Category Archives: Terrorism


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Dennis from Nairobi writes: “Father Beste, why the hype about the CCTVs it is laughable, that in the advert the footages from the Westgate attack is used, what does it mean? CCTVs were at Westgate but it was still attacked.

All it serves often is historical like audit, and for terror acts the damage will have been done in a big way, for crimes yes it may be useful tracking the perpetrators. Let us differentiate the two that is crime and terrorism.

The later is backed well resource wise and the perpetrators are ready to die and like Obama put it suicide has become a weapon, so you may see the footages but the damage from terrorists will have been done”.

This is a valid argument Dennis. Although Jubilee government hopes placing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras around some of the targeted areas by terrorists could provide them the clues they’re desperately looking for, as you have properly said these cameras were placed in Westgate Mall but could not enable the government trace the terrorists.

The CCTV showed clearly how one man cowered in front of a cashier desk, but he is immediately spotted by one of the terrorists who shot him at close-range and walked away. Sprawled out in a pool of blood on the shop floor, the man desperately tries to gather the strength to crawl away to safety.

He drags himself up to a sitting position, but falls back on to the tiled flooring. The gunman soon returns and shows the terrified man no mercy, shooting him again. In total at least 67 people died in the September siege – the chilling video clips obtained by the news outlet show just the first day of the bloody massacre.

In another surveillance video the British four-year-old who famously told one of the terrorists that he was a ‘very bad man’ could be seen clearly with his mother and six-year-old sister. His mother, a film producer, had been queuing to buy milk when the militants struck.

She hid under a cold meat counter in the Nakumatt supermarket for an hour-and-a-half with her children beneath her before terrorists finally found them and shot her in the thigh. The trio is shown walking through the supermarket – the mother is pushing an injured child in a trolley.

They are followed by a terrified teenage girl wearing a white top stained with blood, who is walking along with her hands up in the air. Behind them a gunman, brandishing an assault rifle, gestures the way. Bizarrely, the terrorists handed the children Mars bars before they fled. The woman, the children and girl were all eventually released.

Another clip showed the terrorists scouting out a supermarket while chatting on their mobile phones. Al-Shabaab said it remained in contact with the attackers as they battled Kenyan forces during the hostage crisis. At one point it looks as though one of the terrorists is looking for surveillance cameras. The attackers appeared relaxed in several clips – in one quiet period they are even seen taking turns for prayer time.

With this brief background we can categorically say that security cameras cannot help prevent terrorist attacks because once they hit they disappear. You will see them alright, but you will not help since they would have already killed.

Terrorists do not care whether they are caught or not. Again as you have said even in USA CCTV cameras can’t stop terrorist attack. Cameras did not protect against the Boston Bombings. Like Westgate Mall, it only helped catch the perpetrators after the attack. Someone bent on terror does not care about being identified.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was one of the first to demand more cameras in response to the Boston Bombings. New York Republican Rep. Peter King also called for increased CCTV in urban areas.

New York has 3,000 security cameras in Lower Manhattan alone. London leads the world in its surveillance of residents with 500,000 CCTV cameras in London alone. All these have not prevented terrorists from attacks.

Leave alone CCTV, Kenya’s lead counter-terrorism agency received $735 to spend in March. The force is allocated $2,205 quarterly for its operations – for maintenance and fuel for cars, travel expenses and office supplies – in January, February and March, yet this did not stop terrorists from attacks.

The allocation of money was aimed at counterterrorism agency to stop another Westgate Mall-style terrorist attack. This is despite the fact that Kenya is one of the top five global recipients of State Department antiterrorism funding.

In fiscal year 2013 a US-Kenyan law enforcement cooperation program known as the Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Assistance program had a budget of $7.75 million, which is divided among multiple security services in Kenya and goes toward training and equipment.

The Anti-Terror Police Unit was formed in 2003 shortly after Al Qaeda in 2002 bombed an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, killing more than a dozen people, while also nearly simultaneously attempting to bring down an Israeli plane taking off at Mombasa International Airport.

Those attacks took place four years after Al Qaeda orchestrated the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

The proposed Ksh 15 billion CCTV cameras is coming at a time Kenya’s economy is likely to expand 5.8 percent in 2014 after below-target growth of 5.1 percent last year, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.

The economy faces risks such as weak growth in advanced economies that could affect exports and tourism, as well as public spending pressures such as public sector wages and interest rate payments.

The budget deficit in the fiscal year starting in July is likely to be 5.9 percent of gross domestic product, down from 7.9 percent targeted in the current year to the end of June. Government spending in 2014/2015 is projected at 1.52 trillion shillings – or 32.9 percent of GDP – from a previously forecast 1.47 trillion shillings.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Country Reports on Terrorism 2013

From: Yona Maro

Executive Summary
Bureau of Counterterrorism
Country Reports on Terrorism 2013
April 30, 2014

Definitions used in Country Reports on Terrorism 2013:

Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code defines certain key terms used in Section 2656f(a) as follows:

(1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country;

(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; and

(3) the term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.

Interpretation and Application of Key Terms. For purposes of this report, the terms “international terrorism,” “terrorism,” and “terrorist group” have the definitions assigned to them in 22 USC 2656f(d) (see above). The term “non-combatant,” which is referred to but not defined in 22 USC 2656f(d)(2), is interpreted to mean, in addition to civilians, military personnel (whether or not armed or on duty) who are not deployed in a war zone or a war-like setting.

It should be noted that 22 USC 2656f(d) is one of many U.S. statutes and international legal instruments that concern terrorism and acts of violence, many of which use definitions for terrorism and related terms that are different from those used in this report. The interpretation and application of defined and related terms concerning terrorism in this report is therefore specific to the statutory and other requirements of the report, and is not intended to express the views of the U.S. government on how these terms should be interpreted or applied for any other purpose. Accordingly, there is not necessarily any correlation between the interpretation of terms such as “non-combatant” for purposes of this report and the meanings ascribed to similar terms pursuant to the law of war (which encapsulates the obligations of states and individuals with respect to their activities in situations of armed conflict).

Contextual Reporting. Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political, social, ethnic, religious, or national population is not meant to imply that all members of that population are terrorists. Indeed, terrorists rarely represent anything other than a tiny fraction of such larger populations. It is terrorist groups–and their actions–that are the focus of this report.

Furthermore, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of violence inspired by a cause, and at times the line between the two can become difficult to draw. This report includes some discretionary information in an effort to relate terrorist events to the larger context in which they occur, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence.

Thus, this report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents that are not necessarily “international terrorism” and therefore are not subject to the statutory reporting requirement.



Strategic Assessment

Africa Overview

East Asia and Pacific Overview

Europe Overview

The Middle East and North Africa Overview

South and Central Asia Overview

Western Hemisphere Overview

State Sponsors of Terrorism

Terrorist Safe Havens

Programs and Initiatives Designed to Counter Terrorist Safe Havens

Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Please note that the complete Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 can be found at:


Al-Qa’ida (AQ) and its affiliates and adherents worldwide continue to present a serious threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests. While the international community has severely degraded AQ’s core leadership, the terrorist threat has evolved. Leadership losses in Pakistan, coupled with weak governance and instability in the Middle East and Northwest Africa, have accelerated the decentralization of the movement and led to the affiliates in the AQ network becoming more operationally autonomous from core AQ and increasingly focused on local and regional objectives. The past several years have seen the emergence of a more aggressive set of AQ affiliates and like-minded groups, most notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Northwest Africa, and Somalia.

AQ leadership experienced difficulty in maintaining cohesion within the AQ network and in communicating guidance to its affiliated groups. AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was rebuffed in his attempts to mediate a dispute among AQ affiliates operating in Syria – al-Nusrah Front and al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), now calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – which resulted in the expulsion of ISIL from the AQ network in February 2014. In addition, guidance issued by Zawahiri in 2013 for AQ affiliates to avoid collateral damage was routinely disobeyed, notably in attacks by AQ affiliates against civilian religious pilgrims in Iraq, hospital staff and convalescing patients in Yemen, and families at a shopping mall in Kenya.

Terrorist violence in 2013 was fueled by sectarian motivations, marking a worrisome trend, in particular in Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan, where victims of violence were primarily among the civilian populations. Thousands of extremist fighters entered Syria during the year, among those a large percentage reportedly motivated by a sectarian view of the conflict and a desire to protect the Sunni Muslim community from the Alawite-dominant Asad regime. On the other side of the conflict, Iran, Hizballah, and other Shia militia continued to provide critical support to the Asad regime, dramatically bolstering its capabilities and exacerbating the situation. Many of these fighters are also motivated by a sectarian view of the conflict and a desire to protect the Shia Muslim community from Sunni extremists.

The relationship between the AQ core and its affiliates plays out in the financial arena as well. As was the case for the last few years, the affiliates have increased their financial independence through kidnapping for ransom operations and other criminal activities such as extortion and credit card fraud. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are particularly effective with kidnapping for ransom and are using ransom money to fund the range of their activities. Kidnapping targets are usually Western citizens from governments or third parties that have established a pattern of paying ransom for the release of individuals in custody.

Private donations from the Gulf also remained a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly for those operating in Syria.

In 2013, violent extremists increased their use of new media platforms and social media, with mixed results. Social media platforms allowed violent extremist groups to circulate messages more quickly, but confusion and contradictions among the various voices within the movement are growing more common. Increasingly, current and former violent extremists are engaging online with a variety of views on tactics and strategy, including admitting wrongdoing or recanting former beliefs and actions.

Key Terrorism Trends in 2013

–The terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2013, with an increasing number of groups around the world – including both AQ affiliates and other terrorist organizations – posing a threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests.

–As a result of both ongoing worldwide efforts against the organization and senior leadership losses, AQ core’s leadership has been degraded, limiting its ability to conduct attacks and direct its followers. Subsequently, 2013 saw the rise of increasingly aggressive and autonomous AQ affiliates and like-minded groups in the Middle East and Africa who took advantage of the weak governance and instability in the region to broaden and deepen their operations.

–AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri experienced difficulty in maintaining influence throughout the AQ organization and was rebuffed in his attempts to mediate a dispute among AQ affiliates operating in Syria, with ISIL publicly dissociating its group from AQ. Guidance issued by Zawahiri in 2013 for AQ affiliates to avoid collateral damage was routinely disobeyed, notably in increasingly violent attacks by these affiliates against civilian populations.

–Syria continued to be a major battleground for terrorism on both sides of the conflict and remains a key area of longer-term concern. Thousands of foreign fighters traveled to Syria to join the fight against the Asad regime – with some joining violent extremist groups – while Iran, Hizballah, and other Shia militias provided a broad range of critical support to the regime. The Syrian conflict also empowered ISIL to expand its cross-border operations in Syria, and dramatically increase attacks against Iraqi civilians and government targets in 2013.

–Terrorist violence in 2013 was increasingly fueled by sectarian motives, marking a worrisome trend, particularly in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Pakistan.

–Terrorist groups engaged in a range of criminal activity to raise needed funds, with kidnapping for ransom remaining the most frequent and profitable source of illicit financing. Private donations from the Gulf also remained a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly for those operating in Syria.

–“Lone offender” violent extremists also continued to pose a serious threat, as illustrated by the April 15, 2013, attacks near the Boston Marathon finish line, which killed three and injured approximately 264 others.

–Many other terrorist groups not tied to AQ were responsible for attacks in 2013, including the People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), which carried out a number of high-profile attacks last year, including a February 1 suicide plot targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

* * *

While AQ core leadership in Pakistan is much diminished, Ayman al-Zawahiri remains the recognized ideological leader of a jihadist movement that includes AQ-affiliated and allied groups worldwide. Along with AQ, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and other like-minded groups continue to conduct operations against U.S., Coalition, Afghan, and Pakistani interests from safe havens on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, and in Pakistan, terrorist groups and AQ allies, such as TTP, have executed armed assaults not only on police stations, judicial centers, border posts, and military convoys, but also on polio vaccination teams and aid workers. Other South Asian terrorist organizations, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), cite U.S. interests as legitimate targets for attacks. LeT, the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, continues to pose a threat to regional stability.

AQAP carried out approximately one hundred attacks throughout Yemen in 2013, including suicide bombings, car bombings, ambushes, kidnappings, and targeted assassinations, regaining the initiative it had lost through 2012 as a result of sustained Yemeni government counterterrorism efforts. Of the AQ affiliates, AQAP continues to pose the most significant threat to the United States and U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen. AQAP has demonstrated a persistent intent to strike the United States, beginning in December 2009 when it attempted to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit, and again the following year with a plot to destroy several U.S.-bound airplanes using bombs timed to detonate in the cargo holds. In 2013, AQAP’s leader, Nasir Wahishi, was designated by AQ leader Zawahiri as his deputy, and the group continued to maintain a focus on Western targets.

Some of the thousands of fighters from around the world who are traveling to Syria to do battle against the Asad regime – particularly from the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern and Western Europe – are joining violent extremist groups, including al-Nusrah Front and ISIL. A number of key partner governments are becoming increasingly concerned that individuals with violent extremist ties and battlefield experience will return to their home countries or elsewhere to commit terrorist acts. The scale of this problem has raised a concern about the creation of a new generation of globally-committed terrorists, similar to what resulted from the influx of violent extremists to Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The violence and disorder in Syria extended to the various violent extremist groups operating amongst the Syrian opposition. In late 2013 and early 2014, violent infighting occurred between al-Nusrah Front and ISIL, resulting in the February death of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s envoy to Syria Abu Khalid

al-Soury, who was a member of Ahrar al Sham. Despite this infighting, ISIL is the strongest it has been since its peak in 2006; it has exploited political grievance among Iraq’s Sunni population, a weak security environment in Iraq, and the conflict in Syria to significantly increase the pace and complexity of its attacks. ISIL continues to routinely and indiscriminately target defenseless innocents, including religious pilgrims, and engages in violent repression of local inhabitants.

In 2013, AQIM remained focused on local and regional attack planning, and concentrates its efforts largely on kidnapping-for-ransom operations. While a successful French and African intervention countered efforts to overrun northern Mali by AQIM and several associate groups, these factions continued to pursue attacks against regional security forces, local government targets, and westerners in northern Mali, Niger, and the broader Sahel region in 2013.

