameroon shares a regional Central Bank (Bank of the States of Central Africa) with other member countries that have ceded banking regulatory sovereignty to CEMAC. It established a financial intelligence unit, the National Financial Investigation Agency (ANIF), to process suspicious transaction reports and initiate investigations; ANIF is a member of the Egmont Group. No terrorist assets were identified, frozen, or confiscated in 2012. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Cameroon is an active participant in the UN and has been supportive of UNGA resolutions related to terrorism. It is also active in counterterrorism-related activities in the AU and the Economic Community of Central African States.
Countering Radicalization 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; and participating in meetings with local administrative and religious officials.
Overview: The Government of Chad was a strong counterterrorism partner in 2012. Countering terrorism threats in Chad was a priority at the highest levels of Chad’s government, with a particular focus on countering potential terrorist threats from across the Sahel region. Special Operations Command Africa, through the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans-Sahara, maintained a Special Operations Forces Liaison Element in Chad to support Chadian counterterrorism forces with training and logistical support. This element worked primarily with the Chadian Special Anti-Terrorism Group, which has the mandate to conduct national security and counterterrorism operations with a specific focus on border security and interdiction of those trafficking in illicit goods.
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.
Chad formed a joint border commission with Sudan to better control its eastern border. It also began talks with Niger and Libya to form a tripartite border commission, and with Cameroon and Nigeria to form a bilateral border commission.
Nearly all Chadian law enforcement agencies and officers were poorly resourced and under-trained, particularly in the areas of complex investigations and border security – especially along the Chari River, bordering Nigeria and Cameroon, and Lake Chad.
The United States provided Chad with training and technical assistance through the State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance program, ranging from the donation of forensic investigative equipment to courses such as Border Control Management. Chad worked on the implementation of a biometric screening program at N’Djamena Airport as part of the Terrorist Interdiction Program/Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Chad is a member of the Central African Action Group against Money Laundering, an entity in the process of becoming a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. As a member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), Chad shares a regional Central Bank (Bank of the States of Central Africa) with other member countries which have ceded banking regulatory sovereignty to CEMAC. Chad’s Financial Intelligence Unit is the National Financial Investigative Agency (ANIF). ANIF is hindered by serious resource constraints, and law enforcement and customs officials need training in financial crimes enforcement.
Chad’s financial systems are basic and largely informal. ANIF works directly with the few formal banks in Chad to prosecute money laundering cases; however, it is limited in its capacity to monitor the financial system effectively because of a low number of trained personnel to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Funding sources of non-profit organizations are not subject to monitoring by ANIF. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: In May, Chad participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF’s) Sahel Region Capacity Building Working Group meeting in Niamey, Niger; and served on the committee that made recommendations to strengthen the capacity building of member states. Chad also attended GCTF conferences in Algiers, Algeria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Abuja, Nigeria. Chad’s President, Idriss Déby, spoke out in favor of supporting the December 20 UNSCR authorizing the International Mission of Support in Mali and worked toward seeking National Assembly approval to deploy troops to assist Mali in military operations to regain territory lost to terrorist groups.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: As a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, Chad participated in targeted projects to counter violent extremism. Specific activities have included building the capacity of civil society organizations; community engagement and youth empowerment; promoting interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance; and media and outreach work. President Déby instructed the High Council for Islamic Affairs to closely monitor religious activities in mosques in order to counter violent extremism.
Every December 10 is celebrated as the day of Peace in Chad. Instituted in 2011, this Peace Day is intended to bring together Chadians from different religious groups to celebrate living in peace, as well as to raise awareness of the threat of violent extremism. In his address to the nation, President Déby regularly advocated for peaceful cohabitation of Chadians from different religious backgrounds.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Overview: There was no credible evidence to indicate a significant presence of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-affiliated groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC is a vast country bordered by nine neighbors. The Government of the DRC lacked complete control over some areas of its territory, especially in the east where numerous armed groups operated with impunity and had very limited capacity to monitor and disrupt potential terrorist threats. Starting in April 2012, the rebellion of the newly formed M23 armed group in North Kivu against the Government of the DRC and the armed forces (FARDC) required the complete military and political attention of the government and the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), as FARDC and peacekeeping forces were redeployed in vast numbers to North Kivu. The resulting vacuum of authority and lack of security forces in areas not under M23 control allowed multiple other armed groups greater freedom of action to expand their territory and retake the offensive against traditional rivals in land disputes.
Counterterrorism was not a priority issue for the government. There were ongoing efforts by the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the AU, and the UN to bring stability to eastern DRC and the region. Steps to counter activities of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (known by its French acronym, FDLR) were an element of these efforts.
The most active terrorist group in the DRC was the LRA, a rebel movement formed in Uganda in the late 1980s and early 1990s which continues to operate and find safe haven in the northeastern DRC along the border with South Sudan and the Central African Republic. The LRA’s propensity for attacking civilians and using fear as a weapon prompted the State Department to designate the armed group as a Terrorist Exclusion List organization under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. By designating these groups, the Secretary strengthened the United States ability to exclude supporters of terrorism from the United States or to deport them if they are found within U.S. borders. In 2008, the U.S. Department of State designated Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” Despite an ICC arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and U.S.-supported, regionally-led anti-LRA operations, Kony and much of his cadre remain at large in the DRC and the region. In 2012, most LRA activities were restricted to Orientale Province.
The ADF/NALU is made up of Ugandan opposition forces, and operates in North Kivu province. The Ugandan government asserts that the ADF/NALU constitutes an Islamist armed group with potential ties to AQ. However, these alleged links have not been substantiated. The ADF/NALU remained an active security threat to the population of North Kivu, in part due to the increased instability caused by the M23 rebellion. (M23 leadership had been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury for its abuses in the eastern DRC and its leader was wanted by the International Criminal Court.)
2012 Terrorist Incidents: The year witnessed 162 attacks by the LRA, FDLR, and ADF; 22 people were killed and 131 were abducted.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The DRC has no comprehensive counterterrorism legislation, but a 2001 presidential decree established a National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-International Terrorism within a counterterrorism office in its Ministry of Interior. Yet, the DRC government has made statements indicating that denying safe haven to the LRA remains a matter of great importance. The DRC government has supported international efforts to eradicate the LRA in the DRC, and made some progress on its border security management program. In collaboration with the Organization for International Migration (IOM), the Government of the DRC established national and provincial oversight committees to further develop the program’s implementation. The Congolese National Police was equipped with biometrics, and the Director General of Migration established a personal identification and recognition system, developed by IOM, that was used at eight strategic border posts.
Additionally, the United States has worked with the FARDC and the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces to bolster regional capacity for anti-LRA operations.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The DRC has anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism legislation and a Financial Intelligence Unit (CENAREF). The DRC is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force-style regional bodies. There were no legal restrictions in the DRC prohibiting the sharing of financial account information with foreign entities. CENAREF occasionally shared information with the United States on money laundering and terrorist financing cases, and in 2012 expressed interest in signing a memo of understanding with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FINCEN, to increase bilateral cooperation. In 2011, the DRC signed a mutual assistance agreement with Belgium’s CTIF (Cellule des Traitements des Informations Financières). At year’s end, CENAREF had received 157 suspicious transaction reports, including 29 reports from banks and other financial institutions and eight from several DRC government agencies, including the National Intelligence Agency (ANR). In 2012, the Government of the DRC had one money laundering prosecution underway, but no convictions. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: The FDLR and LRA threats have a regional impact on security. Affected countries have cooperated in the past to counter the threat and ensure regional stability. The Government of the DRC continued to cooperate with neighboring states, especially the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Uganda under the African Union Regional Task Force framework. The DRC government provided some limited support to UN efforts against the LRA.
