Country Report on Terrorism 2012 - Chapter 2 - Tanzania

Overview: Since the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in July 1998, Tanzania has not experienced another major terrorist attack. Al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya, however, have served as a reminder that the threat in the region is still very real. According to Tanzania's interagency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the June arrest of al-Qa’ida (AQ) and al-Shabaab associate, Emrah Erdogan, in Dar es Salaam suggests that the organizations have elements and plans within the country's borders. The NCTC sees itself as a means of preventing terrorist attacks rather than responding to them. In September and October, intermittent political unrest in Zanzibar, combined with mounting religious tensions on the mainland, created an environment in which the NCTC was on heightened alert watching for potential terrorist attacks. These developments resulted in demonstrations, rioting, and the destruction of property on a localized scale, but the NCTC did not consider any of these actions terrorism-related.

The NCTC has identified the most historically radicalized areas of the country, and the police are therefore planning to install counterterrorism police units in these regions in order to better track and respond to violent extremism. The NCTC continued to work with local police to engage community elders and religious leaders in these regions to encourage dialogue as a means of addressing grievances rather than violence.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Regulations for the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act were drafted in 2011 and published in August 2012 as the Prevention of Terrorism Regulations 2012. The regulations establish the police and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) as the institutions that are to collect and respond to reports of terrorist activity. The regulations also formalized the process for deeming someone a suspected terrorist, freezing assets, and sharing information between government agencies. To improve border security, the United States provided the police with several patrol boats in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mwanza, and Tanga. The NCTC reported that its personnel were reviewing border control systems to determine areas of further need.

The most significant counterterrorism law enforcement action this year was the arrest of AQ and al-Shabaab associate Emrah Erdogan, a German citizen of Turkish origin. According to media reports, police received a tip from German authorities and arrested Erdogan on June 10 as he arrived at Dar es Salaam's international airport. Erdogan was wanted for suspected connections to al-Shabaab and for suspected involvement in bombings in Nairobi. Tanzania transferred Erdogan to Germany for trial. In addition to the Erdogan arrest, the Tanzanian government interdicted several youth allegedly heading to and returning from terrorist training facilities in Somalia and the Middle East.

Tanzania shares borders with eight countries and lacks sufficient resources to adequately patrol those borders. Officers manning border posts are often underequipped and undertrained. Some border posts do not have access to electricity, so computerized systems are not always an option. Among the points of entry that do use computerized systems, there is no single border management software that integrates the information available at all posts. Several Ministry of Home Affairs officials have commented that border posts need better inter-operability.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Since October 2010, Tanzania has been publicly identified by the FATF as a jurisdiction with strategic anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism deficiencies, for which it has developed an action plan with the FATF to address these weaknesses. In February 2012, Tanzania was named in the FATF Public Statement for its lack of progress in implementing its action plan. Since that time, however, Tanzania has made significant progress to address its outstanding deficiencies, including amending its Prevention of Terrorism Act in June 2012.

Tanzania's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist finance, and is seeking membership in the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. The Anti-Money Laundering Law dictates that the FIU has the responsibility to follow up on cases referred from other organizations rather than to seek out cases on its own. FIU staff attributed this increase in referrals to a series of training exercises they conducted with referring organizations throughout the year.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Tanzania is a member of the South African Development Community and the East African Community, both of which have regular working groups that address counterterrorism. Through the East African Police Chiefs' Cooperation Organization and South African Police Chiefs' Cooperation Organization, the NCTC maintained more frequent, informal contact with other police forces in the region.