Originally part of AQIM, the al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB), also known as al-Murabitoun, became a separate organization in late 2012 after its leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, announced a split from AQIM. AMB claimed responsibility for the January 2013 attack against the Tiguentourine gas facility near In Amenas, in southeastern Algeria. Over 800 people were taken hostage during the four-day siege, which led to the deaths of 39 civilians, including three U.S. citizens. AMB was also involved in terrorist attacks committed in Niger in May 2013, targeting a Nigerien military base and a French uranium mine.

Groups calling themselves Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia and the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Darnah also operated in the North Africa space. The three share some aspects of AQ ideology, but are not formal affiliates and generally maintain a local focus. In Libya, the terrorist threat to Western and Libyan government interests remains strong, especially in the eastern part of the country. Libya’s porous borders, the weakness of Libya’s nascent security institutions, and large amounts of loose small arms create opportunities for violent extremists. In Tunisia, Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia attempted suicide attacks against two tourist sites in late October 2013 and killed a political oppositionist in July that same year, suggesting the group remains intent on attacking Western and Tunisian interests.

In East Africa, al-Shabaab continued to pose a significant regional threat despite coming under continued pressure by African forces operating under the African Union’s AMISOM command and steady progress in the establishment of Somali government capability. Perhaps because of these positive steps, al-Shabaab targeted its attacks on those participating in the effort to bring stability to Somalia. In September 2013, al-Shabaab struck outside of Somalia (its first external attack was in July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda), attacking the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The assault resulted in the death of at least 65 civilians, including foreign nationals from 13 countries outside of Kenya and six soldiers and police officers; hundreds more were injured. Al-Shabaab’s attacks within Somalia continued in 2013, and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, including innocent women and children.

Boko Haram (BH) maintained a high operational tempo in 2013 and carried out kidnappings, killings, bombings, and attacks on civilian and military targets in northern Nigeria, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and destruction of property in 2013. The number and sophistication of BH’s attacks are concerning, and while the group focuses principally on local Nigerian issues and actors, there continue to be reports that it has financial and training links with other violent extremists in the Sahel region. Boko Haram, along with a splinter group commonly known as Ansaru, has also increasingly crossed Nigerian borders to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger to evade pressure and conduct operations.

Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Hamas-controlled Gaza continued rocket and mortar attacks into Israeli territory. The number of rocket and mortar launchings on Israel from Gaza and the Sinai was the lowest in 2013 in more than a decade, with 74 launchings compared to 2,557 in 2012. According to Israeli authorities, 36 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory in 2013, compared to 1,632 in 2012. Of the 74 launchings on southern Israel, 69 were launched from the Gaza and five from the Sinai Peninsula.

Sinai-based groups, such as Ansar-Beit al Maqdis, also continued to pose a serious threat, conducting attacks against both Israeli and Egyptian targets in 2013.

Since 2012, the United States has also seen a resurgence of activity by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and Tehran’s ally Hizballah. On January 23, 2013, the Yemeni Coast Guard interdicted an Iranian dhow carrying weapons and explosives likely destined for Houthi rebels. On February 5, 2013, the Bulgarian government publicly implicated Hizballah in the July 2012 Burgas bombing that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen, and injured 32 others. On March 21, 2013, a Cyprus court found a Hizballah operative guilty of charges stemming from his surveillance activities of Israeli tourist targets in 2012. On September 18, 2013, Thailand convicted Atris Hussein, a Hizballah operative detained by Thai authorities in January 2012. On December 30, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat attempting to smuggle arms and Iranian explosives likely destined for armed Shia opposition groups in Bahrain. During an interrogation, the suspects admitted to receiving paramilitary training in Iran.

On June 22, 2013, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) declared it would treat Hizballah as a terrorist organization. On July 22, 2013, the EU designated the “military wing” of Hizballah as a terrorist organization, sending a strong message to Hizballah that it cannot operate with impunity. Both Hizballah and Iran issued public statements to denounce the EU, demonstrating the impact of the designation. The EU designation will constrain Hizballah’s ability to operate freely in Europe by enabling European law enforcement agencies to crack down on Hizballah’s fundraising, logistical activity, and terrorist plotting on European soil.

Iran remained one of the chief external supporters of the Asad regime in Syria and continued to help ensure the regime’s survival. The IRGC-QF, Hizballah, and Iraqi Shia terrorist groups have all increased the number of their personnel in Syria since the start of the conflict. Iran also continued to send arms to Syria, often through Iraqi airspace, in violation of the UN Security Council prohibition against Iran selling or transferring arms and related materials.

While terrorism by non-state actors related to AQ and state-sponsored terrorism originating in Iran remained the predominant concern of the United States, other forms of terrorism undermined peace and security around the world. In Turkey, the DHKP/C was responsible for a number of high-profile attacks in 2013, including exploding a suicide vest inside the employee entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on February 1. Anarchists in Greece launched periodic attacks, targeting private businesses, foreign missions, and symbols of the state. In Colombia, there were still hundreds of terrorist incidents around the country. In Northern Ireland, dissident Republican groups continued their campaigns of violence. “Lone offender” violent extremists also remain a concern, as we saw on April 15, 2013, in the United States, when two violent extremists exploded two pressure cooker bombs near the Boston Marathon’s finish line, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 others.

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To meet the challenges described herein, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We are committed to a whole of government counterterrorism effort that focuses on countering violent extremism; building the capacity of partner nation security forces to address threats within their own borders and participate in regional counterterrorism operations; and strengthening relationships with U.S. partners around the world to make the rule of law a critical part of a broader, more comprehensive counterterrorism enterprise. See Chapter 5, Terrorist Safe Havens (7120 Report) in this report for further information on these initiatives, which also include designating foreign terrorist organizations and individuals, countering violent extremist narratives, strengthening efforts to counter the financing of terrorism, and furthering multilateral initiatives such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum.


The Africa region experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2013. In East Africa, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab remained the primary terrorist threat. Somali security forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continued to make gains against al-Shabaab in 2013, but an inability to undertake consistent offensive operations against the group allowed al-Shabaab to develop and carry out asymmetric attacks, including outside of Somalia. Most notably, al-Shabaab launched an attack against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 21 that left at least 65 people dead. The attack, which targeted innocent civilians, was claimed by al-Shabaab as a response to the involvement of Kenyan armed forces units in Somalia, who in late 2012 expelled al-Shabaab from the port city of Kismayo, a major revenue source for al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab issued persistent threats to other countries contributing troops to AMISOM. Driven out of major urban areas, al-Shabaab has returned to a strategy focused on asymmetric attacks intended to discredit and destabilize the nascent Federal Government of Somalia. In 2013, the United States continued to support AMISOM and the establishment of a stable Somali government, and worked to enhance counterterrorism capacity in Somalia and throughout the broader region.

Various East African countries continued to detect, deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute terrorist incidents; enhance domestic and regional efforts to bolster border security; and create integrated and dedicated counterterrorism strategies. Counterterrorism cooperation across the region picked up following the Westgate attack and nations began to examine their procedures for responding to attacks on soft targets.

In West Africa, conflict in Nigeria continued throughout the northern part of the country, with Boko Haram and related actors committing hundreds of attacks, reportedly resulting in over a thousand casualties in 2013 alone. This violence reportedly spilled over into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

French and allied African forces successfully disrupted and pushed back efforts by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other violent extremist groups to control northern Mali. In August, successful elections took place in Mali and a regional African peacekeeping force was installed with Western support to restore stability and governance to the country. France and other international partners continue to contribute forces to the region to assist the Malian government to rebuild and to deter terrorist threats. Western efforts to increase counterterrorism capacity in the region were focused in 2013 on enhanced border security, regional information sharing and cooperation, and countering violent extremism.


Overall, countries in the East Asia and Pacific region continued to weaken the ability of terrorist groups to operate and constrain the activities of large terrorist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Ongoing concerns remained, however, notably in Indonesia, where terrorist attacks on police continued, and in the southern Philippines, where improvised explosive device (IED) attacks occurred on several occasions in Mindanao and rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) conducted a violent three-week siege of Zamboanga City that killed dozens of Philippine Security Force members and displaced thousands. The tri-border region of the Sulu Sea remained an area of concern for cross-border weapons smuggling and kidnapping for ransom.

The Philippine government moved closer to a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) by signing three of the four annexes to the 2012 Peace Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), but terrorist incidents such as bombings and raids were more frequent in 2013 than in the years preceding the signing.

The trend of violent extremists focusing on domestic targets continued in Indonesia, with numerous attacks on police, including a series of separate high-profile attacks in which four Indonesia law enforcement officials were killed and seven were wounded. Indonesia also experienced its first suicide bombing in two years when a motorcycle-riding bomber targeted a police facility in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Challenges presented by overcrowded prisons and weaknesses in correctional facility management and security were highlighted when inmates, including convicted terrorists, escaped in a series of prison breaks.

Malaysia continued its legal reform efforts in 2013, bringing charges under the new Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act of 2012 (SOSMA). Malaysia arrested former al-Qa’ida operative Yazid Sufaat, who was the first to be charged under SOSMA. In Thailand, two Iranians behind a failed 2012 plot, in which explosives were accidentally set off that allegedly were targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok, were convicted.

Australia maintained its position as a regional leader in the fight against terrorism and worked to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s counterterrorism capacity through a range of bilateral and regional initiatives in organizations such as ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Pacific Island Forum. The Japanese government continued to participate in international counterterrorism efforts at multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels through the ASEAN-Japan Counterterrorism meeting and the Japan-China Counterterrorism Consultations.


Terrorist incidents, including deadly attacks, continued to plague Europe in 2013. Some attacks were apparently perpetrated by “lone offender” assailants while others were organized by groups claiming a range of extremist ideological motivations, from nationalism to right-wing and left-wing political theories to various religious beliefs, including violent Islamist extremism. In some cases the boundaries between ideologies were blurred.

A major challenge to Europe was the increasing travel of European citizens – mostly young men – to and from Syria seeking to join forces opposing the Asad regime. Many of them ended up in the ranks of violent extremist groups such as al-Nusrah Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These “foreign fighters” sparked increasing concerns, and actions to address them, by European countries worried about the growing number of their citizens traveling to the battlefield and possibly returning radicalized. European governments, in particular the EU and several member states affected by this phenomenon, took action to assess the problem and to devise an array of responses to discourage their citizens from going to Syria to take part in the conflict. These efforts ranged from new administrative procedures to prevent travel to Syria, to steps to counter recruitment and facilitation efforts, and programs to investigate and/or reintegrate persons returning from conflict zones. In the western Balkans, governments in EU candidate states and aspirants were also committed to responding effectively to the foreign fighter problem, and sought assistance to fill gaps in their capacity to do so from the United States, the EU, and others. European governments also worked with the United States and other international partners in various fora, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum, to respond to the foreign fighter problem and strengthen general counterterrorism cooperation.

The Bulgarian government continued its investigation of the July 2012 attack in Burgas which left five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen dead. In February 2013, the government publicly implicated Hizballah in the bombing. A court in Cyprus convicted a Lebanese Hizballah operative of various criminal offenses after he was apprehended surveilling potential Israeli targets on the island. Recognizing the threat posed by Hizballah, the EU in July 2013 agreed to designate what it termed the “military wing” of Hizballah as a terrorist group, a notable step forward.

Europe was the scene of several significant terrorist attacks in 2013. In Turkey, the most significant such incident in the country’s modern history took place in May when 52 people died in a bombing in Reyhanli, on the border with Syria. In the Russian city of Volgograd, an attack on a city bus in October and two more attacks at the end of December claimed a total of 41 lives. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara was the target of a suicide bomb attack by a member of the Revolutionary Liberation People’s Party/Front in February, in which a Turkish citizen on the Embassy guard force was killed. In January, three Kurdish women activists were murdered in Paris, allegedly by a Turkish Kurd now in French police custody, in a crime linked to terrorism although the motive of the killer remains unclear.

Disclosures about alleged U.S. “spying” on European partners sparked concern but did not have a major effect on long-standing and close transatlantic cooperation in combating terrorist threats.


The Near East region experienced significant levels of terrorist activity in 2013, with instability and weak governance in North Africa, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen continuing to have ramifications for the broader region. Al-Qa’ida and its affiliates exploited opportunities to conduct operations amid this fragile political and security climate.

In Libya, lack of countrywide security coverage contributed to a high threat environment. Libya’s weak security institutions, coupled with ready access to loose weapons and porous borders, provided violent extremists significant opportunities to act and plan operations.

Reflecting its greater regional ambitions, al-Qa’ida in Iraq changed its name in 2013 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and stepped up its attacks across Iraq. Iraqi security forces demonstrated some ability to confront this challenge in terms of protecting larger installations and events, and finding and arresting terrorist suspects. ISIL also took advantage of the permissive security environment in Syria. The Syrian government historically had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Asad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian government awareness and encouragement of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq for many years, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented – Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements that terrorized the Syrian population in 2013.

Shia militants continued to threaten Iraqi security in 2013, and were alleged to have been responsible for numerous attacks against Mujahadin-e Khalq members that continued to reside at Camp Hurriya near Baghdad. Hizballah provided a wide range of critical support to the Asad regime – including clearing regions of opposition forces, and providing training, advice, and logistical assistance to the Syrian Army – as the regime continued its brutal crackdown against the Syrian people.

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has also taken advantage of the instability in the region, particularly in Libya and Mali. In January, an AQIM offshoot led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar attacked an oil facility near In Amenas, Algeria, resulting in the deaths of 39 foreign hostages including three Americans. Kidnapping for ransom operations continued to yield significant sums for AQIM, and it conducted attacks against members of state security services within the Trans-Sahara region.

In Tunisia, the terrorist group Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) precipitated a government crisis by assassinating, among others, two secular politicians in February and July 2013. Ansar al-Shari’a was designated a Terrorist Organization by the Tunisian government in August.

The Government of Yemen continued its fight against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), although struggling somewhat in this effort due to an ongoing political and security restructuring within the government itself. AQAP continued to exhibit its capability by targeting government installations and security and intelligence officials, but also struck at soft targets, such as hospitals. President Hadi continued to support U.S. counterterrorism objectives in Yemen, and encouraged greater cooperation between U.S. and Yemeni counterterrorism forces.