The DRC is a member of numerous regional organizations and has diverse cooperation agreements – with the South African Development Community, the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries, and the Economic Community of Central Africa – to exchange information and enhance border security. The DRC is a member of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and will head this organization for the next five years.
Overview: Djibouti remained an active and cooperative counterterrorism partner. Increased training for police and military members and deploying soldiers to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign was the focus of Djibouti’s 2012 efforts to counter terrorism.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Due to its geographic location and porous borders, counterterrorism remained a high priority for all Djiboutian law enforcement entities. Djibouti tries terrorists in criminal courts using its penal code, but in 2012, its legislature was in the process of adapting its existing laws to reflect the current terrorist threat. Djibouti’s most visible counterterrorism efforts were ad hoc checkpoints within the capital city and an increased emphasis at border control points to screen for potential security threats.
Djibouti continued to process travelers on entry and departure at its international airport and seaport with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison Evaluation System (PISCES). Djibouti has not fully implemented the PISCES fingerprinting collection feature, however. 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, including one point on the border with Somalia. Djibouti 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.
Djibouti received significant counterterrorism training and equipment provided by the United States through a variety of courses and programs.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Central Bank of Djibouti houses a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), known as the Fraud Investigation Unit. Given its very limited resources including lack of staff, however, it is focusing on outreach to the private sector but is unable to perform the core functions of an FIU. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Djibouti is a member of the AU and has deployed troops to AMISOM. Djibouti has been supportive of UNGA resolutions related to terrorism. Djibouti hosts Camp Lemonnier, the largest U.S. military presence in Africa, which serves as headquarters to approximately 4,000 U.S. troops, including those serving with the U.S. Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Most of the Government of Djibouti’s strategic communications efforts focused on youth, a group widely-recognized as susceptible to violent extremism. In response to a growing youth violence problem, 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 approves themes for Friday prayer services to ensure the sermons do not incite to violence.
Overview: There was limited dialogue between Eritrea and the United States regarding terrorism in 2012. The Government of Eritrea stressed that it wanted to be a partner in international counterterrorism efforts, and it cooperated in providing over-flight clearance to U.S. military aircraft engaged in regional security missions.
Still, its poor relations with surrounding nations, potential African partners, and the United States reduced opportunities for cooperation. Lack of transparency on how governing structures function meant that there is not a clear picture of methods the government used 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 of western nations, closing off opportunities for information-sharing and dialogue. The Eritrean government’s national doctrine of self-reliance and disinclination to accept international assistance prevented the United States from providing training, technology, or other counterterrorism assistance.
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.
Eritrea has been under UNSC sanctions since December 2009. UNSCR 1907 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.” In December 2011, UNSCR 2023 was adopted, strengthening the provisions of the earlier resolution and establishing guidelines for use of the “diaspora tax” that the government levies on Eritreans living overseas.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Eritrea closely monitors passenger manifests for any flights coming into Asmara, and scrutinizes travel documents of visitors, but does not take fingerprints. The government did not share information gathered at ports of entry with the United States. Eritrea’s borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti are tightly controlled, whereas the border with Sudan is porous in some places, resulting in considerable movement across by persons who are not recorded as coming or going.
As U.S. relations with Eritrean law enforcement entities were extremely limited, we do not know what capabilities the Eritrean government had in terms of special response units. In September, however, the Eritrean government cooperated effectively with the Embassy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice in denying a work permit to a third-country national suspected of terrorist affiliation.
In 2011, the government ceased providing police protection to diplomatic missions, claiming Asmara to be safe. The Embassy periodically requested and received extra police for special events, however, but the numbers deployed were usually small. On occasion the police asked for transportation, fuel, or extra pay.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Eritrea is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Eritrea’s general lack of transparency on banking, financial, and economic matters made gathering of definitive information difficult. Eritrea does not adhere to international standards for monitoring or regulation of remittance services. It extensively monitored remittances and money transfers of the Eritrean diaspora, members of whom are required to pay a two per cent foreign income tax to the government to receive passport and other services, and it extensively monitored transfers of money out of the nation to ensure than an artificially high exchange rate is not undercut by black market exchanges. Eritrea does require the collection of data for wire transfers; however, this is more for tracking the “Diaspora Tax” and hard currency outflows than for counterterrorism. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.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 on Development in Eastern Africa, but this is opposed by Ethiopia and host nation Djibouti, both of whom have had military conflicts with Eritrea in recent years. Eritrea’s relationship with the UN (particularly the UNSC’s Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee) is antagonistic, as Eritrea resents being placed under economic and other sanctions. Eritrean government officials regularly accused the Somalia/ Eritrea Monitoring Group of bias and inadequacy.
Overview: The Government of Ethiopia’s counterterrorism cooperation with the United States included military, intelligence, and security aspects. The Ethiopian government 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 violent extremists into Ethiopia.
Ethiopian military forces continued counterterrorism operations in Somalia and were instrumental in combating al-Shabaab in southern and central Somalia. Within Ethiopia’s borders, the Ethiopian government successfully identified an al-Qa’ida (AQ) cell, and then arrested and convicted cell affiliates. The government remained concerned about groups such as the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Oromo Liberation Front, and Ginbot 7, which its parliament designated as terrorist groups in 2011.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: In January, five European tourists were killed and two were kidnapped by the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unit Front (ARDUF), a violent extremist group the Ethiopian government claimed was backed by Eritrea. In retaliation, the Ethiopian military made incursions into Eritrea in March to target “subversive groups,” including ARDUF, and a military base. In April, an attack by armed gunmen on a farm operated by Saudi Star Development in the Gambella region killed at least five people. The Government of Ethiopia regarded the January attack on tourists and the April attack on the Saudi Star compound as terrorist attacks.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Ethiopia's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation and is responsible for overall counterterrorism management. The Ethiopian Federal Police worked in conjunction with the NISS on counterterrorism. Ethiopia continued to use the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System, PISCES, biometric security measures at immigration enforcement stations at Bole and Dire Dawa International Airports, as well as other points of entry throughout the country.
In February, the Government of Ethiopia announced that it had arrested eight AQ operatives in the Bale area of the Oromia Region in December 2011. Those arrested had links to Kenya, Sudan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. A verdict in the trial of self-confessed cell leader Hassan Jarso – a Kenyan national – and other cell members, had not been reached by year’s end.
The Government of Ethiopia convicted 46 people, 24 of whom were tried in absentia, under its 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, including an 11-person AQ cell and three members of the ONLF.
Also among those convicted were 12 journalists, opposition political figures, and activists whose trials were deemed by several international human rights organizations and foreign diplomatic missions to be politically motivated and based on evidence indicative of acts of a political nature rather than linked to terrorism. The government also invoked the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in charging 28 Muslims in connection with protests that alleged government interference in religious affairs, and accused one Muslim of accepting funds illegally from a foreign embassy.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Ethiopia is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body (FSRB), but is an observer to the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, an FSRB, which it hopes to become a member of in 2013. The Ethiopian government froze assets allegedly used in planning terrorist acts, pending investigation as to whether those assets can be legally confiscated. The Government of Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Agency is responsible for monitoring non-profit organizations to prevent misuse of funds and terrorist financing. NGOs were monitored, but the Ethiopian government has limited expertise in the area of terrorist financing. The Government of Ethiopia routinely distributed the UN list of designated terrorists and terrorist entities to financial institutions. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Ethiopia is a member state of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and participated actively in its Security Sector Program, which builds the capacity of its member states to mitigate, detect, and deter advances by terrorists. Ethiopia was an active participant in the AU's counterterrorism efforts and participated in its Center for Study and Research on Terrorism and in meetings of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council continued to implement a controversial training program for Muslims on the subject of violent extremism; the program led to ongoing protests by some members of the Muslim community who alleged government interference in religious affairs.
