The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has chosen Kenya to become the first United States-funded Joint Terrorism Task Force to be located outside America, officials said on Tuesday.
The FBI and U.S. Department of State said they have partnered together to assist Kenya in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to be located outside of the U.S.
“The first Kenyan JTTF will allow for a sharing of experience, knowledge, and capabilities that will enhance our shared commitment to countering terrorism around the world,” Charles Spencer, FBI’s assistant director of the international operations division said in a statement.
Spencer said the Kenyan-led JTTF will be a multi-agency counterterrorism investigative force in Nairobi.
The FBI said the initiative to establish a Kenyan Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF-K) began after the al-Shabab terrorist attack on the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi on January 16, 2019.
FBI said 42 selected Kenyan investigators will receive a 12-week intensive counterterrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
The investigators will be trained and equipped to investigate all terrorism matters deemed of significant importance to Kenya’s National Security Council.
Upon completion of the course, the JTTF-K officers will return to Kenya, where they will be assisted by an FBI special agent mentor.
George Kinoti, Kenya’s director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, said the U.S government has been a valued partner in combating terrorism.
He lauded the effort and resources the FBI and Department of State have dedicated toward improving the capabilities of Kenyan officers through training, experience, and insight.
“Due to globalization and the rapid advancement in technology, terrorists and their sympathizers have also changed tactics and devised new methods to further their agenda,” said Kinot.
“Endeavors such as the Kenyan Joint Terrorism Task Force will allow for a multi-agency approach to achieve common objectives and assist us in obtaining the upper hand against the enemy,” he added.