Kenya's efforts to combat terrorism have received a boost following the partnership of American-based Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
It has emerged that the FBI is set to establish the first Joint Terrorism Task Force outside the US, to be based in Kenya.
The first team of 42 Kenyan officers is already at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, where they will undergo training.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations Director George Kinoti has hailed the FBI for working with Kenya to fight the war on terrorism.
“I appreciate the effort and resources the FBI and Department of State have dedicated towards improving the capabilities of our officers through training, experience, and insight,” he said.
Due to globalisation and the advancement of technology, terrorists and their sympathisers have also changed tactics and devised new methods to further their agenda, said the DCI boss.
The FBI and Department of State announced they had partnered together to assist Kenya in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to be located outside of the US. The initiative to establish the joint task force began after the Al Shabaab terrorist attack on the dusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on January 16, last year.
According to a statement from the FBI, there was a pressing need for a multi-agency task force that could be met through FBI’s training expertise combined with the State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism’s capacity-building efforts.
“The FBI is proud to have the opportunity to work with our Kenyan law enforcement partners on this initiative,” said Assistant Director of the International Operations Division Charles Spencer.
“The first Kenyan JTTF will allow for a sharing of experience, knowledge, and capabilities that will enhance our shared commitment to countering terrorism around the world.”
“For over two decades, the CT Bureau has supported Kenya’s efforts to improve its law enforcement capacity to defend its borders and become a counter-terrorism leader in East Africa,” said Ambassador Nathan Sales, the coordinator for counter-terrorism.
“The JTTF for Kenya will support the interagency approach required to successfully investigate and prosecute terrorists before they conduct attacks. I look forward to this unit standing up and the results that will surely come.”
The 42 Kenyan investigators will receive a 12-week intensive training at the FBI Academy. The FBI will administer the curriculum and provide training with assistance from other agencies, as applicable, whereas the FBI and the CT Bureau will collaboratively assess the programme.
It is part of a comprehensive programme with Kenya to promote terrorism investigations and prosecutions, enhance crisis response, and strengthen border security.
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