Despite these persistent threats, governments across the region continued to build and exhibit their counterterrorism capabilities, disrupting the activities of a number of terrorists. Although AQ affiliate presence and activity in the Sahel and parts of the Maghreb remains worrisome, the group’s isolation in Algeria and smaller pockets of North Africa grew as partner efforts in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia increased.

In Egypt, significant political instability presented various security challenges for the government, leading to an increase in violent extremist activity in the Sinai and parts of lower Egypt, including Cairo. Government security forces aggressively targeted violent extremist activity in these areas.

In Gaza, sporadic rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups continued, as well as ongoing and related smuggling activity by these groups along the Gaza-Sinai border region. Israeli officials expressed concerns about the smuggling of long-range rockets from the Sinai Peninsula through tunnels into Gaza, but also recognized the positive impact of increased Egyptian government efforts to fight smuggling through such tunnels in preventing weapons and dual-use materials from reaching Gaza.

In 2013, Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s ally Hizballah, which remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region. The U.S. government continued efforts to counter Iranian and proxy support for terrorist operations via sanctions and other legal tools. The United States also welcomed the EU’s July 2013 designation of Hizballah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.


South Asia remained a front line in the battle against terrorism. Although al-Qa’ida’s (AQ) core in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been seriously degraded, AQ’s global leadership continued to operate from its safe haven in the region and struggled to communicate effectively with affiliate groups outside of South Asia. AQ maintained ties with other terrorist organizations in the region, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network (HQN). These alliances continued to provide the group with additional resources and capabilities. In 2013, terrorists in South Asia carried out operations in heavily populated areas and continued to target regional governmental representatives and U.S. persons. On numerous occasions, civilians throughout South Asia were wounded or killed in terrorist events.

Afghanistan, in particular, continued to experience aggressive and coordinated attacks by the Afghan Taliban, HQN, and other insurgent and terrorist groups. A number of these attacks were planned and launched from safe havens in Pakistan. Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are now providing security across all of Afghanistan as the transition to full Afghan leadership on security continues in anticipation of the 2014 drawdown of U.S. and Coalition Forces (CF). The ANSF and CF, in partnership, took aggressive action against terrorist elements in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, and many of the eastern and northern provinces.

Pakistan continued to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks. The Pakistani military undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within Pakistan such as TTP, but did not take action against other groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), which continued to operate, train, rally, and fundraise in Pakistan during the past year. Afghan Taliban and HQN leadership and facilitation networks continued to find safe haven in Pakistan, and Pakistani authorities did not take significant military or law enforcement action against these groups.

Levels of terrorist violence were similar to previous years. India remained severely affected by and vulnerable to terrorism, including from Pakistan-based groups and their affiliates as well as left-wing violent extremists. The Government of India, in response, continued to undertake efforts to coordinate its counterterrorism capabilities more effectively and expanded its cooperation and coordination with the international community and regional partners.

Bangladesh, an influential counterterrorism partner in the region, continued to make strides against international terrorism. The government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts have made it more difficult for transnational terrorists to operate in or use Bangladeshi territory, and there were no major terrorist incidents in Bangladesh in 2013. The United States and Bangladesh signed a Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative on October 22, 2013, to enhance bilateral cooperation.

The potential challenges to stability that could accompany the changes of the international force presence in Afghanistan in 2014 remained a significant concern for the Central Asian leaders. Additionally, terrorist groups with ties to Central Asia – notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Jihad Union – continued to be an issue even as they operated outside of the Central Asian states. The effectiveness of some Central Asian countries’ efforts to reduce their vulnerability to perceived terrorist threats was difficult to discern in some cases, however, due to failure to distinguish clearly between terrorism and violent extremism on one hand and political opposition, or non-traditional religious practices, on the other.


In 2013, governments in Latin America made modest improvements to their counterterrorism capabilities and their border security. Corruption, weak government institutions, insufficient interagency cooperation, weak or non-existent legislation, and a lack of resources remained the primary causes for the lack of significant progress in some of the countries. Transnational criminal organizations continued to pose a more significant threat to the region than transnational terrorism, and most countries made efforts to investigate possible connections with terrorist organizations.

Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere remained a concern. However, due to strong sanctions imposed on the country by both the United States and the EU, Iran has been unable to expand its economic and political ties in Latin America.

The United States continued to work with partner nations to build capacity to detect and address any potential terrorist threat.

There were no known operational cells of either al-Qa’ida or Hizballah in the hemisphere, although ideological sympathizers in South America and the Caribbean continued to provide financial and ideological support to those and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia. The Tri-Border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay continued to be an important regional nexus of arms, narcotics, and human trafficking; counterfeiting; pirated goods; and money laundering – all potential funding sources for terrorist organizations.

Despite the peace negotiations throughout the year, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia committed the majority of terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere in 2013.


To designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Once a country is designated, it remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria. A wide range of sanctions are imposed as a result of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including:

–A ban on arms-related exports and sales;

–Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country’s military capability or ability to support terrorism;

–Prohibitions on economic assistance; and

–Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

This report provides a snapshot of events during 2013 relevant to countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism; it does not constitute a new announcement regarding such designations. More information on State Sponsor of Terrorism designations may be found online at


Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982.

Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Reports continued to indicate that Cuba’s ties to ETA have become more distant, and that about eight of the two dozen ETA members in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government. Throughout 2013, the Government of Cuba supported and hosted negotiations between the FARC and the Government of Colombia aimed at brokering a peace agreement between the two. The Government of Cuba has facilitated the travel of FARC representatives to Cuba to participate in these negotiations, in coordination with representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Venezuela, and Norway, as well as the Red Cross.

There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.

The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.


Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and for Hizballah. It has also increased its presence in Africa and attempted to smuggle arms to Houthi separatists in Yemen and Shia oppositionists in Bahrain. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its regional proxy groups to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Hizballah, its primary beneficiary. In 2013, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of Iraqi Shia fighters to the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown, a crackdown that has resulted in the death of more than 100,000 civilians in Syria. Iran has publicly admitted sending members of the IRGC to Syria in an advisory role. There are reports indicating some of these troops are IRGC-QF members and that they have taken part in direct combat operations. In February, senior IRGC-QF commander Brigadier General Hassan Shateri was killed in or near Zabadani, Syria. This was the first publicly announced death of a senior Iranian military official in Syria. In November, IRGC-QF commander Mohammad Jamalizadeh Paghaleh was also killed in Aleppo, Syria. Subsequent Iranian media reports stated that Paghaleh was volunteering in Syria to defend the Sayyida Zainab mosque, which is located in Damascus. The location of Paghaleh’s death, over 200 miles away from the mosque he was reported to be protecting, demonstrated Iran’s intent to mask the operations of IRGC-QF forces in Syria.

Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), although Hamas’s ties to Tehran have been strained due to the Syrian civil war. Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters often use these skills in support of the Asad regime in Syria.

Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants then use these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria, often at the behest of Iran.

On January 23, 2013, Yemeni authorities seized an Iranian dhow, the Jihan, off the coast of Yemen. The dhow was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles, C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and a number of other weapons and explosives. The shipment of lethal aid was likely headed to Houthi separatists in Northern Yemen. Iran actively supports members of the Houthi movement, including activities intended to build military capabilities, which could pose a greater threat to security and stability in Yemen and the surrounding region.

In late April 2013, the Government of Bosnia declared two Iranian diplomats, Jadidi Sohrab and Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, persona non grata after Israeli intelligence reported they were members of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. One of the two men had been spotted in India, Georgia, and Thailand, all of which were sites of a simultaneous bombing campaign in February 2012, according to Israeli intelligence. Both diplomats were subsequently expelled from Bosnia.

On December 29, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat filled with weapons and explosives that was likely bound for Shia oppositionists in Bahrain, specifically the 14 February Youth Coalition (14 FYC). Bahraini authorities accused the IRGC-QF of providing opposition militants with explosives training in order to carry out attacks in Bahrain. The interdiction led to the discovery of two weapons and explosives cache sites in Bahrain, the dismantling of a car bomb, and the arrest of 15 Bahraini nationals.

Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran allowed AQ facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria. Al-Fadhli is a veteran AQ operative who has been active for years. Al-Fadhli began working with the Iran-based AQ facilitation network in 2009 and was later arrested by Iranian authorities. He was released in 2011 and assumed leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network.

Iran remains a state of proliferation concern. Despite multiple UNSCRs requiring Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear proliferation activities, Iran continued to violate its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. For further information, see the Report to Congress on Iran-related Multilateral Sanctions Regime Efforts (November 2013), and theReport on the Status of Bilateral and Multilateral Efforts Aimed at Curtailing the Pursuit of Iran of Nuclear Weapons Technology (September 2012).


Sudan was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993. In 2013, the Government of Sudan remained a generally cooperative counterterrorism partner and continued to take action to address threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.

Elements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan. The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements, and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan. However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations. For example, regional media outlets alleged one Sudanese national was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September. There was also evidence that Sudanese violent extremists participated in terrorist activities in Somalia and Mali.

In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.

The UN and NGOs reported in 2013 that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is likely operating in the disputed Kafia Kingi area, claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, in close proximity to Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). At year’s end, the United States continued to engage the Government of Sudan, the AU, and the UN to evaluate these reports.

The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Darfur continued, although no U.S. citizens were kidnapped in 2013. These kidnappings have hindered humanitarian operations in Darfur. Abductees have been released unharmed amid rumors of ransoms having been paid.

In 2013, the United States continued to pursue justice for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy employees. At the end of the year, the Sudanese Supreme Court was deliberating on an appeal filed by defense attorneys of the three remaining men convicted of the two murders, requesting that their death sentences be commuted. In February 2013, one of five men convicted of aiding the 2010 escape attempt by the four convicted killers received a presidential commutation of his remaining sentence. Government of Sudan authorities explained his release was part of a broad administrative parole affecting 200 other prisoners who had served some portion of their sentences with good behavior. U.S. officials protested the commutation and urged the Government of Sudan authorities to imprison the convicted accomplice for the full 12 years of his sentence.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of State designated three of the individuals who participated in the January 1, 2008 killings – Abdelbasit Alhaj Alhasan Haj Hamad, Mohamed Makawi Ibrahim Mohamed, and Abd Al-Ra’Ouf Abu Zaid Mohamed Hamza – as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224.

In 2013, Sudanese authorities continued to prosecute 25 individuals detained during a raid in December 2012 on what the Government of Sudan described as a terrorist training camp operating in Dinder National Park. The so-called “Dinder cell” as of December was still awaiting trial on charges of terrorism and murder stemming from the deaths of several police involved in the December 2012 raid. At least one fringe party, Just Peace Forum, has called upon President Bashir to pardon members of the “Dinder Cell,” but the court cases were still ongoing at the end of the year. One trial judge from the country’s terrorism court remanded several cases back to the attorney general for additional interrogations.

The Government of Sudan has made some progress in opposing terrorist financing, although members of Hamas are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan. The Central Bank of Sudan and its financial intelligence unit circulate to financial institutions a list of individuals and entities that have been included on the consolidated list of the UNSC 1267/1989 (al-Qa’ida) Sanctions Committee, as well as the U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and E.O. lists. The financing of terrorism per UNSCR 1373 (2001) was criminalized in Sudan pursuant to Sudan’s Money Laundering Act of 2003.

Sudan is generally responsive to international community concerns about counterterrorism efforts. Sudan’s vast, mostly unmonitored borders with Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea hampered counterterrorism efforts. Nonetheless, in recent years Sudan has forged increasingly stronger relations with its neighbors. For example, in December 2013, Government of Sudan law enforcement authorities hosted a regional workshop on counterterrorism initiatives under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s program for security sector reform.


Designated in 1979 as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Asad regime continued its political support to a variety of terrorist groups affecting the stability of the region and beyond, even amid significant internal unrest. The regime continued to provide political and weapons support to Hizballah and continued to allow Iran to rearm the terrorist organization. The Asad regime’s relationship with Hizballah and Iran continued to grow stronger in 2013 as the conflict in Syria continued. President Bashar al-Asad remained a staunch defender of Iran’s policies, while Iran has exhibited equally energetic support for Syrian regime efforts to defeat the Syrian opposition. Statements supporting terrorist groups, particularly Hizballah, were often in Syrian government speeches and press statements.

The Syrian government had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Asad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian government awareness and encouragement for many years of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented. Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements that terrorized the Syrian population in 2013.

As part of a broader strategy during the year, the regime has attempted to portray Syria itself as a victim of terrorism, characterizing all of its armed opponents as “terrorists.”

Asad’s government has continued to generate significant concern regarding the role it plays in terrorist financing. Industry experts reported that 60 percent of all business transactions were conducted in cash and that nearly 80 percent of all Syrians did not use formal banking services. Despite Syrian legislation that required money changers to be licensed by the end of 2007, many continued to operate illegally in Syria’s vast black market, estimated to be as large as Syria’s formal economy. Regional hawala networks remained intertwined with smuggling and trade-based money laundering, and were facilitated by notoriously corrupt customs and immigration officials. This raised significant concerns that some members of the Syrian government and the business elite were complicit in terrorist finance schemes conducted through these institutions.

In 2013, the United States continued to closely monitor Syria’s proliferation-sensitive materials and facilities, including Syria’s significant stockpile of chemical weapons, which the United States assesses remains under the Asad regime’s control. Despite the progress made through the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s Executive Council and UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013) to dismantle and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons program, there continues to be significant concern, given ongoing instability in Syria, that these materials could find their way to terrorist organizations. The United States is coordinating closely with a number of like-minded nations and partners to prevent Syria’s stockpiles of chemical and advanced conventional weapons from falling into the hands of violent extremists.


Terrorist safe havens described in this report include ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed physical areas where terrorists are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, transit, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.