Overview: 2012 was a significant year for Kenyan counterterrorism efforts. Despite Somali refugee issues, preparation for 2013 national elections, the threat of al-Shabaab, and ethnic, political, and economic tensions, the Kenyan government demonstrated persistent political will to secure its borders, apprehend terrorists, and cooperate in regional and international counterterrorism efforts. Notably, a decade of debate culminated in the long-awaited passage of Kenya’s Prevention of Terrorism Act. At home, Kenyan authorities successfully disrupted several large-scale terrorist plots, though small-scale terrorist incidents continued, especially in North Eastern Province, but also in Nairobi and Mombasa. Abroad, Kenyan military operations against al-Shabaab, initially independent and later under the auspices of the AU Mission in Somalia, resulted in the capture of the key port city of Kismayo, al-Shabaab’s last major stronghold.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: More than three dozen presumed terrorist incidents were reported in Kenya during 2012 – mostly grenade attacks – that the Kenyan government generally attributed to al-Shabaab or its supporters, though few were formally claimed by any terrorist group and several were specifically denied. The number and severity of attacks in the Dadaab refugee camp decreased, but attacks on police and civilians in the nearby city of Garissa increased, including a July 1 church attack with guns and grenades that left 17 dead and 40 injured. Deadly grenade and improvised explosive device attacks in Nairobi targeted bars, restaurants, churches, a bus station, and a mosque, hitting the predominantly Somali district of Eastleigh especially hard. A November 18 minibus explosion in Eastleigh left 10 dead and 34 injured. Total reported casualties from possible terrorists incidents were 34 dead and over 145 injured, though many of the incidents remained unattributed.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Kenya’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, passed by Parliament in September and signed into law by President Kibaki in October, marked a key legislative milestone in the fight against terrorism. Combined with the 2009 Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act and the 2010 Prevention of Organized Crime Act, Kenyan prosecutors have a robust suite of tools for bringing individuals and organizations to justice, tools which will also greatly facilitate international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in terrorism cases. Even prior to the passage of the new law, Kenyan authorities began prosecution of two ongoing high-profile terrorist cases against Iranian citizens and alleged Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Forces persons Ahmad Abolfathi and Sayed Mansouri on explosives charges, and against British citizen Jermaine Grant on charges of plotting to kill Western tourists on behalf of al-Qa’ida.
Kenya was an active law enforcement partner and participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. ATA programs focused on strengthening border security, enhancing investigative capacity, promoting respect for human rights, and building critical incident response capacity through training, mentoring, advising and equipping Kenyan counterterrorism-focused law-enforcement agencies. Kenya also continued its partnership with the United States on expanding Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System, PISCES, border controls to additional ports of entry.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Kenya is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The FATF had previously highlighted the deficiencies in Kenya’s anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism regime and intimated possible countermeasures against Kenya. In response, Kenyan authorities developed and made significant progress on an action plan to address those deficiencies, including the establishment of the Financial Reporting Center (FRC) in April and adoption of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in October.
By December, the FRC was up and running with investigators receiving and reviewing suspicious transaction reports and investigating potential money laundering violations. The establishment of the FRC combined with the passage of the POTA demonstrated a strong enough commitment on the part of the Kenyan government that FATF did not invoke countermeasures. Nonetheless, FATF emphasized, and Kenyan authorities acknowledged, that Kenya still has much work to do on its Action Plan with the FATF, most notably in developing the institutional capacity and regulatory structures to implement the POTA as well as track, seize, and confiscate the assets of al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups. FATF has also identified some concerns with the new law. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
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. The Kenyan government coordinated with these groups significantly during its military campaign against al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. Kenyan law enforcement agencies worked closely with the international community, including the United States, to increase their counterterrorism abilities, secure porous land borders, and improve maritime security. Kenya hosted numerous trainings involving law enforcement professionals from neighboring nations to build counterterrorism capacities and increase regional cooperation. Kenya also cooperated with the United States and other nations to secure especially dangerous pathogens and enhance the Kenyan government’s capability to prevent the sale, theft, diversion, or accidental release of chemical, biological or radiological weapons-related materials, technology, and expertise.
Overview: Following the March 2012 coup that toppled the elected government of President Amadou Toumani Touré, northern Mali – representing 10 percent of Mali’s population and over half of its territory – was taken over by terrorist groups including al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Ansar al-Dine (AAD). The interim Government of Mali requested international support to reunite the country and combat the terrorist threat. At year’s end, the UN, the AU, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were working with the United States and European partners to prepare and conduct a Malian-led and ECOWAS-supported military action to recapture the north and combat terrorist groups.
Consistent with the legislative restriction on assistance to the government of a country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’état, all U.S. assistance to the Government of Mali, including military and security assistance, was terminated following the coup.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: During the year, AQIM, MUJAO, and AAD captured the entire northern half of Mali, including the towns of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal. AAD destroyed UNESCO World Heritage sites, including sacred Sufi shrines in Timbuktu, and enforced a severe form of Sharia law, cutting off the hand of an alleged cattle thief and stoning to death an unmarried couple with two children. Other terrorist incidents included:
• On April 5, seven Algerian diplomats were kidnapped by MUJAO from their post in Gao. At least four members of the group were being held at year’s end; two of the hostages had been released, and one died in custody.
• On October 14, MUJAO kidnapped six African aid workers in Niger and transported them to Mali. MUJAO had allegedly been targeting an Italian anthropologist working for the NGO Doctors without Borders in the region. Five Nigerien nationals were released at the Mali-Niger border on November 3, but the sixth victim, a Chadian national, died from his wounds.
• On November 20, a French tourist was kidnapped by MUJAO in Diema, a town in northwestern Mali, as he traveled to Bamako.
• In addition to these kidnapping victims, at year’s end MUJAO and AQIM held nine other people hostage in northern Mali from kidnapping operations conducted in previous years.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Malian law enforcement arrested a number of alleged terrorists, both Malian and foreign, who were suspected of trying to join northern armed groups. Some were cases of mistaken identity, such as two al-Jazeera journalists arrested on December 1, who were later released. There were no successful prosecutions as a result of these arrests.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Mali is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Mali's Financial Intelligence Unit is the National Center for the Treatment of Financial Information (CENTIF). In 2012, the director of the CENTIF received training on asset freezing, while the magistrate assigned to the CENTIF received training on prosecution-related issues. CENTIF is authorized by law to freeze assets for a maximum of 48 hours while conducting an investigation. The 48-hour period can be extended, but only by a magistrate. The main impediments to improving the Malian law enforcement response to terrorist finance were a lack of coordination between CENTIF and the law enforcement community, as well as insufficient judicial capacity to transform CENTIF investigations into effective prosecutions.
Mali's capacity and will to freeze and confiscate assets remains unclear. Mali has yet to identify or freeze any assets under Malian jurisdiction of UN-designated terrorist individuals or entities. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: In the aftermath of the coup d’état, Mali was suspended from regional bodies such as ECOWAS and the AU, but was reinstated into the AU in October. Mali has been a member of the Combined Operational General Staff Committee (CEMOC), based in Tamanrasset, Algeria, since CEMOC's creation in 2010. An AU/ECOWAS sponsored military training mission has been planned cooperatively with members of the Malian Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Malian officials and prominent religious leaders routinely condemned violent extremist ideology and terrorist acts. As a general matter, violent extremist ideologies have not found a receptive audience among Malians.
