Country Report on Terrorism 2018 - Chapter 1 - Tanzania

Overview: The Government of Tanzania cooperates with the United States and regional partners on select security and counterterrorism initiatives. The proliferation of suspected terrorist attacks in northern Mozambique, some of which allegedly included Tanzanian perpetrators, led to increased cross-border security cooperation and the arrest of more than 120 Tanzanian nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism. Heavy-handed efforts by the government to deter attacks in Tanzania, particularly in the south, have led to concerns about excessive use of force, denial of due process, and possible movement of alleged instigators to border regions. For further information, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Tanzanians were present among terrorist groups including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and offshoots thereof. Risks of attacks in Tanzania remain high, exacerbated by possible cooperation among terrorists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, and elsewhere in the region who seek to take advantage of lightly governed spaces and porous borders, including the return of trained and radicalized Tanzanian terrorists.

2018 Terrorist Incidents: There were no reported terrorist incidents in Tanzania in 2018.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In September 2018, Tanzania enacted two major changes to its counterterrorism laws: a new witness protection statute and amendments to Tanzania’s mutual legal assistance (MLA) law. The United States provided counterterrorism assistance to Tanzanian judicial officials through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Resident Legal Advisor, conducting workshops aimed at drafting recommendations for legislative and procedural amendments to Tanzania’s counterterrorism laws. The new MLA law greatly enhances Tanzania’s ability to cooperate with the United States and other countries in terrorism and transitional criminal investigations.

Tanzania codified security coordination with Mozambique in January 2018, signing a Memorandum of Understanding to increase joint efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering. More than 50 Tanzanians were arrested in Mozambique in late 2017 and are currently on trial there. In October 2018, Tanzanian authorities announced the arrest of more than 120 Tanzanian nationals in southern Tanzania for alleged involvement with terrorist organizations in Mozambique. Security officials aggressively sought out terrorist actors, reportedly jailing numerous individuals and denying rights to due process.

Tanzania serves as a recruitment and transit point for terrorist and criminal organizations that capitalize on Tanzania’s vast unguarded border spaces. The Department of State provides assistance to police through the Antiterrorism Assistance program, which focused on building law enforcement capacity to reduce terrorism threats along strategic land borders, particularly in the Tanga region. Tanzania employed PISCES to conduct traveler screening and watchlisting at airports and other points of entry.

Tanzania’s National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is an interagency unit composed of officers from the intelligence, police, defense, immigration, and prison sectors who coordinate regularly on counterterrorism issues. NCTC leads the government’s coordination on counterterrorism issues, but remains under-resourced and maintains no legal mandate to investigate or arrest suspects. NCTC has participated in capacity-building efforts and cooperation with international regional partners. In 2018, NCTC continued to cooperate with U.S. government law enforcement agencies, which have provided support to improve Tanzania’s interagency coordination and cooperation around planning for and responding to crises.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Tanzania is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), a FATF-style regional body. The Tanzania Financial Intelligence Unit is a member of the Egmont Group. Tanzania continued to make progress on strengthening its AML/CFT regimes, including by instituting new procedures to more tightly regulate the movement of foreign exchange. While the primary purpose of the restrictions appears to be reduction of tax evasion, the measures will also make it easier to trace transactions, including those associated with money laundering.

For additional information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism: Tanzania’s NCTC continued to lead CVE efforts and was UNDP’s partner in a multi-year project that began in spring 2017 to prevent terrorism. With support from UNDP, the government worked in 2018 to draft a national preventing violent extremism strategy and action plan, which is expected to be finalized in 2019.

CVE concepts are not well recognized among Tanzanian officials, particularly at the regional and district government levels, inhibiting progress to implement certain measures. Additionally, police relations are strained in communities, especially in Muslim majority regions along the coast, following security officials’ aggressive tactics to neutralize threats.

International and Regional Cooperation: Tanzania is a member of the AU, the Southern African Development Community, and the East African Community, all of which implemented counterterrorism initiatives. The Tanzanian government benefited from training provided by bilateral and multilateral donors to enhance counterterrorism-related security units. Although not a member, Tanzania also participated in GCTF regional workshops and events.