Somalia. In 2013, large areas of territory throughout Somalia provided safe haven for terrorists. Following significant military offensives in 2012 that pushed al-Shabaab out of most urban areas of southern and central Somalia, al-Shabaab still maintained freedom of movement and some control in some rural areas,as well as a destabilizing presence in some urban areas. In each of these areas, al-Shabaab could organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in relative security due to inadequate security, justice, and governance capacity. The absence of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance laws, regulatory bodies, and counterterrorism law enforcement resulted principally from a lack of capacity, rather than a lack of political will.

In 2013, the city of Barawe served as al-Shabaab’s primary urban safe haven. Al-Shabaab also maintained a presence in the Golis Mountains of Puntland and in some of Puntland’s larger urban areas. Al-Shabaab continued to operate largely uncontested large sections of rural areas in the middle and lower Jubba regions, the Lower Shabelle region, and the Gedo, Bay, and Bakol regions. Additionally, Somalia’s long unguarded coastline, porous borders, and proximity to the Arabian Peninsula allowed foreign fighters and al-Shabaab members to transit throughout the region. Areas under al-Shabaab control provided a permissive environment for al-Shabaab operatives and affiliated foreign fighters to conduct training and terrorist planning. However, foreign fighters maintained limited freedom within al-Shabaab due to internal strife within the group. The capability of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to prevent and preempt al-Shabaab terrorist attacks remained limited in 2013, although the FGS was committed to countering terrorism and collaborating with international partners, including the United States. As 2013 came to a close, AMISOM was preparing for another offensive against al-Shabaab in conjunction with Somali National Army troops following the UN Security Council’s authorization of 4,000-plus additional troops for AMISOM.

The Trans-Sahara. The primary terrorist threat in the Trans-Sahara region in 2013 was posed by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and associated splinter groups, such as the al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).Although its leadership remained primarily based in northeastern Algeria, AQIM factions also operated in northern Mali and the neighboring region. In 2013, these violent extremist groups used footholds in northern Mali to conduct operations, although safe haven areas in northern Mali were significantly diminished by the French and African intervention in 2013.

Mali. Although the Government of Mali lacks the capacity to control much of its vast, sparsely populated northern region, international and Malian forces were able to erode terrorist safe haven in the region in 2013. French Serval and UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) operations enabled Mali to redeploy government administrators and security forces to urban population centers in the northern regions through the end of 2013. These operations reduced the ability of AQIM and other terrorist groups such as Ansar al-Dine and MUJAO to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in the northern region.

The new Malian government demonstrated its political will to deny safe haven to terrorists by supporting and collaborating with international efforts to stabilize northern Mali. The Malian government also demonstrated its political will to increase governance capacity in the North by holding a National Decentralization Conference in October 2013. During the conference, the Government of Mali identified measures to reinforce decentralized authority over northern Mali and to increase the capacity of local authority to govern over the vast territories. The government decided at the conference to create new administrative regions with the intention to increase the presence of the state in the northern region.

Despite having made some progress in disrupting terrorist safe havens in northern Mali, challenges remain, including dealing with long-existing, unregulated smuggling activities integral to the local economy. Controlling long and porous international borders also remains a challenge for the Malian government. The tacit engagement of local populations in illicit commercial activities and licit smuggling in northern Mali provides implicit support to criminal enterprises which undermines efforts to destabilize terrorist networks. Some segments of local populations have been willing to tolerate and enable AQIM’s presence to avoid conflict and for financial gain, rather than ideological affinity.

In September 2013, the foreign assistance restriction to the Government of Mali was lifted. The State Department plans to reengage with the Government of Mali to strengthen biological security and reduce the risk of biological weapons acquisition by terrorists.


The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral. The numerous islands in the Sulawesi Sea and the Sulu Archipelago make it a difficult region for authorities to monitor. The range of licit and illicit activities that occur there – including worker migration, tourism, and trade – pose additional challenges to identifying and countering the terrorist threat. Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have improved efforts to control their shared maritime boundaries, including through the U.S.-funded Coast Watch South radar network, which is intended to enhance domain awareness in the waters south and southwest of Mindanao. Nevertheless, the expanse remained difficult to control. Surveillance improved but remained partial at best, and traditional smuggling and piracy groups have provided an effective cover for terrorist activities, including the movement of personnel, equipment, and funds. The United States has sponsored the Trilateral Interagency Maritime Law Enforcement Working Group since 2008, which has resulted in better coordination among Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines on issues of interdiction and maritime security.

The Southern Philippines. The geographical composition of the Philippines, spread out over 7,107 islands, make it difficult for the central government to maintain a presence in all areas. Counterterrorism operations over the past 12 years, however, have been successful at isolating the location and constraining the activities of transnational terrorists. U.S.-Philippines counterterrorism cooperation remained strong. Abu Sayyaf Group members, numbering a few hundred, were known to be present in remote areas in Mindanao, especially on the islands of Basilan and Sulu. JI members, of whom there are only a small number remaining, are in a few isolated pockets of Mindanao. Peace agreements between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are suspected to have limited safe haven areas within MILF territories. Continued pressure from Philippine security forces made it difficult for terrorists to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate.


Iraq. In the vast desert areas of western Iraq, especially in Anbar and Ninewa Provinces, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) established semi-permanent encampments. These areas reportedly included camps, training centers, command headquarters, and stocks of weapons. ISIL fighters allegedly controlled villages, oases, grazing areas, and valleys in these areas and were able to move with little impediment across international borders in the area.

Also, the lack of sustained coordination between Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional government security forces in the Disputed Internal Boundaries areas made it easier for insurgents and terrorists to operate or move through these areas unchecked.

The Government of Iraq lacked the capabilities to fully deny safe havens to terrorists, but not the will to do so. Iraqi Security Forces have conducted air and ground operations to destroy encampments but face well-trained and heavily equipped ISIL fighters. The scale of the terrorist presence in Iraq is compounded by the cross-border flow of weapons and personnel between Iraq and Syria. The United States has encouraged the Government of Iraq to seek broader cross-border counterterrorism cooperation with like-minded neighboring countries.

During the first half of 2013, Iraq, Turkey, and the United States continued a trilateral security dialogue as part of ongoing efforts to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region. As part of peace process negotiations between the Government of Turkey and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, hundreds of PKK fighters left Turkey and entered the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq starting in May.

Lebanon. The Lebanese government does not exercise complete control over all regions in the country or its borders with Syria and Israel. Hizballah militias controlled access to parts of the country, limiting access by Lebanon’s security services, including the police and army, which allowed terrorists to operate in these areas with relative impunity. Palestinian refugee camps were also used as safe havens by Palestinian and other armed groups and were used to house weapons and shelter wanted criminals.

The Lebanese security services conducted frequent operations to capture terrorists. They did not target or arrest Hizballah members.

Libya. With a weak government possessing very few tools to exert control throughout its territory, Libya has become a terrorist safe haven and its transit routes are used by various terrorist groups, notably in the southwest and northeast. The General National Congress has tried to tackle the lawlessness of the southern region by temporarily closing – at least officially – the country’s southern border, and declaring large swaths of area (west from Ghadames, Ghat, Ubari, Sebha, Murzuq, and across a 620 miles off-road east to Kufra) as closed military zones to be administered under emergency law. In reality, however, Libya’s weak and under-resourced institutions have had little influence in that region, and have failed to implement this vague decree, as is evident from frequent ethnic clashes in the area. Instead, tribes and militias continue to control the area, and traders, smugglers, and terrorists continue to utilize ancient trade routes across these borders. All of Libya’s borders are porous and vulnerable to this activity, and the United States is working closely with the EU Border Assistance Mission to help the government mitigate these threats.

The Libyan government recognizes the gravity of the threats emanating from its borders, and is willing to work with the international community to overcome its inability to tackle these problems itself. In 2013, the United States signed an agreement with the Libyan government to cooperate on destroying Libya’s stockpile of legacy chemical weapons in accordance with its obligations as an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) member state. Libya successfully completed operations for the disposal of its remaining mustard gas filled in artillery projectile and aerial bombs in January 2014. Libya also previously completed the disposal of its remaining bulk mustard in 2013. There also have been reports of thousands of barrels of yellowcake uranium, a foundational material for nuclear enrichment, precariously secured in a former military facility near Sebha in Libya’s south. Although representing limited risk of trafficking due to the bulk and weight of the storage containers, Libya agreed to host an assessment team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to survey the stockpile in early 2014.

Yemen. The Government of Yemen, under President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, remained a strong partner of the United States on counterterrorism issues. Military campaigns against AQAP strongholds in the southern governorates in 2012, along with tribal resistance in the form of pro-government Popular Committees, eliminated much of the territory considered a “safe haven” for AQAP terrorists. In 2013, however, Yemeni security forces have been losing the ground gained in 2012. The impunity with which AQAP conducted ambush-style attacks and assassinations, particularly in the Abyan, Shebwah, and Hadramawt Governorates, suggests that AQAP has been successful in expanding its theatre of operations.

Yemen’s instability makes the country vulnerable for use as a transit point for weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materials. In the past year the United States resumed training focusing on the development of strategic trade controls and continued to conduct border security training for Yemeni Customs and other enforcement agencies. Yemen has identified an inter-ministry group to work on nonproliferation-related issues.


Afghanistan. Several terrorist networks active in Afghanistan, such as al-Qa’ida (AQ), the Haqqani Network, and others, operate largely out of Pakistan. AQ has some freedom of movement in Kunar and Nuristan provinces largely due to a lack of Afghan National Security Forces’ capacity to control certain border territories in north and east Afghanistan. During 2013, the Afghan government continued to counter the Afghan Taliban and Taliban-affiliated insurgent networks with AQ connections. The increased capability of the Afghan Local Police units helped to secure some rural areas that had previously lacked a Government of Afghanistan presence.

Pakistan. Portions of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and Balochistan province remained a safe haven for terrorist groups seeking to conduct domestic, regional, and global attacks. Al-Qa’ida, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar i Jhangvi, Lashkar e-Tayyiba, and other terrorist groups, as well as the Afghan Taliban, took advantage of this safe haven to plan operations in Pakistan and throughout the region. Though they did act against TTP, Pakistani authorities did not take significant military or law enforcement action against other groups operating from Pakistan-based safe havens, such as HQN and the Afghan Taliban.


Colombia. Colombia’s borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Brazil include rough terrain and dense forest cover, which coupled with low population densities and historically weak government presence, have often allowed for potential safe havens for insurgent and terrorist groups, particularly the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Colombia continued its efforts to combat terrorism within its borders, targeting both the FARC and ELN. Additionally, even as the Government of Colombia engaged with the FARC in peace talks throughout the year, President Santos maintained pressure by continuing operational exercises to combat the FARC’s ability to conduct terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, illegal armed groups, primarily known as “Bandas Criminales,” use the porous borders, remote mountain areas, and jungles to maneuver, train, cultivate and transport narcotics, operate illegal mines, “tax” the local populace, and engage in other illegal activities. Colombia continued cooperation and information sharing with the Panamanian National Border Service, establishing a joint base of operation and strengthening control of their shared border in the Darien region. Improved relations with neighboring Ecuador and Venezuela have led to some increased cooperation from those countries on law enforcement issues. Stronger government actions in Brazil and Peru and continued cooperation with the Government of Colombia have also addressed potential safe haven areas along their shared borders.

Venezuela. There were credible reports that Venezuela maintained an environment that allowed for fundraising activities that benefited known terrorist groups. Individuals linked to Hizballah as well as FARC and ELN members were present in Venezuela.


COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE). CVE is part of a strategic approach to counterterrorism (CT) that aims to deny terrorist groups new recruits. In 2009, the State Department created a CVE team in the Counterterrorism Bureau, to lead our efforts in this critical area. In our CVE programming and activities, we are seeking to (1) build resilience among communities most at risk of recruitment and radicalization to violence; (2) counter terrorist narratives and messaging; and (3) build the capacity of partner nations and civil society to counter violent extremism.

To be effective, CVE must work on multiple levels. First, our efforts must be well targeted. As such, we identify both key nodes and locales where radicalization is taking place, and focus our programming and activities in these areas. Second, our efforts must be tailored to take the local context into account. The drivers of recruitment and radicalization to violence are varied, often localized, and specific to each region, and our programming choices are developed in response to these factors.

Therefore, State’s CT Bureau emphasizes supporting local CVE efforts and building local CVE capacity. Given the growing international focus on CVE, we have also been able to develop a broader range of international partners to work within our efforts, including other governments, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental actors. Through these broad-based partnerships, we have been able to develop good practices, leverage others’ resources, and multiply its impact.

The President and the Secretary of State established the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) in 2011 to lead an interagency effort to coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide foreign communications activities targeted against terrorism and violent extremism, particularly al-Qa’ida (AQ), its affiliates, and adherents. CSCC, based at the Department of State, collaborates with U.S. embassies and consulates, interagency partners, and outside experts to counter terrorist narratives and misinformation, and directly supports U.S. government communicators at our U.S. embassies overseas. CSCC’s programs draw on a full range of intelligence information and analysis for context and feedback. CSCC counters terrorist propaganda in the social media environment on a daily basis, contesting space where AQ and its supporters formerly had free reign. CSCC communications have provoked defensive responses from violent extremists on many of the most popular extremist websites and forums as well as on social media. In 2013, CSCC produced over 10,000 postings and 138 videos. CSCC also engages in a variety of projects directly supporting U.S. government communicators working with overseas audiences, as well as amplifying credible CVE voices and supporting local initiatives, in critical parts of the Middle East and Africa, such as Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Mali.