Overview: The Government of Mauritania continued to take a firm stance against terrorism. Regional events have caused President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to shift the military’s focus from offensive operations to border security and protection of the homeland. Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb remained a threat. However, Mauritania applied effective measures to counter terrorist activity, enhancing initiatives launched in 2011.
During a national press conference on November 29, President Aziz confirmed the readiness of the armed forces to react to terrorists approaching Mauritanian territory and announced the construction of a new airbase at Limreye, in the heart of the desert some 500 miles east of Nouakchott. President Aziz has used his public addresses to explain Mauritania’s past forays into northern Mali as a response to terrorist attacks on Mauritanian soil, which targeted Mauritanian citizens and their interests. President Aziz has excluded Mauritania’s participation in an international military intervention in northern Mali, but has vowed to respond swiftly and strongly to any threat to the safety of Mauritanian citizens or foreign residents in Mauritania.
Under the framework of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, U.S. training for specialized Mauritanian counterterrorism battalions continued. Mauritania also participated in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program, which strengthened Mauritania’s counterterrorism capacity by providing training and equipment to the national police, gendarmerie, and civil aviation agency. Mauritania’s enthusiastic reception of U.S. AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham during his September 26-27 visit highlights the two countries’ bilateral partnership.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Mauritania continued to arrest, prosecute, and convict terrorists. The Mauritanian judiciary convicted four individuals for terrorism-related offenses in 2012.
• On March 10, Mauritania’s state news agency confirmed the release of a gendarme who had been abducted by terrorists in December 2011 from his post in Adel Bagrou (1700 kilometers southeast of Nouakchott). President Aziz said that the armed forces also carried out raids on the terrorists involved in the kidnapping.
• On April 4, Mauritanian police took former al-Qa’ida member, Mauritanian Mahfoudh Ould Waled, also known as Abu Hafs, into custody upon his arrival at Nouakchott International Airport. Waled had returned to Mauritania from Iran, where he had been detained since 2002, after having fled Afghanistan. After questioning him, the Mauritanian authorities did not deem Waled a threat and released him on July 5.
• In May, an appeals court affirmed the convictions and sentences of the three terrorists responsible for the 2009 murder of an American citizen in Nouakchott. Though one of the terrorists received the death penalty, the government had appealed the other two original sentences, which it considered too lenient, seeking 30 years for the defendant who had received a 12-year sentence and 15 years for the defendant previously sentenced to three years. On September 27, the authorities released one of the defendants, Mohamed Ould Ghadda, after he completed his three-year prison sentence.
• In November, local and international media reported that Mauritania’s security services arrested a French national in Nema (1200 kilometers southeast of Nouakchott) suspected of attempting to engage in terrorist activity in Timbuktu.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Mauritania is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and has observer status with the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa. Mauritania’s Financial Intelligence Unit, known by its French acronym CANIF, collaborated with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism training. Although there is legislation regulating alternative remittances, Mauritania did not have the resources to monitor the sizable flow of funds through money and value transfer systems, most notably hawala, nor did the government consider it a priority. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Mauritania continued its strong engagement with international and regional partners, taking a leadership role in multilateral fora, particularly the 5+5 Initiative, and facilitated greater cooperation on security issues through regional meetings in Nouakchott. On February 18, the Arab Maghreb Union, which consists of Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Libya, selected Mauritania as co-president of the foreign affairs committee of the 5+5 Initiative focused on regional security challenges for countries in the Mediterranean (Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Malta). Mauritania’s Defense Minister Ahmedou Ould Mohamed Radhi called for an end to paying ransoms for hostages at a 2011 meeting of 5+5 Defense Ministers. President Aziz attended the 5+5 October 4, 2012 conference for heads of state in Malta.
On January 23 and April 8, the Foreign Ministers of the field countries, known as the pays du champ (Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, and Niger), met in Nouakchott to discuss regional responses to the instability in Mali. On July 11, the chiefs of staff of the armed forces of these countries represented in the Committee of Joint Operational Staff gathered in Nouakchott to focus on the terrorist threat in northern Mali.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Mauritania continued to collaborate with independent Muslim religious organizations to promote moderation and to counter violent extremism. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education and the International Wasatiyya (Centrist) Forum co-sponsored a January conference on “Reformist Thought and Banishment of Violent Discourse.” In March and April, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Traditional Education organized a series of training seminars for 170 imams across the country, in cooperation with the independent Union of Imams group. The training focused on Islam’s role in society, the danger of violent Islamist extremism, and the unity of rite in a harmonious society.
On September 24, Arab Maghreb Union Ministers of Islamic Affairs opened a two-day meeting in Nouakchott to discuss the role of Sunni Islam in promoting tolerance and moderation. The conference’s theme was the creation of a unified strategy to counter violent extremism and terrorism “perpetrated under the label of Islam.” After a meeting with President Aziz on the margins of the event, Libyan Minister of Religious Affairs, Hamza Abul Fariss, declared that the five countries decided to create a new TV channel with the goal of presenting “the real moderate and tolerant image of Islam.”
The government also continued to broadcast a state-sponsored Quranic radio station and sponsored regular TV programming on themes of moderation in Islam. On July 23, the government announced the recruitment of 300 moderate imams, bringing the total number to 800.
Overview: Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other terrorist organizations were able to operate within undergoverned spaces in Nigerien territory, in particular the border areas with Libya, Algeria, and Mali. Porous borders and the huge expanse of Niger that lacks a permanent government presence provided terrorist groups with an environment conducive to recruiting, contraband smuggling, and kidnapping. Arms from Libya, including heavy weapons, have been trafficked into and through Niger, despite the government’s efforts to disarm mercenaries of the former regime of Muammar Qadhafi.
Historic tensions with Tuareg rebel groups, traditionally associated with cross-Sahara smuggling in northern Niger, contributed to the potential establishment of a breeding ground for future terrorists, as limited job opportunities for former rebels and returnees from Libya may provide recruits. Niger was fully engaged in preparations to participate in military intervention against terrorist groups in northern Mali under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which it is a member. Niger also continued its counterterrorism cooperation with other regional partners and organizations.
The presence of the violent extremist group Boko Haram (BH) in northern Nigeria, just across Niger’s southern border, posed a threat – BH members have been arrested inside Niger. The Government of Niger is committed to fighting AQIM and BH, but needs and welcomes external support and greater regional cooperation. The United States significantly increased its counterterrorism cooperation with Niger in 2012. U.S. Army personnel executed five separate training events with Nigerien Army forces in Tillia, Arlit, Dirkou, and Diffa.
Niger took delivery of base radio stations, personnel protective gear, vehicle fuel, and Global Positioning System devices. In addition, over 150 Nigerien law enforcement and security forces received five Antiterrorism Assistance training courses and other training opportunities. Topics included joint terrorism task force operations, forensics, preventing attacks on soft targets, Critical Response Team Operations, and respect for human rights. Regional Security Initiative and MANPADS funding provided equipment including 4x4 pickup trucks, motorcycles, computers, and other items.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: Incidents included:
• On August 7, Nigerien Armed Forces engaged in a firefight against members of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in the Tillabery region of Niger (near the Mali border).
