Country Reports on Terrorism 2006
Chapter 2 -- Country Reports: Africa Overview
"We also resolve, as all civilized nations have, to join the global effort to fight terrorism anywhere in the world recognizing that it is today the most single challenge to world peace and collective freedom..."
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
President, Republic of Liberia
Remarks, UN General Assembly, 61st Session
New York City, September 19, 2006
A small number of al-Qaida (AQ) operatives in East Africa, particularly Somalia, continued to pose the most serious threat to American and allied interests in the region. Although elements were severely disrupted at year's end, AQ continued to operate in Somalia and elsewhere in East Africa. Somalia remains a concern, as the country's unsecured borders and continued political instability provide opportunities for terrorist transit and/or organization. AQ remains likely to keep making common cause with Somali extremists in an attempt to disrupt international peacemaking efforts in Somalia.
There were few significant international terrorist incidents in Africa, but civil conflict and ethnic violence continued in a number of countries. AQ-affiliated terrorist groups were present and operated in Northwest Africa. These groups conducted small scale attacks on host governments and U.S. interests, raised funds, recruited, and conducted other support activities across the Trans-Sahara. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) merged with al-Qaida in September and changed its name to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM/GSPC continued to operate in the Sahel region, crossing difficult-to-patrol borders between Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Algeria, and Chad to recruit extremists within the region for training and terrorist operations in the Trans-Sahara and, possibly, for operations outside the region. Its new alliance with al-Qaida potentially has given it access to more resources and training.
Hizballah continued to engage in fundraising activities in Africa, particularly in West Africa, but did not engage in any terrorist attacks within the region. Many African governments improved their cooperation and strengthened their efforts in the War on Terror. Both the African Union (AU) and African regional organizations continued initiatives to improve counterterrorism cooperation and information sharing.
Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP)
The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership is a multi-faceted, multi-year strategy aimed at defeating terrorist organizations by strengthening regional counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region's security forces, promoting democratic governance, discrediting terrorist ideology, and reinforcing bilateral military ties with the United States. The overall goals are to enhance the indigenous capacities of governments in the pan-Sahel (Mauritania, Mali, Chad, and Niger, as well as Nigeria and Senegal) to confront the challenge posed by terrorist organizations in the region and to facilitate cooperation between those countries and our Maghreb partners (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) in combating terrorism.
The need for TSCTP stemmed from the potential for expansion of operations by Islamic terrorist organizations in the Sahel. TSCTP was developed as a follow-on to the very successful Pan-Sahel Initiative, which focused solely on the states of the Sahel. Ongoing concern that Islamist terrorists continue to seek to create safe havens and support networks in the remote expanses of the Sahel, as well as the public affiliation of some terrorist groups with AQ, led to its formal approval by the U.S. Government in early 2005.
TSCTP is a five-year program of counterterrorism, democratic governance, and military assistance and includes a public diplomacy component. Its main elements include:
- Counterterrorism (CT) programs to create a new regional focus for trans-Saharan cooperation, including use of established regional organizations like the African Union and its new Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers. These programs include training to improve border and aviation security and overall CT readiness;
- Continued specialized Counterterrorism Assistance Training and Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP) activities in the trans-Sahara region and possible regional expansion of those programs;
- Public diplomacy programs that expand outreach efforts in the Sahel and Maghreb regions, Nigeria, and Senegal and seek to develop regional programming embracing this vast and diverse region. Emphasis is on preserving the traditional tolerance and moderation displayed in most African Muslim communities and countering the development of extremism, particularly in youth and rural populations;
- Democratic governance programs that strive, in particular, to provide adequate levels of U.S. Government support for democratic and economic development in the Sahel, strengthening those states' ability to withstand internal threats; and
- Military programs intended to expand military-to-military cooperation, to ensure adequate resources are available to train, advise, and assist regional forces, and to establish institutions promoting better regional cooperation, communication, and intelligence sharing.