While public diplomacy and development projects can have a positive impact on the CVE environment, our CVE programs and activities are far more narrowly tailored and targeted. In fact, CVE programming more closely resembles programs for curtailing recruitment into militias or gangs. It requires knowledge of where youth are most susceptible to radicalization to violence and why that is so. We ensure that our areas of focus align with the areas of greatest risk by working with foreign partners and other U.S. government agencies, such as USAID and DoD, to identify hotspots of radicalization and to design programming. Key areas of programming include:

Community Engagement and Community-Oriented Policing. The Department of State has implemented projects that link marginalized groups in a community, such as at-risk youth or women, with responsible influencers and leaders in their communities to build their resilience to violent extremism or improve their capacity to counter it. These activities include: providing skills training to youth, their families, and their communities; leadership development; and promoting problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Projects also include those to mentor and train law enforcement personnel in community engagement, facilitation and conflict mitigation; and communication techniques. Through increased cooperation between community leaders, law enforcement, and local government; community-oriented policing builds community resilience to violent extremism by addressing factors of community instability, disenfranchisement, and marginalization.
CVE Advocacy: Women and Victims/Survivors. Women can act as gatekeepers to their communities, and can thus provide a first line of defense against recruitment and radicalization to violence in their families and communities. In regions such as East Africa and West Africa, women are trained to recognize signs of radicalization, deploy prevention techniques, and become personally responsible for the local promotion of security and for radicalization prevention. In partnership with local women’s networks, the Department of State supports training for women civil society leaders and works with law enforcement personnel to devise CVE-prevention strategies and pilot activities.
By sharing their stories, victims of terrorism offer a resonant counternarrative that highlights the destruction and devastation of terrorist attacks. Workshops train victims to interact with conventional and social media, create public relations campaigns that amplify their messages, and seek out platforms that help them disseminate their message most broadly to at-risk audiences.

Media and CVE Messaging. The Department of State supports media projects that include radio shows that reach millions of listeners who are facing a looming violent extremist threat. Pivotal in West Africa, these projects include weekly radio dramas that are produced locally and are designed to tackle CVE subjects by empowering locally-credible voices who reject violent extremism. They include call-in shows that engage youth; women; traditional, religious, and political leaders; representatives from educational institutions; and government officials in thematic discussions about CVE, peace, and stability.
The Department of State supports efforts to conduct outreach, engagement, and training tours among diaspora communities who may be targeted for recruitment or susceptible to radicalization to violence in certain regions. Efforts involve screening documentaries highlighting the tragedy and devastation wrought by the recruitment of youth to terrorism and holding community roundtables to raise awareness and discuss ways to prevent recruitment and radicalization to violence. These projects are especially effective in engaging Somali diaspora communities.

Prisoner Rehabilitation/Prison Disengagement. The Department of State has worked to identify and address key nodes of potential radicalization to violence, an example of which is prisons. Improperly managed, a prison can serve as both a safe haven for violent extremism and an incubator for new recruits. Recognizing that many such inmates will eventually be released back into society, the Department of State is working – directly and through partner organizations – to strengthen the capabilities of key countries to rehabilitate and reintegrate such offenders. Such partners include the UN’s Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the International Center for Counterterrorism, a Dutch NGO; who are leading a major international initiative on prison rehabilitation and disengagement. They have been using the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Rome Memorandum – a series of good practices in this area – to shape their efforts. More than 40 countries, multilateral organizations, and leading independent experts have participated in this stage of the initiative, which provided policymakers, practitioners, and experts a chance to compare notes and develop good practices in this critically important area.
A number of multilateral bodies remain key partners for the Department of State in its CVE efforts. Through these partnerships, we are able to shape the international CVE agenda, leverage others’ resources and expertise, and build broader support for our CVE priorities.

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) CVE Working Group. The GCTF provides a platform for counterterrorism policymakers and experts to identify urgent needs, devise solutions, and mobilize resources for addressing key counterterrorism challenges. GCTF’s CVE Working Group, one of five expert-driven groups, focuses on the following areas: (a) using institutions to counter violent extremism; (b) measuring the impact of CVE programs; and c) countering the violent extremist narrative.
Hedayah, the International CVE Center of Excellence: With support from GCTF members and international partners, the United Arab Emirates launched the first international CVE Center of Excellence, Hedayah, in December 2012. Hedayah’s mandate covers CVE research, dialogue, and training. The Department of State supports Hedayah with funding to develop pilot training courses for governmental and non-governmental CVE practitioners in the areas of community-oriented policing, education, youth development, and media. More information on the GCTF and Hedayah can be found at:
Global CVE Fund: In September 2013, Secretary Kerry announced the launch of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the first ever public-private global effort to support local grassroots CVE projects. GCERF will leverage public and private sector support for community-based projects aimed at addressing local drivers of radicalization by focusing on education, vocational training, civic engagement, and women’s advocacy. GCTF member Switzerland will host the GCERF in Geneva when it opens in the second half of 2014.
CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMS. As the terrorist threat has evolved and grown more geographically diverse in recent years, it has become clear that our success depends in large part on the effectiveness and ability of our partners. To succeed over the long term, we must increase the number of countries capable of and willing to take on this challenge. We have had important successes in Indonesia and Colombia, but we must intensify efforts to improve our partners’ law enforcement and border security capabilities to tackle these threats. Our counterterrorism capacity building programs – Antiterrorism Assistance Program, Counterterrorist Finance, Counterterrorism Engagement, the Terrorist Interdiction Program/Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System, and transnational activities under the Regional Strategic Initiatives – are all critically important and work on a daily basis to build capacity and improve political will. For further information on these programs, we refer you to the Annual Report on Assistance Related to International Terrorism, Fiscal Year 2013:

REGIONAL STRATEGIC INITIATIVE. Terrorist groups often take advantage of porous borders and ungoverned areas between countries. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism created the Regional Strategic Initiative (RSI) to encourage Ambassadors and their Country Teams to develop regional approaches to counterterrorism. RSI operates in key terrorist theaters of operation to assess the threat, pool resources, and devise collaborative strategies, action plans, and policy recommendations. In 2013, RSI groups were in place for Central Asia, East Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq and its Neighbors, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Trans-Sahara (the Maghreb and the Sahel), and the Western Hemisphere.

One examples of an RSI program approved and funded in 2013 is the Explosive Incident Countermeasures (EIC) course for Bulgaria, which yielded almost immediate results when a week after the course ended, the Ministry of Interior officers that participated in the course successfully responded to two bomb threats, one of which was at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.

RSI is continuing to fund Resident Legal Advisors in Malaysia, Mauritania, Niger, and Turkey. RSI also funds a number of regional workshops focusing on border security and larger counterterrorism issues. Two ongoing series include Eastern Mediterranean Working Groups on border security and the Gulf of Aden Regional Forum. These forums provide a venue for participants to discuss current counterterrorism issues, as well as joint efforts to counter them.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The GCTF aims to strengthen the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism and promotes a strategic, long-term approach to dealing with the threat. Since its launch in September 2011, the GCTF has mobilized over US $230 million to strengthen counterterrorism-related rule of law institutions, in particular, for countries transitioning away from emergency law.

Other accomplishments since the launch include the adoption of six sets of good practices that are intended to both provide practical guidance for countries as they seek to enhance their counterterrorism capacity and bring greater strategic coherence to global counterterrorism capacity building efforts:

The Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector;
The Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders;
The Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices for Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists;
The Madrid Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings;
The Ankara Memorandum on Good Practices for a Multi-Sectoral Approach to Countering Violent Extremism; and
Good Practices on Community Engagement and Community-Oriented Policing as Tools to Counter Violent Extremism.
In addition, the GCTF has set in motion the development of two independent international training centers that will provide platforms for delivering sustainable training in the Forum’s two areas of strategic priority: countering violent extremism (CVE) and strengthening rule of law institutions. Hedayah, the first international center of excellence on CVE, officially opened in Abu Dhabi in December 2012. The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, to be based initially in Malta, is slated to begin operations in 2014.

In September 2013, Secretary Kerry announced that a core group of government and non-governmental partners from different regions will establish the first-ever public-private global fund to support local grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) will be the first global effort to leverage greater public and private-sector support for community-based projects aimed at addressing local drivers of radicalization by focusing on education, vocational training, civic engagement, and women’s advocacy. GCTF member Switzerland will host the GCERF in Geneva when it opens in the second half of 2014.

The UN is a close partner of and participant in the GCTF and its activities. The GCTF serves as a mechanism for furthering the implementation of the universally-agreed UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and, more broadly, to complement and reinforce existing multilateral counterterrorism efforts, starting with those of the UN. The GCTF also partners with a wide range of regional multilateral organizations, including the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the AU, and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND PROTOCOLS. A matrix of the ratification status of 16 of the international conventions and protocols related to terrorism can be found here:

Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.

In 2013, the following FTOs were designated by the Department of State: Ansar al-Dine on March 22, Boko Haram and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan on November 14, and Al-Mulathamun Battalion on December 19. Also in 2013, the Department of State revoked the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group’s designation as an FTO on May 28.

Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended:

It must be a foreign organization.
The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)

Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)

Ansar al-Dine (AAD)

Ansar al-Islam (AAI)

Army of Islam (AOI)

Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)

Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)

Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

Boko Haram (BH)

Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG)


Haqqani Network (HQN)

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM)


Indian Mujahedeen (IM)

Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru)

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)

Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)

Jemaah Islamiya (JI)


Kahane Chai

Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Lashkar e-Tayyiba

Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)

Al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB)

National Liberation Army (ELN)

Palestine Islamic Jihad – Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)

Palestine Liberation Front – Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)

Al-Qa’ida (AQ)

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI)

Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)

Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)

Revolutionary Struggle (RS)

Al-Shabaab (AS)

Shining Path (SL)

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

Yona Fares Maro

Institut d’études de sécurité – SA


News Analysis By Leo \Odera Omolo

As millions of Kenyans celebrated the 50th Independence aniversarry marking December 12th the date in which the country gained its political independence from Great Britain in 1963, residents of Moyale District located in the far North and bordering Ethiopia and Somalia had nothing to celebrate.

The residents of this region did not celebrate the century’s 50th birthday with the rest of the country. Thousands of the residents were displaced during last week’s six days of gun battle that claimed more than 10 lives and led to loss of property worth millions of shilllings.

It was sad that some residents were not even aware that 12th December was a special day for Kenyans across the country and the world. Women and children were still camping in different refugee camps in Kenya and in Ethiopia. 90% of locals sought refuge in neighbouring Ethiopia following the attack Islamic terrorists.

The insecurity situation is now posing this threat to the country’s thriving tourism industry. This is because the Somali terrorists appeared to have infiltrated their agents deep inside Kenya, and making the country to bleed to death.

In the Coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa two British tourists narrowly escaped death early this week when a hand grenade was hurled at their vehicle. But the grenade failed to explode.

The two tourists who were traveling to the popular tourist destination of Amboseli National Game Park under the attack at 7.30 a.m (local time) in the Likoni area of Mombasa.

According to some words of the eye witness who spoke to the news men on strict condition of anonymity, the lone man who hurled the grenade at the vehicle carrying the British tourists, a land cruiser as the driver slowed down to negotiate a sharp corner near Mtongwe junction had been loitering around by the roadside at about 6 a.m.

The device hit the vehicle side window and rolled off. Luckily for the tourists, the device dropped onto the road without exploding. The attacker then escaped and fled from the scene. He disappeared in the sprawling village. He had earlier been observed loitering in the busy road as early as 6 a.m.

Meanwhile the police in Mombasa are holding a Kenyan woman who they are questioning in connection with the mysterious death of a British tourist.

The tourist whose age was assessed to be around 70 years tied under the most mysterious circumstance inside his one room rented house. The victim who is said to have been a regular visitor to the coastal city was found dead by the caretaker of the apartment. His mouth was sealed with plastic tape.

The local police chief Julius Wanjohi confirmed the incident and said the ralus were pursuing vital leads that could unravel the truth. The suspect who is said to have seen a girl friend of the deceased is now in police custody. The killing has angered the residents of Nyali neighbourhood who complained of the uprising insecurity in the area.

Poem against terror, Hope Kenya

From: Caroline Nderitu
Date: Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM
Subject: Poem against terror, Hope Kenya

By Caroline Nderitu

CCL would like to dedicate this issue to all Kenyans, especially the families affected directly by the Westgate siege. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

Why does the sun continue to rise
Into the Kenya sky each day?
Why do we get up every morning?
Why is there breath in our lungs?
Why are we still here?
For hope we live

Not because the path to healing
Stretches nice, wide and easy
Beneath our feet
Not because the skies
Have been calm above our heads
And the winds calm on our sides
But for hope
For hope we live

Hope is the colour in our eye
Hope is the flavour in our voice
Hope is valour in our step
For hope we live

[ . . . ] Read full poem

Kenya: Security organs knew of attack in advance, claims Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko

Date: Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Subject: Security organs knew of attack in advance, claims Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko


The Government is responsible for the security of the Nation. Nafikiri hawa maharamia bado wako and our security forces must be on their toes.

Politicians must be always politicians, but blames at this stage can only divert our attention to anger and give room to the enemy to strike again.

We have a parliamentary committee on security which Sonko etc should convene meetings with and address the issue. Public address will only worsen. Certainly, President Uhuru and the National Security Advisory Committee must burn midnight oil to have our security network take charge.

Its not over until its over.

Peace,love and unity for our country.


– – – – – – – – – – –

From: Judy Miriga
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:10 AM
Subject: Security organs knew of attack in advance, claims Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko

Good People!

If the Security organs knew of attack in advance and did nothing about it, then something is seriously wrong and the government must explain to the people what this is so.

Judy Miriga Diaspora Spokesperson Executive Director Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc., USA

Security organs knew of attack in advance, claims Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko
Updated Tuesday, September 24th 2013 at 22:19 GMT +3

NAIROBI; KENYA : Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko sensationally told the Senate that security organs and intelligence officers were aware of an impending attack on key areas in Nairobi, including the Westgate Mall.

Sonko claimed that he had helped two women of either Asian or Arabic origin to offer information to police on Al-Shabaab militiamen who were targeting sections of Nairobi. He gave the revelations as the Senate took time off its business to discuss the terror attack on the mall.

He said the women had approached him three months ago with information to the effect that the gang, which had rented a house in Parklands and Westlands, were planning a major attack.

“They mentioned Westgate Mall, Village Market, Parliament and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre as their targets,” claimed Sonko.

The Motion was moved by Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki, who termed the attack a national disaster.

Attacking members of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Sonko told the House that after getting the information from the two women, he assisted them to record their statements with the police and the intelligence officers for further investigations.

Shock many

He said the two women were initially living with the gang in the rented houses but had escaped after being showed the items that the suspects were preparing for the attack.

Though the Senator declined to give the exact details that the two women gave the police, he said that he was ready to record a statement to that effect.

“I know I will shock many people here. These people have remained in this area planning the attack for about three months and despite the investigators getting that information they could not quell the attack,” said Sonko.