• On October 14, MUJAO kidnapped six aid workers, five Nigeriens, and one Chadian from a guest house in the town of Dakoro, Maradi region. The Chadian was fatally wounded during the abduction. MUJAO took the Nigeriens to Gao, Mali, before releasing them on November 3.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey began biometric screening for passengers, using the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) border security system. In response to events in Mali, Niger increased its security forces along its borders with Mali, Algeria, and Libya. It selected over 500 troops to receive training in preparation for deployment as part of an ECOWAS intervention force in Mali.
The Counterterrorism Center in Niamey made several arrests of Boko Haram suspects on charges that included planning acts of terrorism, recruitment, and finance.
Countering Terrorist Finance: 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 financial intelligence unit, known by its French acronym, CENTIF, was fully operational with an active new chairman and a substantial increase in its budget. In 2012, CENTIF carried out a number of awareness-raising activities for reporting entities, but had yet to receive any suspicious transaction reports on the financing of terrorism. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Niger continued to work with Mali, Algeria, and Mauritania through the Algerian-led counterterrorism center, the General Staff Joint Operations Committee (CEMOC) in Tamanrasset, Algeria. In May, Niger hosted a meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum Working Group on Border Security in the Sahel. In October, Niger signed a security agreement with Nigeria to include joint border patrols aimed at fighting BH. In August, the EU deployed a 50-person team to Niger to build capacity in fighting terrorism and other organized crime. Niger continued to permit French forces to be based in Niamey to conduct surveillance operations.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Government-led initiatives to provide employment, especially to returnees from Libya, have sought to counter radicalization and violent extremism. In November, Niger held a conference to discuss strategic communication to combat terrorism. Niger did not have programs to reintegrate or rehabilitate former terrorists, but the Office of the National Mediator has spearheaded efforts for prison de-radicalization.
Overview: The militant sect “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad,” better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram (BH), conducted killings, bombings, kidnappings, and other attacks in Nigeria, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and the widespread destruction of property in 2012. The states where attacks occurred more frequently included Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Plateau, Taraba, and Yobe, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. No terrorist attacks occurred in the southern states of Nigeria. Suspected BH attackers killed Nigerian government and security officials, Muslim and Christian clerics, journalists, and civilians. Of particular concern to the United States is the emergence of the BH faction known as “Ansaru,” which has close ties to AQIM and has prioritized targeting Westerners – including Americans – in Nigeria.
President Goodluck Jonathan appointed a new National Security Adviser (NSA) in June, with the mandate to improve the Nigerian government’s coordination, communication, and cooperation on counterterrorism matters, both domestically and internationally. Most operations to counter BH were headed up by the military-led Joint Task Force, some members and units of which committed indiscriminate and extrajudicial use of force, including killings of civilians and BH suspects. The Nigerian government’s efforts to address grievances among Northern populations, which include high unemployment and a dearth of basic services, continued to fail, as did the security forces’ efforts to contain BH. The United States called on the Nigerian government to employ a comprehensive security strategy that is not predicated on the use of force, and that also addresses the economic and political exclusion of vulnerable communities in the north.
Nigerian-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation continued in 2012. In practice, the NSA retained the lead as coordinator of the Nigerian government’s counterterrorism strategy. In November, the Nigerian government formally requested assistance from the United States to develop an intelligence fusion center that would be able to streamline coordination and information sharing on counterterrorism matters among key agencies, including the State Security Service (SSS), the intelligence agencies, the national police, and the military. An inaugural working group to develop Nigeria’s intelligence fusion capability, composed of Embassy officials and staff of the Office of the National Security Adviser, met on December 15 to determine how the United States can best support this initiative.
On December 31, 2011, President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in Borno, Niger, Plateau, and Yobe states, which remained in effect throughout most of 2012. According to Nigerian government officials, the declaration of a state of emergency gives the government sweeping powers to search and arrest without warrants.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: Elements of BH increased the number and sophistication of attacks in 10 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, with a notable increase in the lethality, capability, and coordination of attacks. Notable terrorist incidents committed by elements of BH, and factions claiming to be BH or affiliated with BH, included:
• On January 20, multiple near-simultaneous attacks in Kano were carried out on at least 12 targets including police stations, an immigration office, and the Kano residence of an Assistant Inspector General of Police. Over 150 persons were killed and hundreds wounded.
• On January 26, a German construction worker was kidnapped on the outskirts of Kano city. On June 1, he was killed by his captors in a raid on the house where he was being held.
• On March 8, an Italian citizen and a British citizen who were kidnapped in May 2010 in Kebbi state, were killed in Sokoto state by their captors during an attempted rescue by Nigerian and British special forces.
• In April, assailants attacked Theatre Hall at Bayero University, Kano, with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and gunshots, killing nearly 20 persons.
• On April 26, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) simultaneously exploded at the offices of This Day newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna, killing five persons and wounding many.
• On June 17, attacks on three churches in Kaduna state killed worshippers and instigated violence throughout the state. At least 10 people were killed and an additional 78 injured in the ensuing riots, as groups barricaded roads, burned mosques, and used machetes to attack and kill. In response, the Kaduna state government imposed a 24-hour curfew and deployed additional security forces; however, violence between Christians and Muslims continued for nearly one week.
• In July, the assassination of three traditional Muslim leaders was attempted in Borno, Yobe, and Kaduna states respectively. None of the targets was killed.
• On July 30, police stations and markets in Sokoto were attacked, resulting in the death of six persons.
• In July and August, churches were targeted in Bauchi, Kaduna, and Kogi states. The total killed in these attacks was 22 persons.
• On December 19, a French engineer was kidnapped in Katsina state, near the Niger border. Ansaru, considered a splinter faction of BH, claimed the kidnapping, and the victim's whereabouts remained unknown at year’s end.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The weakest aspect of the Prevention of Terrorism Law of 2011 is that it does not clearly delineate the lead agency to investigate suspected terrorist crimes.
The trial of six suspects accused of the Christmas Day 2011 bombing of a Catholic church at Madalla in Niger state began in September and was ongoing at year’s end.
In February, a U.S. District Court sentenced Nigerian national Umar Abdulmutallab to life in prison for his unsuccessful attempt to detonate an explosive aboard a U.S.-flagged air carrier approaching Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009. Throughout the trial, the Nigerian government cooperated closely with DHS, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Nigerian government actively cooperated with the United States and other international partners to prevent further acts of terrorism in Nigeria against U.S. citizens, citizens of third countries, and Nigerian citizens.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Nigeria is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Nigeria was publicly identified by the FATF in February 2010 for strategic anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism deficiencies. In October 2011, Nigeria was named in the FATF Public Statement for its lack of progress in implementing its action plan. In 2012, Nigeria made significant progress in addressing its outstanding deficiencies, including through the adoption of amendments to its Money Laundering (Prevention) Act.
While Nigeria regularly froze the assets of individuals and entities designated under relevant UNSCRs, and others designated by the United States under U.S. domestic designation authorities only, delays sometimes occurred. All requests to freeze assets must first be sent to the National Security Adviser, who disseminates the information to relevant financial institutions and Nigerian government agencies. Consequently, delays of up to four weeks occasionally occurred before authorities would block assets. Nigeria did not monitor non-profit organizations to prevent misuse and terrorist financing.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: At the June 7 Ministerial Plenary Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Nigeria announced it would partner with Switzerland to co-host a Sahel Working Group meeting on combating the financing of terrorism in early 2013. In January, the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force launched three projects under the Integrated Assistance for Counter-Terrorism initiative to support Nigerian government efforts to combat terrorism. Nigeria is a lead member of the Economic Community of West African States and has committed ground forces and logistical support for a possible intervention force in Mali. Through its Office of the National Security Adviser, Nigeria has taken a lead role in initiating a multilateral dialogue between regional countries on how they can better coordinate their efforts to confront networks of terrorist groups that span international borders.