The African Union
The African Union (AU) has several counterterrorism legal instruments, including a Convention on Prevention and Combating of Terrorism (1999), a 2002 Protocol to the Convention, and a 2004 Plan of Action. The Addis Ababa-based AU Commission provided guidance to its 53 member states on ratification and implementation of continental and international counterterrorism commitments, and coordinated assistance to cover member states' counterterrorism gaps. The AU maintained that Africa's colonial legacy made it difficult to accept a definition of terrorism that excluded an exception for "freedom fighters." Still, the AU is on record strongly condemning acts of terrorism, such as those that occurred in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, and London, England. Although AU Commission's political will to act as an effective counterterrorism partner was strong, capacity remained relatively weak. The AU sought to create a counterterrorism unit at its headquarters to promote member state counterterrorism efforts more effectively. The AU welcomes technical and financial assistance from international partners/donors to bolster both AU headquarters and African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) activities approved by member states.
Botswana established its National Counterterrorism Committee to address issues pertaining to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and regularly participated in Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Programs offered at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone. The Botswana Defense Forces designated a squadron as its counterterrorist unit and several of its officers had counterterrorism training. The Bank of Botswana listed suspected terrorist assets and informed all banking institutions in the country by circulating an updated list of suspicious accounts. Although Botswana had no Financial Intelligence Unit, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes had a dedicated unit investigating suspicious transactions. As a member of the Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC) Organization on Politics, Defense, and Security, Botswana was responsible for the organization's counterterrorism efforts. SADC capabilities and its efforts in fighting terrorism were limited, however.
The Government of Burundi attempted to improve its domestic efforts in the fight against international terrorism. With assistance from the United States, Burundi endeavored to pass new legislation on terrorist financing and other statutes that would specifically outlaw terrorist acts. Although members of the security sector were responsive to requests to assist the United States, their training and meager resources severely limited their ability to prevent international terrorist acts. Burundi's porous border, coupled with daily incoming flights from East Africa, could allow terrorists easy entry into the country. Through its participation in the Tripartite Plus One group, Burundi joined with Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to identify and prevent regional insurgent forces from operating in its territory.
International terrorism concerns in Comoros focused on Comorian national Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (a.k.a. Harun Fazul), who is suspected of involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. His whereabouts were unknown, but he was believed to have maintained contacts in Comoros. The Comorian government's security forces had limited resources and training in counterterrorism and maritime security, so the country remained vulnerable to terrorist transit or safe haven. Comorian police and security forces continued to participate in U.S. antiterrorism assistance programs and cooperated with the Rewards for Justice Program.
President Sambi, a devout Muslim democratically elected in May, reconfirmed Comoros' rejection of terrorism and, with Comoros' religious leaders, publicly rejected Islamist extremism. President Sambi has sought close partnership with the United States to develop Comoros and to create opportunities for the country's youth. In September, President Sambi and agreed to establish a joint committee to improve bilateral relations, including cooperation on counterterrorism.
Djibouti hosted the only U.S. military base in Sub-Saharan Africa for U.S. and Coalition Forces and remained a staunch supporter of U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Djibouti was one of the most forward-leaning Arab League members supporting ongoing efforts against terrorism. President Ismail Omar Guelleh and many top leaders in Djibouti repeatedly expressed their country's full and unqualified support for the War on Terror. Djibouti was one of the very first Arab League nations to do so following September 11, 2001, even in the face of adversity and criticism from its neighbors.
U.S. security personnel continued to work closely with Djiboutian counterparts to monitor intelligence and follow up on prospective terrorism-related leads. Although the government's capabilities were limited, Djiboutian counterparts were very proactive, and were highly receptive and responsive to U.S. requests for cooperation. The Djiboutian National Security Services took extraordinary measures with its limited resources to ensure the safety and security of American citizens, the U.S. embassy, and the U.S. military base at Camp Lemonier.
Although a developing nation with constrained resources in a tough neighborhood, Ethiopia demonstrated political will and intent to tackle the problem of terrorism. Ethiopia's counterterrorist capabilities were limited, but increasing. The government agreed to a number of new initiatives and cooperated in efforts to collect and share intelligence on terrorist groups.