The senators faulted the country’s intelligence services even as they hailed the security organs over the manner in which they had handled the attack.

“Instead of the intelligence officers keeping busy tapping our mobile phones, NIS should be employing that vigour towards arresting crime,” said Minority Deputy Whip Janet Ong’era.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi hailed Kenyans over their strong spirit during the tragedy.

Kenya Defence Forces give horrific accounts, death toll may go up
Updated Tuesday, September 24th 2013 at 23:39 GMT +3

Intelligence reports had suggested that a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved in the attack… We cannot confirm the details at present
By Nyambega Gisesa and Cyrus Ombati

KENYA: Soldiers who took part in the assault on terrorists at the Westgate Mall Tuesday gave a glimpse of the extent of the horrific attack at the upmarket shopping centre, fuelling fears the death toll would rise significantly.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops interviewed described the situation inside the building as a “scene from a horror movie.”

“There was blood everywhere. Some bodies were burnt and others rotting,” a soldier told The Standard Tuesday. “The Nakumatt supermarket floor had blood splattered everywhere.”

In some rooms, bodies were strewn on the floor, added the soldier, who declined to be named as he discussed the sensitive operation.

The casualties

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the confrontation with terrorists left 240 casualties.

The President said 67 people, including six security officers, had been killed and 61 were still in hospital following the Saturday morning attack by the terrorists estimated at between 10 and 15.

Red Cross reported 69 had died and the fate of 63 listed missing unclear.

In a televised address from State House, Nairobi, last night, President Kenyatta said: “Towards the tail end of the operation three floors of the Westgate Mall collapsed and there are several bodies still trapped in the rubble including the terrorists.”

The President said five terrorists had been killed and 11 suspects were in custody. “Intelligence reports had suggested that a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved in the attack… We cannot confirm the details at present… Forensic experts are working to ascertain the nationalities of the terrorists…,” he said.

“These cowards will meet justice, as will their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are,” declared President Kenyatta, vowing Kenya would not relent in the war against terrorism.

“It has not been an easy time for anyone of us, least of all the affected; Our losses are immense,” the President said as he declared three days of national mourning beginning today, to honour those who lost their lives in the attack. Official flags will fly at half-mast throughout the country during this period.

The Head of State said the agents of terror “had the agenda of perpetrating grievous mayhem in our country, senselessly killing, maiming and traumatising harmless, innocent people…”

“We confronted this evil without flinching, contained our deep grief and pain, and conquered it… As a nation, our head is bloodied, but unbowed… The criminals found us unafraid, as we ever shall be…We cannot be conquered,” President Kenyatta declared.

On Tuesday, The Standard learnt tens of bodies were removed from the building at about 6pm after Special Forces secured it. Several hearses ambulances and were stationed outside the mall.

Another security officer said the mall had been turned into ‘an abattoir’ within half an hour as gunmen went on the rampage. Mortuary attendants from the City Mortuary were called in to the scene. Officials said some of the bodies were badly damaged and needed proper dressing before being moved to the mortuary.

Earlier, security forces had launched the final assault shortly before 6am Tuesday. For hours, bursts of gunfire and explosions were heard coming from the battle weary building.

Roof caved in

A section of the roof caved in and photographs emerged of burnt shells of vehicles in the parking that perhaps explained the plume of black smoke that billowed into the skies on Monday.

Authorities confirmed the terrorists had rigged the four-storied building with booby-traps and security forces had to sweep the building, explaining delays in the operation.

“We are doing a clean-up of explosives that had been set up by the terrorists,” the Kenya Police posted on its Twitter account.

Officials also confirmed three KDF soldiers had succumbed to their injuries sustained during the assault against the terrorists. Eight injured soldiers are admitted at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital.

The fallen soldiers include Jacktone Puodi, 27, who had graduated in 2009 from Moi Barracks, Nairobi.

Puodi responded to the call to duty, and put himself in harms way, to help free terrified hostages, who could have included children like his one-year-old girl.

The gallant soldier himself an orphan, his parents died in 1996, put his life on the line to ensure that innocent civilians were not killed and children robbed of their parents.

Meanwhile, a British national is among seven men who were detained at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ( JKIA).

The British government confirmed Abdulrazak Sharif Ahmed, 35, is their citizen.

The suspect reportedly had injuries on his body and face when he arrived at JKIA on Monday morning ready to fly out to Turkey.

Police say a dozen people have been arrested for questioning.

At the City mortuary, bodies of those killed in the attack were laid out on metal blocks, victims from all walks of life, lying side-by-side as a deathly stench filled the air.

For many families, the anguished search for loved ones, missing since the siege began Saturday morning, crudely ended here.

Agnes Mutua shed tears as she identified her nephew, whose body she found lying on the cold surface.

Various hospitals

Agnes and her sister, Mary Mureithi, had looked for him at various hospitals hoping to find him alive.

Other families were however lucky. Sundeep Sanbi’s daughter and wife narrowly escaped with their lives.

Sanbi recounted how he rushed from work to the mall on Saturday on hearing news of the attack. He talked to his wife on phone, as she cowered with her daughter inside one of the shops at the building as the attackers shot indiscriminately.

She was rescued at around 3pm on Saturday, alongside a couple of other people under heavy gunfire.

BEWARE : westerners have taken control of terrorism

From: maina ndiritu

I have reason to believe that westerners are our new terror lords , we need not fear the traditional terror combatants … it is now the mzungu [White person] next to you

Why should we not all live in peace and harmony ? we look up the same stars, we are fellow passengers on the same planet and dwell beneath the same sky , what matters it along which road each individual endeavours to reach the ultimate truth ? the riddle of existence is too great that there should be only one road leading us to an answer

For Jobs, Tenders, Business Opportunities, join

Kenya: Breaking; mall attack;

From: Judy Miriga

Extremely very sad indeed…………..

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

– – – – – – – – – –

From: Oduya – Magunga
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 6:08 AM
Subject: Breaking

SAD indeed!


From: Maryann Wanjiru
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 2:06 PM
Subject: Breaking

3 explosions, the hostages had been tied with explosives, just sad

On 23 September 2013 13:32, Jay NM wrote:

I hear Westgate is on fire whats the smoke all about?

From: Judy Miriga
Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM
Subject: Fw: [PK] Kenya: Breaking; mall attack;
To: Change Mombasa , Mabadiliko , “” , “” , “”

From: Judy Miriga

Extremely very sad indeed…………..

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,

– – – – – – – – – –

From: Oduya – Magunga
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 6:08 AM
Subject: Breaking

SAD indeed!


From: Maryann Wanjiru
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 2:06 PM
Subject: Breaking

3 explosions, the hostages had been tied with explosives, just sad

On 23 September 2013 13:32, Jay NM wrote:

I hear Westgate is on fire whats the smoke all about?


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

I said many times on this blog and I repeat again that insecurity in Kenya will still be worse unless political leadership is changed to focus on the interest of citizens and the development of the nation like poverty eradication and unemployment crisis. Poverty and unemployment leads to thuggery and murders.

Unless the tendency of manipulating ethnic identities for private interest changes, the government would have no time to put in place the strategies that can address these crucial and urgent problems. Their political base is largely ethnic and their clout is derived from money.

Unless Kenyans think twice and change their attitude of making political choices based on a number of considerations, the issue of insecurity will still be a great problem. This will only be solved the day Kenyans thought beyond their tribes and regions and vote in leaders not tribes.

We see elements of this in the recent elections in Kenya where the West’s threats of “grave consequences” if Kenyans elected those indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) served to mobilise voters in favor of the Uhuru-Ruto ticket.

As seen in the recent election, over 90 percent of Luos voted for Odinga. Over 90 percent of Kalenjin, who had voted Raila by a similar margin in 2007 changed sides and voted for Uhuru.

The Kikuyu overwhelmingly voted Uhuru, a factor that may explain why with a small addition of votes from a few other communities, the Jubilee coalition won. Raila’s Luo allied with the Kamba and other coastal groups had no enough number to win.

The tendency of Kenyans to vote in ethnic blocks explains why the democratic process tends to sustain elite privilege even at the expense of public policies that are supposed to serve the ordinary citizen.

This is because in building a winning electoral coalition, Kenyan politicians need not appeal directly to the masses that vote. Rather they need to negotiate with powerful ethnic intermediaries that represent the masses. These powerful men and women then act as a bridge between the presidential candidate or political party and their co-ethnics.

You may ask how ethnic identity is related to the conflict of loyalties and interests. This is because Kenya being a multi-ethnic society, communities that feel they have been left out in eating national cake will be aggressive to the communities they assume benefit from the cake.

It explains why many ethnic groups always supported the armed struggle for independence in hope that they could regain their grabbed powers. This situation has fomented anger, resentment, lust for revenge, and aggressive competitiveness.

That is why when violent reactions emerge under the influence of ethno-political ideologies tends to take the form of ethnocentrism, the ideology that animates the competition between ethnic groups.

That is also why a section of the population was unhappy about the outcome of the election of December 2007. When they felt their power had been stolen from them, so was the conflict.

The political crisis, under the influence of ethnic rivalry and violence, has recently killed hundreds of people and destroyed property, including burning of houses in some regions.

These conflicts cannot be contained since they are ethnically a deliberate political strategy by desperate groups intended to effect change in the political system that marginalizes them.

The situation has emerged because of unequal distribution of land and other resources, unabated corruption at the national level, extreme poverty in urban slums and squatters, unemployment, and irresponsible leadership.

Unless this changed ethnic identities in Kenya will always act as a pole around which group members are mobilized and compete effectively for state-controlled power and economic resources.

Under the leadership of the predatory elite, members of the ethnic group are urged to form an organized political action-group in order to maximize their corporate political, economic, and social interests.

Since the tendency of manipulating ethnic identities prevails also in Christian churches in Kenya, this situation has robbed churches of the ability to promote social justice for all. Religious leaders would tend to side with their ethnically anointed kings even if they cannot perform.

That is why to some religious leaders Jubilee government was right to pull out of Rome Statute because their anointed ethnic kings are implicated at the ICC. These leaders do not mind about fighting against impunity, what they see is our king is targeted.

When President Uhuru Kenyatta said more than 39 people had been killed, among them close members of his own family, this can send a signal why negative ethnicity is a big threat in Kenya. Why would Al Shabaan target members of his own family, and how did they know that those were members of his family by the way?

Westgate shopping mall may have been the target of choice because its clientele are the filthy rich class of Kenyans together with their equally opulent expatriate counterparts.

Al Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda and is battling Kenyan and other African peacekeepers in Somalia, had repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of the Horn of Africa country.

The raid presents Kenyatta with his first major security challenge since a March election victory. The assault has been the biggest single attack in Kenya since al Qaeda’s East Africa cell bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing more than 200 people.

Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in October 2011 to pursue the militants it blamed for kidnapping tourists and attacking its security forces.

To stop the terrorist attacks, Al Shabaab wants Kenya to pull out of Somalia where the government has been spending billions of tax payer’s money when more than 10 million Kenyans are faced with starvation.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ UN Disarmament Conference, 2002

British, UK terror suspect arrested in Tanzania

From: Abdalah Hamis

Police in Tanzania said they have arrested a British national suspected of involvement in unspecified “terrorism activities” in the UK.

Iqbal Ahsan Ali was arrested in Tanzania’s southern Mbeya region suspected of trying to cross border to the neighbouring county.

He was found in possession of both British and Tanzanian passports, a crime in Tanzania which forbids dual citizenship.

“We have been in contact with our counterparts in the UK and they have confirmed that the suspect is wanted in their country for involvement in terrorism activities,” Robert Manumba, director of criminal investigations (DCI).

He said Mr Iqbal was also found to be carrying a laptop containing “seditious material” designed to cause “religious incitement”.

Mr Manumba said in a statement on Friday: “At the border he presented a Tanzanian passport, but when the immigration officers spoke to him in Swahili he was unable to communicate.

“That raised suspicions that led to him being detained for further questioning and in the course of that he was found with the UK passport.”

He continued: “We have been in contact with our counterparts in the UK and they have confirmed that the suspect is wanted in their country for involvement in terrorism activities.”

He said a Tanzanian man travelling with Mr Iqbal was also arrested and questioned.

Tanzanian officials said Assan Ali Iqbal was being held in connection with bombings in the north of the country. The Foreign Office confirmed the arrest and said it was offering consular assistance. (BBC)

Several people have been arrested on terrorism charges in Tanzania since bombings killed at least eight people in May and June.

Authorities in Tanzania, one of the region’s most stable countries, are concerned at the growth of an Islamist movement accused of indirect links to Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels.

Police said they had verified Ali’s British passport as being authentic. They said the Tanzanian passport he was carrying was a fake. – Reuters


By Our Reporter

RESIDENTS of Kisumu East district have called on the area district security committee to crack down on an ODM goon who has now transformed himself into a serial killer in the area.

The residents who mostly reside in various parts of Kolwa say that the goon wears a Legio Maria sect catena at night while in the course of his reign of terror.

The terrified residents says that the goon whose name has been released wears the catena at night while caring an iron bar which he uses to silence members of the public. Many residents of Nyalenda where the hit man operates have called on the government to arrest the man who is a standard three drop out before he causes further harm to innocent members of the public.

He recently went underground after leading a vicious attack against supporters of Kisumu central aspirant Abdul Omar where CORD effect official John Kiarie was also manhandled. Supporters of Omar such as Martin Shikuku sustained deep cuts on the head following the ugly incident.

Kisumu police Chief Musa Kongoli promised to take stern action against the man.

Fearful members of the public say that the man who is a standard three drop out is out to harm everyone in sight once he is gripped by a strange spell of fits. Four people have been injured as a result of the attacks using an iron bar.

He normally hangs around Alfa house in the morning before teeming up with politicians and aspirants whom he extorts money from with menaces. Many leaders who have known his activities take cover once they spot him at various Hotels in Kisumu town.


Kenya & Somolia: Al-qaeda backed Somali terrorists now pays handsomely for every Kenyan security officer killed by their agents

Writes Leo Oderea Omolo

The startling and shocking revelation was made on Wednesday this week that the Somalia based Al-qaeda terrorists groups operating inside Somalia is now offering colossal amount of money to the tune of USD 8,000 per head of any Kenyan security officer killed by its agents.

