Country Report on Terrorism 2010 - Chapter 2 - Tanzania


Overview: Elements of the terrorist network responsible for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing remained active in the region making Tanzania vulnerable to international terrorism. The Government of Tanzania continued to be an active and helpful partner in bringing Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, one of the key perpetrators of the bombings, to justice in the United States. Following the Kampala bombings on July 11, Tanzania worked closely with authorities in Uganda and Kenya to investigate the attacks.

2010 Terrorist Incidents: On the evening of May 16, a 15-year-old boy ran past a guard in front of the U.S. Embassy, lit a bottle containing kerosene and threw it under one of two water trucks parked outside the Embassy walls. The bottle broke, but did not ignite. Embassy security guards captured the boy before he could throw a second bottle. There was no breach of the Embassy compound, no injuries, or property damage. A Tanzanian police officer arrived immediately after the incident and arrested the perpetrator. The boy had a note on him threatening possible future attacks. He told police he was motivated to attack the United States Embassy by violent extremist ideology.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Following the Kampala bombings, Tanzania stepped up its efforts to counter terrorism, increased its collaboration, both regionally and internationally, and adopted a more proactive approach. The National Counterterrorism Center continued its participation in several multi-year programs to strengthen Tanzania's law enforcement and military capacity, improve aviation and border security, and combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Ministry of Home Affairs worked jointly with the U.S. Embassy to strengthen maritime security, particularly in Africa’s Great Lakes. A National Maritime Training Academy was under construction on the shores of Lake Victoria and two new boats began patrolling these waters during the year. Immigration authorities collaborated with the International Organization for Migration to improve security along the northern and southern borders. This included introducing electronic screening systems, improving regional coordination, and establishing a Border Information Center in Mwanza to help address issues arising from the adoption of the East African Community's (EAC) Common Market Protocol, which allows for the free movement of citizens within the EAC.

In advance of the trial of terrorism suspect Ahmed Ghailani, accused and convicted for his involvement in the 1998 U. S. Embassy bombing, Tanzanian officials helped U. S. law enforcement agents prepare for the trial, including assisting with witness preparation.

In the case involving the 15-year-old Tanzanian involved in the May 16 U.S. Embassy incident, the police responded quickly, arresting the perpetrator. However, the subsequent investigation and prosecution has proceeded slowly. The suspect, a minor, was released into the custody of his guardians.

Tanzania continued to process travelers on entry and departure at three international airports, two seaports, and one land border with the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES).

Countering Terrorist Finance: Tanzania’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) established its Anti-Money Laundering Act. However, with only three technical staff, the FIU had limited resources to investigate potential money laundering or terrorist financing activities. Tanzania’s laws do not allow the assets of suspected terrorists to be frozen unless the individual has been convicted for criminal acts. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, however, gives the Attorney General the authority to submit an application to the court for an order of forfeiture of assets owned or controlled by a terrorist group. Tanzania was a member of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.

Regional and International Cooperation: Regional counterterrorism cooperation intensified following the Kampala bombings. Tanzanian authorities worked closely with their Ugandan and Kenyan counterparts to investigate the incidents and limit the ability of such dangerous elements to operate in the region.