In response to increasing threats against its security in December, the Government of Ethiopia conducted a counteroffensive in support of the internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia against the extremist dominated Council of Islamic Courts (CIC). Mid-year, the CIC gained control of Mogadishu and in a series of offensives in the second half of the year, extended its control over most of southern Somalia. The CIC made claims to large areas of Ethiopia and Kenya inhabited by ethnic Somalis. By the end of the year, Ethiopian and TFG advances routed the CIC out of Mogadishu, though there was concern that some CIC extremists would continue to reject peace overtures and could initiate an insurgency with AQ support.
The highest levels of the Ethiopian government recognized Ethiopia's vulnerability to financial crimes including terrorist financing and counterfeiting. The Penal Code adopted in early 2005 criminalized money laundering and a number of other financial crimes. The Central Bank (National Bank of Ethiopia) drafted specific anti-money laundering legislation, which included the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit.
Ethiopia's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation, was responsible for overall counterterrorism management. Federal and local police counterterrorism capabilities were primarily focused on being able to respond to terrorist incidents. Draft counterterrorism legislation was before Parliament at year's end.
Ethiopia was an active participant in African Union (AU) counterterrorism efforts, was nominated as a focal point for the AU's Center for Study and Research on Terrorism, and participated in meetings of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa.
Kenya and the United States maintained generally good cooperation against terrorism throughout 2006, to the mutual benefit of both countries. Kenya was a capable and willing partner and took steps to interdict and apprehend terror suspects. Its cooperation, however, was uneven and constrained by domestic political pressures and considerations. Key among these were Kenyan Muslim and ethnic-Somali communities unsympathetic to cooperation with the United States, an inadequate legal and regulatory framework, and concerns about possible retribution from Somali Islamic extremists.
Kenya proved itself a solid and proactive partner during the Somali crisis that began in December, when Islamic extremists fleeing the Ethiopian advance threatened Kenya's national security. Kenya's borders remained porous and vulnerable to movement of potential terrorists as well as small arms and other contraband. In response to the crisis in Somalia, Kenya deployed its forces along its border with Somalia and at sea to apprehend fleeing CIC extremist fighters and prevent them from establishing safe haven in Kenya. Beginning in late 2006, the Kenyan government banned all flights to and from Somalia except for humanitarian aid flights and flights to the TFG's center of Baidoa. The order remained in effect, despite objections from growers of miraa, or qat, who were deprived of their main market (Somalia) by the ban.
Important Kenyan officials spoke out publicly about the dangers of terrorism and key elements of the Kenyan security apparatus took concrete steps to increase counterterrorism efforts, including the formation of an interagency Coastal Security Steering Committee. At the same time, however, political and bureaucratic resistance remained to the formation of an interagency Kenyan Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
Kenya still lacked counterterrorism legislation. In April 2003, Kenya published a draft "Suppression of Terrorism Bill," only to withdraw it after harsh criticism from human rights groups and Kenyan Muslim communities. The Kenyan government wrote another draft of the bill in May, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, but did not officially publish the document or submit it to Parliament. In the absence of such legislation, it is difficult to detain terror suspects and to prosecute them effectively. Nonetheless, ATA-trained police investigators and counterterrorism prosecutors were credited with the re-arrest and successful prosecution of Kikambala bombing suspect Omar Said Omar after his acquittal on the main terrorism charge.1 Omar was subsequently found guilty on April 4 and sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm, ammunition, and explosives.
The government made some progress on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. In November, the government published the text of the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Bill for public comment and it is expected to be submitted to Parliament in March 2007. The Central Bank of Kenya issued guidelines effective January 1, 2007, under Section 33K of the Central Bank of Kenya Act, to strengthen controls over foreign exchange bureaus to regulate their use of third party checks and telegraphic transfers, transactions that may have previously been used for money laundering or terrorist finance. Kenya took a major step to combat money laundering through the closure of Charterhouse Bank.