Making the revelation, the Garrisa regional commissioner Maalim Muhammed said the Kenya government got the information after intercepting secret Al-Shabaab communications.

‘The payment depends on the rank of the officer killed, the Commissioner said, during this year Kenya’s independence Day celebrations held at the Garrisa Primary School ground amid tight security.

Muhammed disclosed that the bounty was a desperate attempt by the militias to cause violence and mayhem and a dash for the money.

There has been increase in the incidents of hit-and-run attacks, which have resulted in several security being ambushed, shot and killed in Garrisa town and its environs. Garrisa is a frontier town in the North Eastern Province of Kenya, which has a porous border line with Somalia running close to 1000 kilometers.

The Commissioner further disclosed that member of the Kenya army and police as well as members of other security agencies were target for the cowardice attacks.

The Commissioner further disclosed to the bewilderment of the crowd that has dispatched several team of security personnel to carry out thorough surveillance along the border line and check the activity of the thousands of refugee influx into Kenya after the recent discovery that some of the refugee are the one smuggling deadly weapons into the country.

The government, he said, has recently acquired some of the most sophisticated state-of-the art electronic equipment for the purpose of intercepting the militias’ communications and messages as part of its effort to keep their activities on check.

The Al-Shabaab militia are said to be using very high frequency radio communications to plan attacks in Kenya, but the government of the plan is aware of the plan and would soon close down all the privately owned radio Communications in order to frustrate them.

It has been established that after losing key tows to the combined forces of Kenya,African Union, the Somali government including the economically important port of Kismayu, the terrorist groups have since resorted to urban-guerrilla tactics of hit-and-run inside Kenya.Their operations included setting explosives in towns, inside public passenger services vehicles, Christian churches and crowded locations within the capital city of Nairobi.

Other reports says the militias have infiltrated their agents into key town in Kenya, especially the urban centers which are located close to Kenya-Somalia border, and in the refugees camps, whose inhabitants are mostly people of Somali origins.

Al-Shabaan’s infiltrators are armed with deadly explosive, pistols, rifles even setting explosives inside passenger service vehicle and even killing passably

A Nairobi suburb of Earthlight, whose inhabitants are mostly Kenyan Somalis has of late become no-go-area following series of explosions which have resulted in deaths of many Kenya while more are.

The Garrisa Commissioner said,” We have some businessmen, who have installed radio communications on their business premises, But the government has to review the system because the terrorists are known to be using the same communication gadgets to plan attack inside Kenya, adding that some radio communication owners were under probe because of their links with militia groups outside Kenya.

The Jamhuri celebrations were meant to mark Kenya’s 49 anniversary of independence and was held in every regional, divisions, districts and even in rural locations.

LAST MONTH THE Kenyan security agencies arrested six people in Garrisa.The men were suspected of conveying illegal weapons into the town. And were planning mayhem during the Xmas festivities..

According to the police sources in Garrisa the suspects wer3e arrested at a place called Ruqa along the Kenya-Somalia border, four of the suspects escaped, but upon checking their luggage, the police discovered hand grenades, two pistols, several AK47 assault rifles, and 86 rounds of assorted ammunition.

Meanwhile Kenya police has dispatched more security personnel to the Kenya-Somalia border to carryout thorough security surveillance on refugees arriving into the country.The police said they are concerned


Kenya & Somalia: Three Somali journalists killed in suicide bomb attack

Forwarded by Agwanda Saye

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Nairobi, September 20, 2012–Three Somali journalists were killed and at least four were injured in a suicide bomb attack in a Mogadishu café today, according to news reports and local journalists. The attack took place across the street from the National Theater, where a bomb blast in April wounded at least 10 journalists, news reports said.

Two unidentified men entered “The Village” café at around 5:30 p.m. and detonated bombs, killing a total of 14 people and injuring 20, according to news reports and local journalists. Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab, said the bombing was carried out by supporters of the group, according to Agence France-Presse. “We did not directly order the attacks, but there are lots of angry people in Somalia who support our fight,” AFP reported Rage as saying.

[ . . . ]

read full artical

Kenya: Two Kenyan policemen killed as Muslim youth intensified rioting protesting the killing of the radical Islamic cleric

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

Two Kenyan policemen are feared dead and scores of other people injured in Kisauni suburb of the coastal port City of Mombasa after hand grenade is hurled at a contingent of policemen battling rioting youth protesting the yesterday morning shooting to death of the controversial Islamic cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo by unknown gun-men

The hand grenade was hurled onto a police lorry carrying a contingent of policemen on patrol of the violence infested Kisauni suburb of Mombaa injuring 16 others

It has since been established that before his death in hails of bullets, the controversial Islamic preacher who is suspect of having close link with the Somalia based terrorist group of al-shabaab, which is bankrolled by the Alqaeda an international terrorist group had lived on fear of his life and safety.

On July 25, this year, the US administration of President barrack Obama in Washington had sactio six people, including Sheikh Rogo, Eritrean external security intelligence chief Twokle Habte Negash and senior military officer Taeme Abraham Coftom for their alleged roles in supporting Somalia’s militia group Al-Shabaab.

Sheikh Rogo was accused of raising funds for Al-Shabaab and helping recruits travel to Somalia to join the main groups fighting the Transitional Somali government inside Somalia.

The other two Kenyans were Omar Awadh who is currently awaiting trial in Uganda for his alleged role in a July 2010 attack on restaurants showing World Cup football matches in Kampala that killed 74 people.

Ahmed was arrested in Kenya in 2010 on suspicion of involvement I the bombing at a Nairobi bus terminal.

The US has since he frozen all assets of the six suspects in world-wide terrorism activities after they were accused of providing financial and logistical support to Al-Shabaab, which is blamed of numerous attacks against civilians in Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

Eritrea has been accused of fomenting violence in Somalia, in part to keep its archival neighbor Ethiopia In constant check..

The slain Islamic cleric Sheikh Rogo had been a Muslim preacher in the Kena coastal port city of Mombsa ever since 1997 and was said to have introduced one Mohamed Kubwa Mohamed to Fazul Abdullah Mohamed and two others.

They wee late indicted by a US-based court as the masterminds of the August 1998 attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi and Dar –Es-Salaam simultaneously.

The late Sheikjh Rogo was once arrested in 2002 for allegedly playing a role in the Paradise Hotel bombing in Kikambala near Mombasa simply because the hotel is owned by Israeli investors. The attack on the hotel killed 13 people and left scored seriously injured and maimed.

Fazul Abdullah was killed when an American pilotless drone plane hit his hideout in Somalia last year.

During the hearing of the case almost two weeks ago, the court heard that assorted weapons of destruction allegedly found at his house were to be used to attack a Catholic church, Likoni Ferry and the Nyali Bridge in Mombasa. A police officer who has testified in the case told the court that police did not “plant” the weapons at the preacher’s house.

Mr Kamati said the raid by the police on Sheikh Rogo’s homestead on January 29, 2012 was conducted after a tip off given to Kilifi CID offices. The Islamic preacher who was out of a Kshs 5 million bond wit three sureties on similar amount also faced four other charges of being in possession, of an AK47 rifles, 113 rounds ammunition, two hand grenades ands of ammunition and that of being I possession of firearms without certificates and that of being n possession of explosives.

The hearing of the case was adjourned to October 15 this year. However the controversial Muslim cleric died in hails of bullets yesterday morning in the attack which also left his wife injured in her right knee.

The mainly youth supporters of the slain preacher rent their angers on Christian churches an public institutions run by the churches which they vandalized an destroyed property worth millions of dollars.



From: People For Peace
Voices of Justice for Peace
Regional News

MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012

Al Shabaab attack in Kenya will not end as long as Kenyan military are still fighting them in Somalia. This is because when Kenyan military forces stormed into Somalia eight months ago, the Al-Shabab vowed to get revenge by killing Kenyan civilians.

It explains why in every attack even though the Kenyan Government says it will make sure that other attacks will not happen the attacks continue.

The summery of the attacks: On Sunday July 1, 2012 at about 10:30am four gunmen attacked the African Inland Church in Northern Kenya, Garissa town. It then followed the Catholic Church, 3 kms from the AIC church. 17 people have been confirmed dead and 50 more injured some very seriously.

On 29 June 2012 a number of humanitarian relief workers were kidnapped from Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. There was also a reported bomb blast on 24 June 2012 in Mishomoroni, 10 km from Mombasa where a number of people were reported to have been injured.

There was again a reported grenade attack on a club in Mombasa on the evening of 15 May, where a number of people were injured. Again there was a reported grenade attack on a church near Nairobi city centre on 29 April, with one reported death and a number of injuries.

There were also a series of explosive devices detonated in the evening of 31 March: one in Mtwapa, a town 15km north of Mombasa, and others in a bar near Mombasa stadium. A number of people have been injured.

On 12 January 2012, terrorists attacked a police camp near Wajir using explosives and gunfire. At least five people were killed. On 31 December 2011, a hand grenade attack on a club in Garissa town killed five people.

On December 20, 2010 three people were killed and 39 injured by a bomb explosion at a bus station in Nairobi. The blast happened as passengers passed through a security checkpoint before boarding a Kampala coach, which was bound for Kampala in neighbouring Uganda.

Earlier, Uganda’s police chief had warned of attacks by Somali militants. The Islamist group al-Shabab in July said it had carried out twin bomb blasts in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in retaliation for Uganda’s support for Somalia’s government.

Most of the wounded were Ugandans travelling home for Christmas. The blast smashed the windows of the Kampala Coach Vehicle, and left blood stains and scattered bags on the ground nearby.

Officials in Uganda say the country is vulnerable to further attacks from al Shabaab who have vowed to keep striking until a Ugandan army contingent, leading an African Union-mandated force protecting Somalia’s government, withdraws. Al Shabaab is closely linked to al Qaeda.

On the weekend of 5-6 November 2011, there was a grenade attack on a church in Garissa Town that killed 2 people. On 28 October 2011, a police vehicle was hit in Garissa Town.

On 27 October 2011 there was an attack on a vehicle in Mandera. Several people were killed. On 24 October 2011, there was a grenade attack at a bar near the business district in Nairobi. Several people were injured. An explosive device was also thrown at a bus stop in central Nairobi. One person was killed and several injured.

On 13 October 2011, two aid workers were kidnapped from Dadaab refugee camp. On 1 October 2011, A French national was kidnapped at a beach resort close to Lamu, 150km from the Kenya-Somalia border. On 11 September 2011, Two British nationals were attacked at a beach resort north of Lamu, near the Kenya-Somalia border. One was killed and the other kidnapped.

Cases of kidnapping have increased since mid-2009 in Nairobi and some other major towns. Some have been opportunist crimes linked to car-jackings, while others appear to have been more organised.

That year in October a resident British national was kidnapped and two other incidents towards the end of 2009 involving resident European nationals. On 13 June 2010 six people were killed and over 100 injured following explosions at a rally in Uhuru Park in central Nairobi.

Although not limited, other areas that are at risk include Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Korogocho, Kariobangi, Kangemi, Mwiki and Kawangware.

Apart from revenge other terrorist attacks in Kenya are widely believed to be the revenge, especially the 1998 United States embassy bombings for American involvement in the extradition, and alleged torture, of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had been arrested in Albania in the two months prior to the explosions. At least 200 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in Kenya and Tanzania.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
People for Peace in Africa
Tel +254-7350-14559/+254-722-623-578

Peaceful world is the greatest heritage
That this generation can give to the generations
To come- All of us have a role.

Kenya: War on Terror


Dear all

The war on terror is on and many of our people ar ebeing hurt. Is there something we can do ? the answer is yes.

Here is the plot.

Pray for each of your neighbours or friends, or bloggers, including atheists. especially if potential of being turned terrorists is high. Ask God to delete terroristic mindsets in them, incase they are terrorists. ask God to foil their plans incase they are. ask God to foil any plans of them or their descendants being recruited in terrorism. ie Close that door. Tell God to hit at the demons of terrorim in your town/village/country.

It is demons that generate the ideas of hurting people. God knows exactly who is involved or who pulls the real strings. They could even be people in high places in USA or Russia or Medina. Somali alla shababu could just be pones.

The prayers could kinda take 2 minutes. You can even do one neigbor/friend/blogger a day. or one in the morning another when taking 10oclock tea another when you are praying for lunch etc. My believe is; this is the formula to solve the terrorist attacks to humans once and for all.

Antonio wa mfalme mwema
Voice from desert fo Tekoa where giant killers are drilled.

The League of Young Professionals, Nairobi Chapter, Invites you to our June Monthly Talk & Networking Forum, Thursday 14th June from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Our Guest Speaker will be Derek Bbanga, CEO Public Image East Africa and he will be talking about Developing Your Personal Brand and Professional Image. Cost for Members is Ksh. 500, and 1, 000 for non members. Venue KICC, Tin Tin Restaurant.

Confirm attending by texting your name and profession to 0708 021 680.

Burundi reporter sentenced to life imprisonment

Fordarded By Agwanda Saye

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A Burundian appeals court must reverse the ruling against a journalist sentenced to life in prison on vague terrorism charges, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

A High Court in the eastern town of Cankuzo today found Hassan Ruvakuki, a reporter for local radio station Bonesha FM and French government-funded broadcaster Radio France Internationale, and 13 other defendants guilty of “participating in terrorist attacks” under the country’s penal code, Patrick Nduwimana, the interim director at Bonesha FM, told CPJ.

. . .

for rest of article;

Kenya: Arrested German terrorist suspected for a series of bombings in Nairobi is now awaiting for his deportation

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

PLANS are under the in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi to have a German national suspected to have been behind the series of bombings including that of a business premises housing fashionable shops in Nairobi’s Central Business District {CBD} last month.

The powerful explosion went off during the busiest hour of lunch time. It claimed the life of one Kenyan woman trader, and injured more than 30 people. Indorgan is also expected to stand trial in terrorism related activities back in to native home Germany.

