U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Counterterrorism
Cytel Group, Inc.
4900 Hopyard Road, Suite 100
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Tel: (925) 354-6893
Evaluation Purpose and Methodology:
The purpose of this evaluation is to review the effectiveness of CT’s Somali assistance programs, in order to inform the design of future Counterterrorism programming in Somalia. The methodology for this evaluation was based on two complementary data collection and analysis techniques including, conducting a desk review of related documentation, as well as stakeholder interviews and site visits in Washington DC; Nairobi, Kenya; and Mogadishu, Somalia.
CT’s law enforcement capacity building program in Somalia is implemented through an active cooperative agreement with Bancroft Global Development (Bancroft). This program sponsors intensive training and mentoring services, along with enabling equipment, for Somali law enforcement partners to build capacities to prevent and respond to critical incidents and collaborate with international counterparts. The work comprises training, mentoring, and equipping the Somali Police Force (SPF) Joint Investigative Team (JIT) in and around Mogadishu on aspects such as crime scene management, field medical training, command and control, explosives management, evidence collection, and investigations. CT has added to this program with FY16 Counterterrorism Partnership Fund (CTPF) and plans to further expand it with FY17 funds. To date, with few exceptions, the JIT program has been predominately implemented in the Banadir Region (Mogadishu), with consideration being given for program expansion into other regions throughout Somalia.
Findings and Conclusion:
The JIT program is by all accounts considered a tremendous success. Since the program began in 2014, the CT-sponsored JIT trained and mentored unit has produced substantial counterterrorism successes while advancing the rule of law in and around Mogadishu. The CT assistance to the JIT program has directly developed a competent unit able to respond to critical incidents, manage complex crime scenes, and conduct investigations that have included extremely high-profile cases. A 33-page document identifies Operational Highlights from January 2016 through June 30, 2017 (attached as Appendix II). This document briefly states the details of hundreds of critical incident responses and high-profile criminal cases managed by the JIT. Operational Highlights include the investigation and subsequent prosecution of the Daallo Airlines Flight 3159 Bombing suspects, as well as a long list of operational responses, arrests, investigations and related successful prosecutions.
The Cooperative Agreement between DoS and Bancroft Global Development includes:
Objective 1: “Enhance Somali law enforcement capacity to prevent and to respond to critical security incidents (e.g. crime scene security and management, field medical training, command and control, basic evidence collection), on a sustainable basis,” as well as,
Objective 2: “Reinforce Somali law enforcement capacity to coordinate and collaborate with international counterparts and donor partners.”
The most critical component in the development of the successful JIT program has been the ongoing operational mentoring provided by Bancroft personnel. This mentoring has reinforced the training provided during course instruction and bridged institutional gaps in capacity that otherwise limit the effectiveness of tactical-level training. Mentors have been directly involved at all levels of JIT operational development including: command and control; equipment distribution and management; on-going training; field operations and subsequent debriefs; IED exploitation; investigative case management; forensics, etc. During the JIT stakeholder interviews and site visits conducted by the Evaluator in October 2017, comments provided by all persons involved in the program consistently praised Bancroft mentors as the key reason for programmatic success. JIT, EOD, and EDD personnel not only recognize the experience and subject matter expertise possessed by Bancroft mentors, they also have a great amount of respect in the fact that the mentors are willing to risk their lives in the field and work alongside them in the most dangerous of situations.
- Fill the vacant in-country CT Program Coordinator Position as quickly as possible.
- Coordinate efforts with FBI to create an IED Intelligence Fusion and Exploitation Cell.
- Review the INL Cooperative Agreement with Bancroft related to the apparent lack of a Security Unit, resulting in the JIT performing security functions for INL programs.
- Include the Equipment List in the Quarterly Reports and list all weapons.
- Include language in future cooperative agreements that clearly state disposition instructions as outlined in 2 CFR 200.313(e)(1) through (4).
- Develop and sign a codified MOU between the DoS and the SPF Police Commissioner, or the appropriate level within the FGS, identifying programmatic specifics and deliverables from the United States, via Bancroft, as well as what level of commitment is expected from the SPF. This should include APTF personnel, facilities, maintaining EDD teams at the airport, etc.
- Bancroft should include as an Annex to each quarterly report, personnel information including numbers, names, titles, etc. for each JIT, APTF, EOD and EDD unit addressed in the cooperative agreement. If positions have not been filled, a status should be provided addressing Leahy Vetting and other issues that affect program-staffing levels.
- Appropriate CT, AF and INL representatives should continue to work closely to determine the best strategic approach in developing and operating similar programs throughout Somalia.
- Continue to provide assistance to the JITs, focusing both on operational capacity building, as well as an enhanced sustainment efforts within the SPF JIT units as a means to advance CT Policy and Priorities in Somalia.
A number of recommendations were included in this report related to the following areas:
- Development and delivery of on-going formalized training;
- Development of Standard Operating Procedures;
- Exercise Participation with ATA East Africa Joint Operation Exercises;
- Mentorship and beginning a train-the trainer model within the JIT unit.