Senior Kenyan officials made clear their desire to achieve a Safe Skies agreement, but much work remained to be done to bring Kenya up to international standards. U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration training efforts in recent years improved aviation security, but consistent planning and enforcement of security procedures remained a challenge in 2006, particularly at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Security improved, however, at Kenya's main air entry point, Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Despite limited resources, untrained personnel, and a weak judicial system, all products of 14 years of civil war, the Government of Liberia demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the United States and the international community to combat terrorism. Through rule of law and security sector reform assistance programs, the United States supported a number of initiatives that addressed Liberia's vulnerabilities, which included porous borders, rampant identification document fraud, lax immigration controls, wide-scale corruption, and underpaid law enforcement, security, and customs personnel. The Liberian government was eager to engage the United States on counterterrorism, international crime issues, and security sector reform.
There have never been any acts of transnational terrorism in Liberia. Of concern, however, were reports that hundreds of Middle Eastern businessmen purchased legitimately issued but fraudulently obtained Liberian diplomatic passports from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) officials. These documents would permit free movement between the Middle East and West Africa. The government took steps to stop this Charles Taylor-era practice by requiring that diplomatic passports be issued only by the MFA in Monrovia.
The government's failure to surrender fugitives for extradition was a source of frustration in bilateral relations. In January, a circuit court erroneously held that the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Liberia expired in 1944. The Government of Liberia appealed that decision, and it is pending in the Supreme Court.
Since 2003, there has been a resurgence in the number of visits by foreign Islamic proselytizing groups, overwhelmingly Sunni organizations from Pakistan, Egypt, and South Africa. Liberian security services reported that none of these groups publicly espoused militant or anti-U.S. messages. Liberia's indigenous, war-weary, and predominantly Sunni Islamic community, which represented roughly 20 percent of the country's population, has demonstrated no interest in militant strains of Islam to date. That said, outstanding land disputes negatively affecting large numbers of Muslim land owners in Nimba and other counties could fan ethnic and religious tensions with the predominantly Christian central government.
As in other West African states, reports of possible Hizballah connections within the Lebanese community in Liberia indicated that Lebanese businessmen provided financial support and engaged in fundraising activities for Hizballah. There were no other terrorist groups known to be operating within Liberia.
International terrorism was a concern in Madagascar because of the island nation's inadequately monitored 3,000 mile coastline. Limited equipment, personnel, and training for border control increased the risks of penetration. The Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Embassy co-hosted an International Maritime Security Conference in July with military and civilian participants from ten countries in the Indian Ocean and along the east coast of Africa. Malagasy police, military, intelligence, and security forces have not had much training in counterterrorism and maritime surveillance, but despite limited resources, government officials were willing to cooperate with the United States; the international maritime conference and the Rewards for Justice Program were two examples of cooperative ventures. At the main port in Tamatave, which handled 80 percent of maritime traffic and more than 90 percent of container traffic, access control and overall security improved substantially. The U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Liaison removed Tamatave Port from its Port Security Advisory for Madagascar, with an acknowledgement that the Port met minimum standards under the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code.
Inadequate resources continued to hamper the Malian government's ability to control its long and porous borders, thus limiting the effectiveness of military patrols and border control measures. Mali cooperated with U.S. efforts, and remained one of the largest recipients in the sub-region of military training and assistance through the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership and other U.S. assistance programs. Northern Mali served as a potential safe haven for terrorists, traffickers, and smugglers due to the region's remoteness, harsh desert climate, and size. The AQIM/GSPC maintained a regular, small-scale presence, moving essentially without hindrance in the northern part of Malian territory, although it did not maintain any permanent facilities and was constantly on the move. In September and October, a group of Malian Tuareg rebels, known as the Alliance for Democracy and Change (ADC), engaged in two firefights with the AQIM/GSPC in northern Mali. The Malian government did not announce an official position on the violence between the ADC and AQIM/GSPC, nor did it attempt to confront AQIM/GSPC elements in the North or prevent their use of Malian territory. There were no confrontations between the Malian military and the AQIM/GSPC in 2006.