Although he was a member of the outlawed Alqaeda backed Al-Shabaab Islamist militia terrorist group operating inside the neighboring Republic of Somalia. He was briefly in Kenya illegally. And back in his Germany home the authorities there have already issued a warrant of arrest against him through the International Police Organization {Interpol} earlier,” said a police spokesman.

The fugitive was later arrested in the neighboring Tanzania to where he had fled after masterminding the detonation of what was later identified as the deadly fertilizer bomb.

The bomb ripped off the roof of a building housing the popular musical shop called Assanand’s Buildings located along the Moi Avenue in Nairobi’s Central Business District {CBD}.

The Kenyan police have been hunting for the suspect who was suspected to have either to have been hiding in the country or had fled to Uganda.

Interpol had apparently issued a red notice for his arrest of provisional arrest of wanted persons with the view to extradition.

The suspect would be deported to Germany anytime now. There was a red notice asking for his arrest and deportation to Germany,”said a senior police officer who requested that his name not to be mentioned.

Interpol had asked for hi and other terrorist suspects fingerprints and other personal details before they issue the notice,’ said the official.

He officer added that Tanzanian police had written to them informing them that they Indorgan who crossed into that country through Kenya’s and Tanzanian coastal regions.

Other government source hinted that Kenya did not want to try the suspect because he would be a burden to them in prosecution and jailing him would also be a heavy burden Anti-Terror Police Unit.

Police in Nairobi said they were waiting to be supplied with statements that were recorded from Indorgan. He has recorded much of his being in the Eastern African region and there are probably got in touch with but “ our colleagues in Tanzania are yet to give the details of their interrogations with the suspected terrorist.”

He disclosed that a team of Kenyan detectives had been dispatched to Dar Es Salaam in order to get mire information regarding the arrested suspect terrorist.

Endorgan is someone we have been looking for and we have sent our officers {sleuths} to Tanzania to be part of the ongoing investigations,” said the officer.

Meanwhile the Deputy police Spokesman Charles Owino disclosed that that a team o Kenyan detectives had been urgently dispatched to Tanzania to get more detailed information regarding the on-going investigations regarding the arrest of the suspected terrorist.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo

Kenyans living in big cities are currently in great state of panicking following the threat issues by the Alqaeda trained Somalia based terrorists that they are planning to bring down all the tall buildings in the country within the next two weeks.

A local daily had carried the content of the threat in its front page news headline on Saturday .The NAIROBI STAR while quoting an American intelligence company that has warned that the Alshabaab is planning a major fresh attack on the tallest buildings in Kenya’s cities within two weeks.

Keeya Defene Forces last week overrunned an Al-Shabaab stronghold and captured Almadhow town,while Kenyan warships killed several militia fighters in an exchange of fire in Kismayu,the Al-Shabaab controlled port city.

However, Kenya’s Defense Minister Yusuf Haji said on Thursday tha Kenan troops will soon flush out the terrorists fighters out from their remaining stronghold in Kismayu.

One major international new agency AP reported quoting private intelligence firm,the Intel-Center as saying Al-Shabaab has threatened to bring down Kenya’s skyscrapers within two weeks.

On Monday last week a large and powerful bomb went off on Moi Avenue in one of the busiest Nairobi streets in the capital. A woman trader was killed while close to 30 people were injured and have to be rushed to several hospitals within the city, where some of them are still undergoing treatment.

Al-Shabaab quoted an internet threat last Wednesday that “Something big is coming” and Kenyans would soon watch your towers come down,within two weeks from now and you will weep.”

This is the third time Al-Shabaab has aid it would target Kenya’s tall buildings.The first threat came in December last year.

Al Shabaab is suspected of being behind the Monday last week’s bomb attack in Central Nairobi that killed one person and wounded more than 30 although no one has claimed responsibility so far.

The Intel-Center said that the latest threat of a large attack in Kenya over the next months is high given increasing number of threat from Al-Shabaab.

“The Tower most likely to be targeted are those housing big hotels,especially those frequented by Western government offices, media and prominent corporations. The building volume and low level activity indicate that such an attack may be attempted sooner or later.”The Virginia based Intel-Center was quoted as saying that Al-Shabaab and Alqaeda formally linked up earlier this year though their ties has hundreds of foreign fighters including many with combat experience from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April the US government warned that it continues to receive information about potential terrorist attack in Kenya.

An Amisom / TFG offensive on three fronts is threatening to push the Al-Shabaab militia fighters out of their stronghold hideout at Kismayu. As it is a set-back,security experts have warned that the Al-shabaab are likely to resort to terror attacks and guerrilla warfare in Kenya and in the neighboring countries.



From: Joram Ragem

MY OPINION IS BREAKING NEWS BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT IT. NOW YOU KNOW. To wit, our very own are attempting to destabilize Kenya so that a State of Emergency is called, postpone election calendar, allow Kibaki to stay way beyond his term, deny apparent opinion poll front runner the election victory, all in defiance, and impune to impending ICC trials. There are no Al Shabab in Kenya, only inexperienced home grown cowardly terroristic sycophants. They orchestrated the British dozier, exploded little bombs here and there in Nairobi & Mombasa (beginning with the period of Constitution Referendum and now during the countdown to elections) with hope of changing public opinion towards cooperation with ICC. What they need to know is that they themselves brought about ICC upon themselves, and now must go there to defend themselves. Since the promulgation of the new Katiba, Kenya is different and will continue on the path to real reforms, whether they like it or not. They should stop tormenting like night runners & terrorizing us wanting us to believe it is Al Shabaab. They should stop inflicting damage to their kin’s businesses thinking if they did it to opponents areas, they will be known not to be Al Shabaab. Stop destroying your kin businesses. Stop your silly, amateurish, cowardly, sadistic and terroristic acts and go to Hague and defend yourselves without being vague. No matter what you do, Kenya belongs to all of us, and your actions are inconsequential to Wanjiku’s resolve of an impunity-free Kenya. This is my opinion and I am breaking it as a result of freedom of expression enshrined in our constitution.

Joram Kaulikazi Ragem

wuod Ndinya, wuod Onam, wuod Amolo, wuod Owuoth, wuod Oganyo, wuod Mumbe, wuod Odongo, wuod Olwande, wuod Adhaya, wuod Ojuodhi, wuod Ragem (You may be my relative, but it matters less now. This is New Kenya!)

USA: James Clapper on Greatest Threats in 2012

From: Yona Maro

The man in charge of all of America’s intelligence gathering testified today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment. The following are excerpts from National Director of Intelligence James Clapper’s prepared remarks as provided to ABC News.

On Iran: We Don’t Know If They’ll Go for The Bomb, ‘Concerned’ About Attack on U.S.

“We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. Iran nevertheless is expanding its uranium enrichment capabilities, which can be used for either civil or weapons purposes.”

“Iran’s technical advancement, particularly in uranium enrichment, strengthens our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons, making the central issue its political will to do so. These advancements contribute to our judgment that Iran is technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon, if it so chooses. We judge Iran would likely choose missile delivery as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon… Elite infighting has reached new levels, as the rift grows between Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad.”

“The 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime. We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas. Iran’s willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran’s evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot against the ambassador as well as Iranian leaders’ perceptions of U.S. threats against the regime.”

On Terrorism: Al Qaeda ‘Core’ Weakening, Affiliates and Homegrown Terror Greater Threats

“The next two to three years will be a critical transition phase for the terrorist threat facing the United States, particularly from al Qaeda and like-minded groups… During this transition, we expect leadership of the movement to become more decentralized, with ‘core’ al Qaeda — the Pakistan-based group formerly led by Osama bin Laden — diminishing in operational importance; regional al Qaeda’s affiliates planning and attempting terrorist attacks; multiple voices providing inspiration for the movement; and more vigorous debate about local versus global agendas.”

“We do not assess that al Qaeda’s new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, will change al Qaeda’s strategic direction, but most al Qaeda members find Zawahiri’s leadership style less compelling than bin Laden’s image as a holy man and warrior and will not offer him the deference they gave bin Laden.”

“We judge that al Qaeda’s losses are so substantial and its operating environment so restricted that a new group of leaders, even if they could be found, would have difficulty integrating into the organization and compensating for mounting losses.”

Despite this, the DNI’s statement notes that al Qaeda regional affiliates “will remain committed to the group’s ideology, and in terms of threats to U.S. interests will surpass the remnants of core al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

“We judge al Qaeda operatives are balancing support for attacks in Pakistan with guidance to refocus the global jihad externally, against U.S. targets. Al Qaeda also will increasingly rely on ideological and operational alliances with Pakistani militant factions to accomplish its goals within Pakistan and to conduct transnational attacks. Pakistani military leaders have had limited success against al Qaeda operatives, other foreign fighters, and Pakistani militants who pose a threat to Islamabad.”

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Although high-profile al Qaeda cleric and recruiter Anwar Awlaki has been killed, the intelligence chief notes in his testimony that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group to which Awlaki belonged, remains dangerous.

“We judge AQAP remains the node most likely to attempt transnational attacks. [Awlaki’s] death probably reduces, at least temporarily, AQAP’s ability to plan transnational attacks, but many of those responsible for implementing plots, including bomb makers, financiers, and facilitators, remain and could advance plots.”

Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)

“We assess that AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) will remain focused on overthrowing the Shia-led government in Baghdad in favor of a Sunni-led Islamic caliphate. It probably will attempt attacks primarily on local Iraqi targets, including government institutions, Iraqi Security Forces personnel, Shia civilians, and recalcitrant Sunnis, such as members of the Sons of Iraq, and will seek to rebuild support among the Sunni population…. The Iraqi Government is positioned to keep violence near current levels through 2012, although periodic spikes are likely. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are capable of planning and executing security operations, and Iraqi counter-terrorism forces have demonstrated they are capable of targeting remaining terrorists and insurgents.”

Al Shabaab, Somalia

Clapper said the main issue concerning the al Qaeda-linked terror group al Shabaab in east Africa is with American-born fighters who have joined the group.

“Members of the group — particularly a foreign fighter cadre that includes U.S. passport holders — may also have aspirations to attack inside the United States. However, we lack insight into concrete operational plans outside the Horn of Africa.”

Homegrown Threat

Clapper said that homegrown extremists may move to attack in the U.S. if America or the West engages in war in another Muslim nation. In his testimony Clapper notes that extremists may learn from past plots and averted attacks and disruptions.

On Afghanistan: Taliban Still Has ‘Safe Haven’ in Pakistan

Discussing the Taliban the intelligence chief said “its losses have come mainly in areas where ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) surge forces are concentrated. It remains resilient and capable of challenging U.S. and international goals and Taliban senior leaders continue to enjoy safe haven in Pakistan, which enables them to provide strategic direction to the insurgency and not fear for their safety. We assess al Qaeda’s impact on the Afghanistan insurgency is limited.”

“That said, al Qaeda is committed to the Afghan jihad, and the propaganda gains from participating in insurgent attacks outweigh their limited battlefield impact,” he said. “In terms of security, we judge that the Afghan police and Army will continue to depend on ISAF support.”

Clapper also notes that Afghans earned $1.8 billion from the drug trade last year.

On North Korea: To Early to Judge New Leader, Two Nuclear Weapon Tests

“North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs pose a serious threat to the security environment in East Asia. Its export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance to Syria — now ended — illustrate the reach of the North’s proliferation activities. We remain alert to the possibility that North Korea might again export nuclear technology.”

Kim Jong Un became North Korea’s leader following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, on 17 December 2011. Although it is still early to assess the extent of his authority, senior regime leaders will probably remain cohesive at least in the near term to prevent instability and protect their interests.”

Clapper said that the U.S. intelligence community believes North Korea has tested two nuclear devices.

On the Arab Spring: Turmoil Will ‘Challenge’ U.S. Influence, Terrorists Could Exploit Unrest

“The Arab world is in a period of turmoil and change that will challenge the ability of the United States to influence events in the Middle East. This turmoil is driven by forces that will shape Arab politics for years, including a large youth population; economic grievances associated with persistent unemployment, inequality, and corruption; increased popular participation and renewed hope in effecting political change; and a greater ability by opposition groups to mobilize nonviolent resistance on a large scale.”

“Meanwhile, the forces propelling change are confronting ruling elites; sectarian, ethnic, and tribal divisions; lack of experience with democracy; dependence on natural resource wealth; and regional power rivalries…This new regional environment poses challenges for U.S. strategic partnerships in the Arab world. However, we judge that Arab leaders will continue to cooperate with the United States on regional security to help check Iran’s regional ambitions, and some will seek economic assistance.”

“The unrest potentially provides terrorists inspired by the global jihadist movement more operating space, as security services focus more on internal security and, in some cases, undergo transformations in make-up and orientation. Ongoing unrest most likely would exacerbate public frustration, erosion of state power, and economic woes — conditions that al Qaeda would work to exploit. The ongoing turmoil probably will cause at least a temporary setback to CT (counter-terrorism) efforts and might prove a longer-term impediment, if successor governments view violent Sunni extremism as a less immediate threat than did previous regimes.”

On the Cyber Threat to the U.S.: Governments Can’t Keep Up with Technology

In his testimony, Clapper notes that cyber threats are likely to increase in the coming years.

“We currently face a cyber environment where emerging technologies are developed and implemented faster than governments can keep pace, as illustrated by the failed efforts at censoring social media during the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Hacker groups, such as Anonymous and Lulz Security (LulzSec), have conducted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and website defacements against government and corporate interests they oppose. The well publicized intrusions into NASDAQ and International Monetary Fund (IMF) networks underscore the vulnerability of key sectors of the U.S. and global economy.”

The intelligence chief also notes that computer-espionage is becoming a greater concern with foreign services targeting classified networks that may not be detected.

“We assess that many intrusions into U.S. networks are not being detected. Although most activity detected to date has been targeted against unclassified networks connected to the Internet, foreign cyber actors have also begun targeting classified networks”.

On Drinking Water Resources: Shortages, Floods Will Hurt U.S. National Security

During the next 10 years, water problems will contribute to instability in states important to U.S. national security interests.

Water shortages, poor water quality, and floods are unlikely to result in state failure. However, water problems combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure.

Now and for the foreseeable future, water shortages and pollution probably will negatively affect the economic performance of important U.S. trading partners.

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