Overview: Rwanda worked to increase border security and cooperation with its neighbors in the East African Community, and signed new bilateral memorandums of understanding on police cooperation during the year. In early 2012, the Government of Rwanda, in tandem with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), worked to get the DRC-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FDLR), and other armed combatants, to demobilize and reintegrate into Rwandan society. In April, cooperative efforts between Rwanda and the DRC ended when a group of DRC soldiers rebelled and left the Armed Forces of the DRC to form the M23 rebel group, with the stated aim of overthrowing the government of the DRC. The Rwandan government, including Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF), provided assistance to M23 during the year, even though M23 leadership had been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury for its abuses in the eastern DRC and its leader was wanted by the International Criminal Court.
Counterterrorism training for border control officials, police, military, and security forces remained a priority, and relations with the United States on these issues remained strong.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: In 2012, there were several grenade and other attacks in Rwanda that the Rwandan government defined as terrorism, and the FDLR took responsibility for many of them. Grenade attacks consistently targeted busy markets or transit hubs in major urban areas, a pattern seen in Rwanda since 2009. Most attacks also coincided with high-profile Rwandan government events. Attacks that the Rwandan government classified as terrorist included:
• On January 3, a grenade attack killed two and wounded 16 in a Kigali market.
• On January 24, a grenade attack in Gitarama injured at least 14 people. Rwandan National Police (RNP) arrested two suspects
• On March 23, an explosion at Ruhengeri bus station killed one and injured five. There were no arrests.
• On March 30, two nearly-simultaneous grenade attacks in Kigali markets injured six. Four suspects were arrested by the RNP.
• On November 27, approximately 120 armed men reportedly crossed into Rwanda from the DRC to attack Rubavu province. The attack was repulsed by the RDF with no civilian casualties.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: On June 14, Rwanda promulgated a new penal code, which increased the Rwandan government’s ability to combat terrorism, in accord with relevant international conventions. The law includes new penal provisions for terrorism aboard aircraft or at airports, attacks on internationally protected persons, weapons of mass destruction, and other matters. The new code also expressly forbids exportation of arms, ammunition, and related materials to an area of armed conflict or a country under an arms embargo imposed by the UNSC or by organizations of which Rwanda is a member.
The poor security situation in the eastern DRC put pressure on Rwanda’s western borders.
Rwanda has been active in prosecutions of terrorist attacks. On January 13, judges convicted 21 defendants and acquitted eight in relation to several grenade attacks that took place in 2011 and earlier. Prosecutors in this case earlier dropped charges against more than 70 others. On December 6, the High Court in Musanze District convicted 11 of 12 defendants for threatening state security in relation to grenade attacks and other “terrorist acts” that occurred prior to 2012. On December 14, criminal trials started involving defendants charged in the 2012 grenade attacks.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Rwanda is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Rwanda’s new 2012 penal code prohibits money laundering and terrorist financing by individuals and entities. The Government of Rwanda continued efforts to implement its 2009 law on the “Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism,” which established the legislative framework to adhere to international money laundering standards. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Rwanda is not a member of any regional organization or grouping that carried out counterterrorism activities, but hosted security and terrorism-focused conferences held under the auspices of regional organizations like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization, a sub-regional organization of Interpol.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: In January, the Government of Rwanda sponsored an Africa Center for Strategic Studies conference on “Preventing Youth Radicalization in East Africa” in Kigali. Until April, Rwanda worked with MONUSCO and the DRC to encourage the FDLR and other armed combatants to demobilize and reintegrate into Rwandan society. After cooperation with the DRC ended, the Rwandan government continued demobilization and reintegration programs through the Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC). Through November, a total of 1,576 civilian noncombatants who had been living in areas of the DRC controlled by the FDLR rebel armed group returned, according to the RDRC.
The Rwandan government also supported the Musanze Child Rehabilitation Center in Northern Province, which provided care and social reintegration preparation for 58 children who had previously served in armed groups in the DRC. As of September, 18 of the former child soldiers were reunited with their families.
Overview: The Government of Senegal played an active role in countering terrorist financing in 2012. Senegal is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). As of 2012, Senegal had an operational Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in place.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Senegal has no comprehensive counterterrorism legislation. Senegalese legislation criminalizes illegal possession of a firearm. Possessing, bearing, transporting, importing, and the marketing of weapons and ammunition are subject to prior authorization from the Ministry of the Interior. In accordance with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recommendations, Senegal has established a national commission on light weapons to monitor arms trading carried out within the country and across its borders. Senegalese law provides that international treaties are supreme over domestic law. However, matters not expressly covered by international treaty are governed by domestic law.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Senegal is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Senegal continued to work with its partners, GIABA, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), and ECOWAS to develop a comprehensive AML/CFT regime. At the regional level, Senegal implemented the AML/CFT framework of the common law passed by the member states of WAEMU; all member states are bound to enact and implement the legislation. Among the WAEMU countries, Senegal was the first to have the new AML/CFT legal framework in place. Senegal has established procedures for the freezing of an account and other assets of indicted, convicted, or designated terrorists and terrorist organizations. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Senegal is a party to both international and regional conventions related to counterterrorism.
Overview: Building upon the February 2011 offensive that began the liberation of Mogadishu from al-Shabaab, 2012 marked another year of progress for Somalia. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its successor, the Federal Government of Somalia (elected indirectly in September) – with the assistance of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), led by Uganda and Burundi, as well as Ethiopian and allied Somali militia forces – secured areas neighboring Mogadishu and drove al-Shabaab from many cities and towns in south-central Somalia. Most notably, Kenyan forces gained primary control of the financial hub and port city of Kismayo on September 28.
Al-Shabaab continued to control large sections of rural areas in the middle and lower Juba regions, as well as Bay and Bakol regions, and augmented its presence in northern Somalia along the Golis Mountains and within Puntland’s larger urban areas. Areas under al-Shabaab control provided a permissive environment for the group to train operatives, including foreign fighters, and plot attacks. The ability of Somali federal, local, and regional authorities to prevent and preempt al-Shabaab terrorist attacks remained limited.
International terrorists remained in Somalia and continued to mount operations within Somalia and in neighboring countries, particularly Kenya. Al-Shabaab suffered from internal leadership disputes while Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed struggled to maintain control over the group’s factions. On September 23, Hisbul Islam (HI) announced its split from al-Shabaab; HI is a violent Islamist extremist movement headed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who joined al-Shabaab and became a “spiritual advisor” in December 2010.
The TFG, partnering with Somali regional state and administration leaders in Puntland, Galmudug, and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaa, established permanent governmental institutions during the year, marking the end of an eight-year transitional period of governance. This included finalizing a provisional federal constitution, forming an 825-member National Constituent Assembly that ratified the provisional constitution, selecting a 275-member federal parliament, and holding speakership and presidential elections. On September 10, parliament elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Neither the TFG nor the newly-established Government of Somalia had effective control over some parts of the country outside Mogadishu. Regional administrations, including Somaliland in the northwest and Puntland in the northeast, provided essential governance functions in those areas.
2012 Terrorist Incidents: In 2012, al-Shabaab and other violent extremists conducted suicide attacks, remote-controlled roadside bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations of government officials, journalists, humanitarian workers, and civil society leaders throughout Somalia. Many killings were beheadings, stonings, or other horrific public events designed to instill fear and obedience in communities. Other al-Shabaab attacks targeted government and foreign convoys. For example, on December 14, al-Shabaab attacked an AMISOM convoy with a car bomb in Mogadishu, which an al-Shabaab spokesman claimed was an attempt to target individuals they believed were American.