Mauritanian leaders continued to cooperate with the United States in the War on Terror. The transitional government took several positive steps toward creating an inclusive political environment that allowed moderate Islamic groups to participate in the political process. While the government continued not to recognize Islamic political parties, it did allow these groups to submit legislative and municipal candidates on independent lists.
On April 26, three suspected terrorists escaped from the central prison and apparently fled the country. Between May and August, the government arrested approximately ten individuals it claimed had links to terrorist groups. This brought the number of suspected terrorists in custody to approximately 20. The government did not try any of the suspected terrorists it held. Mauritanian officials dismantled a AQIM/GSPC network in May and June. The government did not tolerate the presence of AQIM/GSPC members on its territory, and several AQIM/GSPC members who attempted to infiltrate the country were arrested. In contrast with the previous year, there were no terrorist attacks on Mauritanian soil. However, fighting between the AQIM/GSPC and Tuareg rebels in Northern Mali occasionally threatened the border region. The Mauritanian Group for Preaching and Jihad (GMPJ) was not active during the year because most of its members were arrested in May 2005. Although eight of its members were released this year, the group's leaders remained in Mauritanian custody.
Although Nigeria wanted to be viewed as taking a leading counterterrorism role in West Africa, its security agencies remained reactive. Nigerian intelligence and security services worked hard, however, to improve intelligence sharing on counterterrorism issues, and the Nigerian military worked to establish units with counterterrorism capability. Nigerian security services were cooperative when asked to investigate potential terrorist threats to U.S. interests.
Nigeria took the lead in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU in sponsoring joint intelligence and security conferences on counterterrorism. The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), an organization founded by African heads of state, condemned terrorism and called for African nations to take concrete measures to combat it. Nigeria initiated legislative and regulatory steps to shore up its anti-money laundering regime to fight terrorism.
While Nigeria's current criminal law did not contain specific counterterrorism provisions, the penal code proscribed acts of violence that included terrorism. In August, the Nigerian cabinet approved a draft counterterrorism bill and sent it to the National Assembly for consideration. Under the new legislation, anyone convicted of a terrorist offense could be sentenced to as much as 35 years in prison. The National Assembly had not acted on the bill by year's end.
There was no special examining magistrate with specific powers in the counterterrorism area. In Nigeria, suspects by law must be charged within 48 hours, but in practice were held as long as deemed necessary. Most criminals were photographed and fingerprinted by security elements, but DNA samples were not taken due to resource constraints and a lack of scientific infrastructure.
While the Nigerian government did not support international terrorism or terrorists, there were some individuals and private groups in Nigeria with ties to probable terrorist elements in Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Libya. Members of terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and the AQIM/GSPC, have operated and recruited in Nigeria.
The Rwandan government made efforts to combat terrorism financing and continued to increase its border control measures to identify potential terrorists. Rwanda had an intergovernmental counterterrorism committee and a counterterrorism reaction team in the police intelligence unit. Central Bank and Ministry of Finance officials continued to provide outstanding cooperation on terrorist financing issues. While the Government of Rwanda had not yet fully developed its laws and regulations in accordance with international conventions and protocols concerning terrorism, it had the authority under local law to identify, freeze, and seize terrorist-related financial assets. Rwanda participated in regional initiatives on international counterterrorism cooperation, including active participation in the East African Stand-by Brigade. In September, it hosted the Third Regional Counter-Terrorism Conference for Chiefs of Security and Intelligence Services in Kigali, and it assumed the chairmanship of the organization. In October, Police Commissioner General Andrew Rwigamba was appointed the World Regional Chair for sub-Saharan Africa for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)2, an armed rebel force that included former soldiers and supporters of the previous government that orchestrated the 1994 genocide, continued to operate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda pressed for international action to pursue the FDLR. A unit of this organization was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of nine persons, including two American tourists, in Bwindi Park in 1999. The Rwandan government assisted U.S. law enforcement officials in an attempt to prosecute three individuals, suspected in the 1999 attack, who were transferred to the United States in 2003.
