Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 06:23 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Kenya

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Kenya, 18 August 2011, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: The Kenyan government demonstrated increased political will to secure its borders, apprehend suspected terrorists, and cooperate with regional allies and the international community to counter terrorism, despite facing perennial challenges that limited its growth in counterterrorism capabilities such as corruption, a lack of counterterrorism law, and severe resource constraints. Arms smuggling, reports of extremist recruiting within refugee camps and Kenyan cities, and increased allegations of terrorist plotting, enhanced recognition among government officials, the diplomatic community, and civil society that Kenya remained vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The government increased security along parts of the Kenya/Somalia border to stem the flow of armed militants who routinely crossed into Kenya to obtain supplies, funding, medical care, and recruits, but a lack of capacity and coordination among border officials undermined these efforts.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Despite an increased concern over security and Kenya's strong counterterrorism partnership with regional and international allies, the lack of comprehensive counterterrorism legislation hindered Kenya's counterterrorism efforts. Existing laws did not permit police to detain terrorist suspects and prosecute them effectively. The government did not submit a revised version of counterterrorism legislation that was defeated in 2006 and no progress was made in 2010 by the Kenyan Parliament to pass counterterrorism legislation.

The Prevention of Organized Crime Law – unanimously adopted by Parliament in July – allows authorities to designate groups as criminal organizations, but does not explicitly criminalize terrorist activities. In October, the Kenyan government designated 33 groups as organized illegal gangs, including al-Shabaab. The broad definition of membership in an organized crime group probably will help Kenyan authorities detain, charge, and prosecute individuals associated with terrorist networks.

In September, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) successfully completed pilot testing for biometric upgrades to Kenya's Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), which was used at nine Kenyan ports of entry to identify suspect travelers against a computerized Kenyan stop-list. JKIA's processing of travelers on entry and departure was the first to incorporate new PISCES biometric features; Kenyan officials at JKIA made productive use of their new capabilities.

Countering Terrorist Finance: On June 30, the Kenyan Anti-Money Laundering Act became effective. The act provides mechanisms for detecting and seizing proceeds of money laundering, including the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Kenya's FIU did not become operational in 2010, however. Kenya was a member of the Eastern and South African Anti Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body.

Regional and International Cooperation: Kenyan law enforcement agencies worked closely with the international community to increase their counterterrorism abilities and secure porous land borders as well as address ongoing maritime security concerns. Kenyan authorities cooperated with Uganda in the investigation of the Kampala bombing.

Search Refworld