Al-Shabaab also conducted several attacks against Puntland security forces and their outposts on the foothills of the Golis Mountains, which run along the Puntland-Somaliland border, to include skirmishes in December which left over 30 dead or wounded.
Examples of high-profile al-Shabaab incidents in 2012 included:
• On April 4, a bombing of the national theater in Mogadishu where the TFG Prime Minister and several other government officials were attending a ceremony killed eight, including the Somali Olympic Committee Chair Aden Yabarow Wiish and Somali Football Federation Chief Said Mohamed Nur “Mugambe.”
• On April 10, al-Shabaab detonated an explosive device in a Baidoa food market killing 13 and wounding 40, almost all of whom were female traders, street vendors, and customers.
• In June, al-Shabaab decapitated at least 13 men and women it accused of collaborating against the group in Galgaduud and Hiraan regions.
• On September 12, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud survived an attempted assassination during a press conference with Kenya’s foreign minister. Several AMISOM and TFG soldiers were killed in the suicide attack.
• On September 20, multiple suicide bombings at a restaurant in Mogadishu killed at least 14 people, including three local reporters.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The TFG (through August) and the Government of Somalia (from September on), along with regional governments, continued to pursue al-Shabaab suspects throughout the year. In partnership with AMISOM and neighbors, the government conducted a successful military campaign against al-Shabaab strongholds in southern and central Somalia, capturing al-Shabaab strongholds of Baidoa, Afgoye, Afmadow, Balad, Lanta Buuro, Merca, Miido, Wanla Weyn, and Jowhar. Their most significant victory was the September 28 capture of the port-city of Kismayo, which al-Shabaab had used as a primary source of revenue through extortion activities and charging of duties, in particular on the export of charcoal.
The Puntland regional government stepped up its security campaign against al-Shabaab encouraging citizens to report any actions they believed could lead to insecurity or may be linked to or assist al-Shabaab. On July 21, for example, Puntland security forces arrested 53 people suspected of links with either al-Shabaab or piracy. Puntland forces also engaged in a number of skirmishes with al-Shabaab militants along the outskirts of the Golis Mountains – al-Shabaab’s hideout in northern Somalia – leaving at least nine dead on March 3, and 31 dead and wounded on December 5, according to Puntland government authorities and Somali media.
The TFG (through August), the Government of Somalia (from September on), and regional governments cooperated with U.S. law enforcement on numerous occasions, including investigations concerning suspected terrorists, kidnapping, and other acts of terrorism committed inside and outside Somalia.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Somalia is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. There are no known laws in Somalia that criminalize terrorist financing. Somalia does not have a formal banking sector, however there has been a reported increase in the establishment of “banks” throughout Somalia, which includes two unregulated commercial banks, one operating in Somaliland and the other in Mogadishu.
Somalia’s central government does not have a system or mechanism for freezing terrorist assets. In 2012, no government entities were capable of tracking, seizing, or freezing illegal assets. There is no mechanism for distributing information from the government to financial institutions (principally remitters or hawalas). Many institutions operating in Somalia have international offices, however, and those that do adhere to minimum international standards, including freezes on terrorist entities’ finances. Many money remittance companies based abroad, for example, use electronic anti-money laundering systems which flag names listed on the UN 1267/1989 and 1988 Sanctions Committees’ consolidated list. Somalia does not have any mechanisms in place under which to share information related to terrorist financing with the United States or other countries. The Government of Somalia has committed to public financial management and was in the process of drafting new banking laws at year’s end.
The Somali government called on regional governments to help stem the flow of terrorist financing, requesting that local governments trace, freeze, and seize al-Shabaab-related finances. The government also requested governments to assist in the enforcement of a long-standing national ban on charcoal exports, which have been used to finance al-Shabaab activities. This request resulted in the UNSC banning the import and export of Somali charcoal in UNSCR 2036 (2012).
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional And International Cooperation: In 2012, the Somali government worked with international and regional partners, including Kenya, Ethiopia, the AU, and the UN to degrade al-Shabaab as a domestic threat to stability and a terrorist threat abroad. Somalia is a member of the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Somali government has increasingly become more adept at proactively countering al-Shabaab’s violent extremist messaging. Examples of successful counter-messaging included the Countering Violent Extremism programs on Radio Mogadishu and the state-owned TV station. In 2010, the TFG’s Ministry of Information and Telecommunications began airing the Islamic Lecture Series (ILS) in Mogadishu, a program which has since expanded to include former al-Shabaab strongholds Baidoa, Beledweyne, Dhusamareb, and Abudwaq. ILS is a one-hour, call-in radio program designed to undercut al-Shabaab’s efforts to acquire religious legitimacy for its violent extremist ideology.
Overview: In 2012, South Africa and the United States had little formal counterterrorism cooperation. The South African State Security Agency (SSA) did not significantly engage with U.S. counterterrorism interlocutors.
SSA has used the government’s ongoing effort to centralize all intelligence activities under the SSA’s umbrella to implement new protocols and enforce old ones. In 2012, SSA began to aggressively enforce the requirement that any counterterrorism-related coordination be directly through SSA’s Foreign Branch, which then determines which other entities within SSA or other parts of the South African government will be involved. As a result, U.S. officers working on counterterrorism issues have been largely prevented from engaging their counterparts, who have arrest authority in South Africa. This has also inhibited coordination and information exchanges between some South Africa government agencies and western interlocutors on counterterrorism issues.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: South Africa took steps this year to address document fraud and border security vulnerability. South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) introduced a new passport with additional security features aimed at eliminating forgery of passports by organized criminal networks. DHA also instituted a new electronic accounting system with protocols on passport issuance in an attempt to combat corruption.
In October, the government opened its testimony as the prosecution witness in a case involving Henry Okah, the leader for the Movement for Defense of the Niger Delta. Okah, a South African citizen since 2003, stood trial in the Gauteng South High Court for his role in the twin bombings during the October 2010 Independence Day Anniversary celebrations in Abuja, Nigeria, that killed and wounded scores of people. On January 21, 2013 Okah was found guilty on 13 counts of terrorism, and on March 26, was sentenced to 24 years in prison. This case is one of the first to be prosecuted under the 2004 Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act.
In 2012, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) built on its strong relationship with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Container Security Initiative team in Durban. SARS worked with CBP to build capacity to meet the World Customs Organization Framework of Standards.
South Africa continued to participate in the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program by attending courses on Maritime Interdiction, Explosive Ordinance and Forensics, Land Border Interdiction, Management of Special Events, Document Fraud, and Crime Scene Management. South African officials also participated directly with the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Gaborone, Botswana. Courses at the ILEA focus on training of mid-level police managers in a wide range of law enforcement and police programs. Unfortunately, South African attendance at these courses was plagued by poor participation and it attendees were often unaffiliated with counterterrorism activities.
Countering Terrorist Finance: As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a FATF-style regional body, South Africa largely complied with FATF standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance, and has a well-functioning Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). Those required to report to the FIC included banks, financial institutions, car dealers, attorneys, gold dealers, gambling establishments, real estate agents, foreign exchange dealers, securities traders, money lenders (including those who lend against shares, e.g., brokers), entities selling travelers checks, and Johannesburg stock exchange- registered people, and companies. South Africa's FIC is a member of the Egmont group.