The Government of Senegal cooperated with the United States in identifying terrorist groups operating in Senegal. More work remained to be done, however, to develop first responder services, to facilitate the quick sharing of information between agencies, and to control porous borders where police and security services are undermanned and ill-equipped to prevent illicit cross-border trafficking. The Government of Senegal affirmed its commitment to United States government-assisted efforts to augment its border security.
Senegal continued to enhance its ability to combat terrorism, prosecute terror suspects, and respond to emergencies. Despite advances, however, Senegal lacked specific counterterrorism legislation and current laws made it difficult to prosecute terror suspects. As participants in the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Partnership, more than 180 Senegalese government officials took part in ATA programs. Senegalese military officials attended a counterterrorism seminar in Algiers and attended the Chiefs of Defense and Directors of Military Intelligence conferences. The Defense International Institute of Legal Studies, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) gave separate seminars on the legal aspects of fighting terrorism.
During the year, President Wade met again with Imam Mamour Fall, a Senegalese deported from Italy in 2003 for praising Usama bin Laden, to counsel "moderation." President Wade also criticized members of the Senegalese press for exaggerating the level of public support for extremism.
Sierra Leone's armed forces focused on border control because potential unrest in neighboring countries remained a threat. The government did not detect any radical Islamic activities.
There were no identified terrorist groups or organizations in Sierra Leone, however, there were allegations that members of the Lebanese business community in Sierra Leone, many of whom are diamond traders, were sympathetic to and made financial contributions to Hizballah. The Bank of Sierra Leone established a Financial Investigations Unit, but it lacked the capacity to effectively monitor financial transactions. Financial constraints, corruption, and insufficient capacity continued to hinder Sierra Leone's counterterrorism and law enforcement capabilities.
Somalia's weak central government, protracted state of violent instability, long unguarded coastline, porous borders, and proximity to the Arabian Peninsula made it a potential location for international terrorists seeking a transit or launching point for conducting operations in Somalia or elsewhere. The rise of the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC) and their expansion of control into southern and central Somalia created a more permissive operating environment and safe haven for foreign terrorists. In June, the CIC gained control of Mogadishu and were initially welcomed as bringing a modicum of peace and stability to the city. Over the course of the following months, the broader CIC organization was hijacked by al Shabaab (The Youth), a small, extremist group affiliated with AQ that consists of radicalized young men, between 20 and 30 years of age. Many of its senior leaders are believed to have trained and fought with AQ in Afghanistan. The CIC began to pursue an increasingly hostile strategy of military expansion and aggression designed to provoke a broader regional conflict. Al Shabaab militia participated in CIC military offensives and served as something akin to a "special forces" unit for the CIC. Although not formally a part of the CIC structure, members of al Shabaab held senior positions within the CIC, particularly in the security, finance, and education departments. The group was reputed to be extremely violent and brutal, and its members are suspected of murdering an Italian nun in Mogadishu in September, targeted assassinations of dozens of Somali nationals inside Somalia, including the murder of peace activist Abdulqadir Yahya Ali in July 2005 and the murder of foreign aid workers in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in late 2003 to early 2004. In late June, the CIC elected Hassan Dahir Aweys chairman of the CIC Shura Council. Aweys is designated as a terrorist by the United States and the United Nations because of his links to AQ, the Taliban, or Usama bin Laden.
Among the foreign AQ operatives believed to have enjoyed protection by the CIC and al Shabaab leadership are individuals wanted for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and a 2002 hotel bombing in Kenya, including Fazul Abdallah Mohammed (aka Harun Fazul), Abu Talha al-Sudani, and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan. At the end of the year, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopia, succeeded in ending CIC control of Mogadishu and southern and central Somalia. Regional efforts to bring about national reconciliation and establish peace and stability in Somalia are ongoing. Although the capability of the TFG and other Somali local and regional authorities to carry out counterterrorism activities was limited, some have taken actions.
South Africa continued to publicly support global efforts to combat terrorism and shared financial, law enforcement, and limited intelligence information with the United States. President Mbeki reiterated his support for such cooperation during his December meeting with President Bush. On several occasions President Mbeki voiced his opinion that "no circumstances whatsoever can ever justify resorting to terrorism." Members of Parliament from other parties, including Muslim legislators, have echoed Mbeki's sentiments.
