FBI To Train Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
anti-terrorism task force
The FBI is training Kenyans in counterterrorism and helping to create a Kenyan anti-terrorism task force to combat al-Shabaab in the region. FBI and State Department officials pose with Kenyan police and intelligence officers at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Image supplied by the FBI

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is training Kenyans in counterterrorism and helping to create a Kenyan anti-terrorism task force. 

The Nairobi-based agency will be the first joint terrorism task force created by the FBI and the U.S. State Department that is located outside of the U.S., according to an FBI statement.

Forty-two Kenyan investigators will receive a 12-week intensive counterterrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

The Kenyan government sought out the U.S. for help after the al-Shabaab terrorist attack on the Dusit Hotel claimed 21 lives in Nairobi in January 2019.

Men armed with guns and explosives burst into a hotel complex in Kenya’s capital on Jan. 15, 2019 in an attack that lasted hours.

Kenya’s response to the attack was lauded by authorities and security experts as an improvement in the country’s counterterrorism measures compared to previous al-Shabab attacks at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall — killing 67 people in 2014, and Garissa University — killing 148 students in 2015.

The FBI will administer the curriculum and provide training for the selected Kenyan team with assistance from other agencies, Ventures Africa reports.

The curriculum is expected to include training on how to handle sensitive counterterrorism intelligence and how to investigate critical terrorism issues that affect Kenyan security.

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After the completion of the 12-week course, the Kenyan investigators will return to Kenya and be assisted by an FBI special agent mentor while carrying out operations in the country, according to the statement.

The announcement of the joint anti-terrorism efforts was made following Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in February, Voanews reported.