Most major cities have a sizable community of those who use a multitude of locally owned money/value transfer (MVTs) services that tend to be poorly regulated, including hawalas. Analysts believe that given a sizable Somali community, and presence of al-Shabaab sympathizers in South Africa, hawalas and other MVTS are likely being exploited to transfer funds to violent extremists in East Africa.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: South Africa is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and sent representatives from its embassies to participate in working group meetings. South Africa finished its second two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC (2011-2012) and played a leading role in the AU Peace and Security Council.
Overview: South Sudan is the newest country in the world, one of its least developed, and is recovering from 22 years of civil war. In 2012, the Government of South Sudan suffered from multiple institutional weaknesses – including insufficient policing and intelligence gathering capabilities, capacity and professionalism deficits within the military, inadequate border controls, and deficient aviation security and screening at the country’s main international airports in Juba, Malakal, and Rumbek. The government’s ability to enact preventive measures and to conduct counterterrorism operations was extremely limited. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, remained a threat.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Airport security improved slightly with the implementation of some International Civil Aviation Organization security standards. Juba International Airport accepts travel documents in the form of identity cards and passports that generally meet international standards. South Sudan has very limited monetary and human resource capacity to provide effective law enforcement and border security with respect to counterterrorism. Additionally, the border with Sudan is disputed in many locations.
Countering Terrorist Finance: South Sudan is not a member of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In August, South Sudan passed anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism legislation. The country’s capabilities to implement or enforce the law remained limited. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: South Sudan is a member of the UN, the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Interpol, and the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization, a sub-regional organization of Interpol. South Sudan participated in the AU Regional Task Force (AU-RTF), a joint military task force that includes Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. The AU-RTF is tasked with eliminating the LRA threat in the region, and is supported by the UN and AU.
Overview: Since the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in July 1998, Tanzania has not experienced another major terrorist attack. Al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya, however, have served as a reminder that the threat in the region is still very real. According to Tanzania's interagency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the June arrest of al-Qa’ida (AQ) and al-Shabaab associate, Emrah Erdogan, in Dar es Salaam suggests that the organizations have elements and plans within the country's borders. The NCTC sees itself as a means of preventing terrorist attacks rather than responding to them. In September and October, intermittent political unrest in Zanzibar, combined with mounting religious tensions on the mainland, created an environment in which the NCTC was on heightened alert watching for potential terrorist attacks. These developments resulted in demonstrations, rioting, and the destruction of property on a localized scale, but the NCTC did not consider any of these actions terrorism-related.
The NCTC has identified the most historically radicalized areas of the country, and the police are therefore planning to install counterterrorism police units in these regions in order to better track and respond to violent extremism. The NCTC continued to work with local police to engage community elders and religious leaders in these regions to encourage dialogue as a means of addressing grievances rather than violence.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Regulations for the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act were drafted in 2011 and published in August 2012 as the Prevention of Terrorism Regulations 2012. The regulations establish the police and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) as the institutions that are to collect and respond to reports of terrorist activity. The regulations also formalized the process for deeming someone a suspected terrorist, freezing assets, and sharing information between government agencies. To improve border security, the United States provided the police with several patrol boats in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mwanza, and Tanga. The NCTC reported that its personnel were reviewing border control systems to determine areas of further need.
The most significant counterterrorism law enforcement action this year was the arrest of AQ and al-Shabaab associate Emrah Erdogan, a German citizen of Turkish origin. According to media reports, police received a tip from German authorities and arrested Erdogan on June 10 as he arrived at Dar es Salaam's international airport. Erdogan was wanted for suspected connections to al-Shabaab and for suspected involvement in bombings in Nairobi. Tanzania transferred Erdogan to Germany for trial. In addition to the Erdogan arrest, the Tanzanian government interdicted several youth allegedly heading to and returning from terrorist training facilities in Somalia and the Middle East.
Tanzania shares borders with eight countries and lacks sufficient resources to adequately patrol those borders. Officers manning border posts are often underequipped and undertrained. Some border posts do not have access to electricity, so computerized systems are not always an option. Among the points of entry that do use computerized systems, there is no single border management software that integrates the information available at all posts. Several Ministry of Home Affairs officials have commented that border posts need better inter-operability.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Since October 2010, Tanzania has been publicly identified by the FATF as a jurisdiction with strategic anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism deficiencies, for which it has developed an action plan with the FATF to address these weaknesses. In February 2012, Tanzania was named in the FATF Public Statement for its lack of progress in implementing its action plan. Since that time, however, Tanzania has made significant progress to address its outstanding deficiencies, including amending its Prevention of Terrorism Act in June 2012.
Tanzania's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist finance, and is seeking membership in the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. The Anti-Money Laundering Law dictates that the FIU has the responsibility to follow up on cases referred from other organizations rather than to seek out cases on its own. FIU staff attributed this increase in referrals to a series of training exercises they conducted with referring organizations throughout the year.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Tanzania is a member of the South African Development Community and the East African Community, both of which have regular working groups that address counterterrorism. Through the East African Police Chiefs' Cooperation Organization and South African Police Chiefs' Cooperation Organization, the NCTC maintained more frequent, informal contact with other police forces in the region.
Overview: Uganda remained a strong force for regional stability, coordination, and counterterrorism efforts in 2012. The Ugandan government cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism efforts, was a strong advocate of cross-border solutions to security issues, and showed increased political will to secure its borders and apprehend suspected terrorists. Resource limitations, porous borders, and corruption presented challenges, however. Uganda has been the backbone of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and has played an active role in countering Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) efforts.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: With U.S. assistance, Uganda continued to expand its border control system to additional points of entry and upgraded it to capture biometric information. Although Uganda significantly improved its ability to investigate terrorist acts, additional training and resources are needed. A Constitutional Court challenge over jurisdiction, extradition, and treatment of the 12 individuals arrested for orchestrating the July 2010 bombings in Kampala indefinitely delayed the trial because the Court lacked a quorum.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Uganda is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and does not have a financial intelligence unit. Uganda’s financial sector remained vulnerable to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial transactions; Uganda has not criminalized money laundering. Legal and law enforcement measures to combat terrorist financing, based on the Anti-Terrorist Act of 2002 and the Financial Institutions Act of 2004, are inadequate and do not meet international standards. Uganda lacked the capacity needed to effectively monitor and regulate alternative remittance services and wire transfer data.
The Anti-Terrorist Act inadequately criminalizes terrorist financing. Ugandan authorities have not used this Act to investigate any terrorist financing cases, and Uganda did not prosecute any terrorist financing cases in 2012. The Anti-Terrorist Act lists al-Qa’ida; the LRA; the Allied Democratic Forces, a violent extremist group based in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and one defunct Ugandan rebel group as terrorist organizations. The Act has no suspicious transaction reporting requirement, and can take up to 21 days to update.
The Bank of Uganda asks local banks to report suspicious transactions, but there is no clear implementation mechanism for enforcing this or investigating potentially suspicious activity. Uganda routinely distributed the UN lists of designated terrorists or terrorist entities to financial institutions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Uganda. Uganda has the ability to monitor NGOs, but primarily uses this capability to monitor the activities of NGOs critical of the Ugandan government.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Uganda is an active member of the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Community of Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Uganda contributed troops to the AU Mission in Somalia and continued to lead regional efforts to end the threat presented by the LRA in coordination with the DRC and South Sudan under the African Union Regional Task Force framework. As Chair of the ICGLR, Uganda led efforts to mediate discussions between M23 rebels and the DRC government.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: After the July 2010 terrorist attacks, Ugandan police increased outreach to local youth considered at risk for radicalization and recruitment into violent extremist organizations. Uganda has offered amnesty to former LRA combatants and members of the ADF since 2000, but announced in May that future amnesty requests would only be considered on a case-by-case basis.