The Government of South Africa supported multilateral counterterrorism efforts and bolstered its enforcement agencies. Resource constraints, however, limited the extent to which South Africa could fund its security forces for counterterrorist initiatives. The South African government is sensitive to distinctions between "terrorist organizations" and "liberation movements," since the ruling African National Congress was long branded a terrorist group during the struggle against apartheid.
Fraudulently obtained documents remained a significant problem for South African authorities. Although South African documents often include good security measures, but efforts to limit potential terrorists' access to passports and South African identity documents were limited by low capacity in the Department of Home Affairs, which handled identity documentation.
It was unclear to what extent terrorist groups were present in South Africa. Many analysts believed that AQ and other extremist groups have a presence within South Africa's generally moderate Muslim community. The South African government does not provide any type of material assistance to any group designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.
See Chapter 3, State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Tanzania took significant steps to establish a National Counterterrorism Center. The purpose of this Center was to build Tanzania's capacity to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. Working closely with the United States, Tanzania continued to disrupt terrorist networks to prevent acts of terrorism. Tanzanian law enforcement cooperated with the United States to exchange evidence and testimony on cases related to the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar Es Salaam. Tanzania continued its participation in several multi-year programs to strengthen its law enforcement and military capacity, improve aviation and border security, and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Tanzania showed ongoing willingness to combat terrorist financing. Tanzania cooperated with the United States and complied with its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions. In November, the Tanzanian Parliament passed the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Bill, ending a legislative process that began in 2002 with support from the United States. The AML Bill will lay the legal groundwork for Tanzania to create a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and bolster Tanzania's ability to combat financial crime, including counterterrorist financing. With the Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Program, the United States will support Tanzania as it establishes a fully functional FIU. Tanzanian law enforcement and security forces attempted to identify and monitor terrorist activities and deny use of Tanzanian territory as a safe haven for terrorists. The government was aware that terrorists could use its territory for transit purposes and did not provide any kind of material assistance to terrorists or terrorist groups.
The Ugandans have proved willing to locate, capture, and hold terror suspects. The Government of Uganda was actively involved in regional counterterrorism efforts, conferences, and workshops, and had a strong regional voice in opposing international terrorism and supporting U.S. counterterrorism initiatives. Although Uganda actively worked to root out possible terrorist threats, it was hampered by shortages in fuel, equipment, funding, and personnel.
Since 1987, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which is on the U.S. Terrorist Exclusion List, has waged an insurgency in northern Uganda using camps in southern Sudan as bases for attacks on government forces and civilians. The LRA's tactics include murder, looting, burning houses, torture, mutilation, and abduction of children for the purposes of forced conscription, labor, and sexual servitude. The Government of Uganda deployed 45,000 troops in northern Uganda to protect civilians and combat the LRA. Uganda and Sudan also expanded an agreement that permitted the Ugandan military to attack LRA units operating in southern Sudan.
The Government of Uganda and the LRA began peace negotiations in July. The process yielded a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) on August 26 that was poorly monitored and repeatedly violated. The CHA was renewed with strengthened monitoring provisions on November 1. The Government of Uganda remained committed to the ongoing peace process.
Despite the Government of Zimbabwe's self-imposed isolation on most diplomatic issues, local intelligence and criminal investigative agencies were responsive to U.S. needs in the War on Terror. Government agencies routinely provided assistance by conducting investigative inquiries, traces, and border checks of individuals thought to be threats to U.S. government facilities or personnel. In May, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) released new guidelines on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism for financial institutions and non-financial businesses and professionals. In August, Zimbabwe assumed the Presidency for the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) for the 2006/2007 administrative year and, in this capacity, hosted the group's Council of Ministers of Finance meeting in August. In August, Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding for the exchange of information in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
1 Fifteen people were killed in the 2002 bombing of the Paradise Hotel in Kikambala, Kenya.
2 The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda was known as the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) until 2001.
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