Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Niger
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Niger, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbca932.html [accessed 21 August 2014]|
Overview: Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continued to exploit undergoverned space in Nigerien territory and conducted kidnap for ransom operations there. Porous borders and the huge expanse of Niger not under full government control provided opportunities for terrorists to move about the area. Niger worked with other regional partners and organizations to support its counterterrorism efforts, including the Algerian-led General Staff Joint Operations Committee (CEMOC) that also included Mali and Mauritania.
The presence of Boko Haram (BH) in northern Nigeria also posed a threat. Niger was committed to fighting AQIM and BH, but without external support and greater regional cooperation, Niger will likely remain vulnerable to terrorist activity.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: Niger was a victim of AQIM attacks, kidnappings, and anti-government operations. On January 7, two French citizens were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niamey. The two hostages died during an immediate rescue attempt by French and Nigerien forces near the Malian border. On February 24, AQIM released two Africans and a female French national who had been kidnapped in Arlit in September 2010. Four male French nationals taken in the same incident remained in AQIM captivity at year's end.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On January 27, the government adopted Law 2011-11, amending the law organizing and defining the competence of jurisdictions in Niger to include a special chamber within the Court of Appeals charged with investigating, prosecuting, and punishing all acts of terrorism. In December, the Minister of Defense announced that new counterterrorism and rapid-response units had been positioned along borders with Mali, Algeria, and Libya, and that military patrols along the Libyan border had seized weapons, explosives, ammunition, communications equipment, money, and drugs. Niger established a Counterterrorism Unit and a Counterterrorism Fusion Center to merge the intelligence and operations of its disparate law-enforcement agencies. Niger also continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.
On several occasions from June through November, Nigerien security forces clashed with armed men who possibly were affiliated with AQIM, crossing through the northern region of the country. On June 12, they arrested one trafficker and recovered explosives, detonators, arms, military uniforms, and cash. On December 7, four alleged members of BH were arrested in Maine-Soroa and transferred to Kollo Prison near Niamey.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Niger is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, or GIABA, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Niger's means to fight money laundering and terrorist financing was limited and no new anti-money laundering legislation was passed in 2011. However, Niger's Financial Intelligence Unit, the National Center for the Treatment of Financial Information, came under new leadership in October.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Niger continued to work with Mali, Algeria, and Mauritania through the CEMOC center in Tamanrasset, Algeria. In May, the four governments met in Bamako to discuss regional security and agreed to train up to 75,000 troops within the next 18 months to counter AQIM and other militants.