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The Role Of The Us: How And Why It Has Changed
The US support for Kenya and the other countries changed since the bombing of their embassy in Nairobi in August 1998, which killed more than 200 people and injured many (Thielman 2004). Initially, the US was funding another area such as hunger alleviation, health services, and education. According to the Center for Defense Information 2009, 12 Americans died in the blast, which caused a lot of anger to the law enforcers and the intelligence officials (Mohochi n.d). As a result, the US government decided to channel more resources to Kenya to help in investigating the bombing and putting preventive measures to avoid more incidences of attacks (Thielman 2004). After the attack, the US government sent many intelligence officers to Kenya to help in investigations of the bombing and arrest the attackers of the embassy before they could escape. According to Thielman (2004), the FBI worked closely with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and started investigations to find the bombers and any other secrets concerning the bombing. The Kenyan government formed the National Security Intelligence Service and the US Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) program, took over Kenya to exercise a thorough investigation of the attack (Thielman 2004).
The other assistance offered by the US was $42 million to facilitate the treatment of the injured and assist them to rebuild their lives after the blast as Henneke (2007) asserts. Many Kenyans were angry because of the destructive nature of the bomb, and the financial assistance was able to reduce the anger in many Kenyans, who faced the tragedy. However, the ATA program did not get any funding from the US immediately. The cohesive investigation between the US and the Kenyan intelligence officials helped to trace the attack to the head of an Al-Qaeda terror group, Osama bin Laden, one of the most wanted terrorist (Henneke 2007). According to the courtroom witnesses in 2001, Bin Laded established an Al-Qaeda cell in Kenya in 1993, long before the embassy attack (Henneke 2007). Al-Qaeda once again attacked the American property in New York, which angered the US President Bush. The president began the global war on terror and increased its funding in Kenya to aid in fighting terrorism and buy equipment to help in detecting any attacks before they occur (Thielman 2004).
Kenya has very many problems that facilitate the occurrence of terrorism, such as poverty, high unemployment rate, and under-development. These factors are the major reasons for increased radicalization of the youths by the Islamic terror group. As a result, the US improved its relationship with Kenya and became the most important partner in fighting terrorism. There were many changes in the American intelligence practices in the overseas through creation of task forces and the expansion of the intelligence teams to help in the fight against terrorism (Thielman 2004). The US and the Kenyan Government worked jointly with the military to fight terrorism with the assistance of the Foreign Military Financing Program (FMFP) as noted by (Thielman 2004). The funding from the FMFT rose 15 times its earlier value in 2003, and Kenya became a beneficially to the Defense Counterterrorism Fellowship (KENYA: Combating Terrorism 2012). Kenya was able to get the extensive training from the FMFT for its military to help in fighting future terror activities and arrest the perpetrators before they escape.
The East African communities also received funding for counterterrorism Acts and received a grant of $100 million. Kenya was able to form the Anti-terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) according to KENYA: Combating Terrorism (2012). The other units were National Counterterrorism Center, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and National Security Advisory Committee. The units were necessary to investigate and identify cells and coordinate the law enforcers to prevent further terror attacks in the country. However, some political differences in Kenya led to the disbandment of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was a disappointment to the US government. The other program, such as the Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA) offers assistance in antiterrorism training and maintains an annual budget of about $8 million (KENYA: Combating Terrorism 2012). The program maintains security in the borders, both on land and maritime though Kenya experiences challenges of monitoring the people and the materials entering the country through the borders. For example, the maritime security could not detect the explosives, used in bombing the embassy in 1998, as they entered through the Mombasa port.
In Lamu Island, the US has a camp for training the Maritime Police Unit aimed at minimizing insecurities in the Kenyan borders (Thielman 2004). The US ambassador to Kenya donated three patrol boats as commitment of the US to fighting insecurity and terrorism in Kenya in the year 2009 for use by the maritime authorities. The camp provides comprehensive training to provide a more self-sufficient police force, who later acts as the tutors in the camp in training other officers. There are more equipment donated by the State Department of Justice through the FBI, which assist the police in fighting crimes and terrorism in Kenya. In Kenya, mobile phones are in extensive use even in crime and terror activities, and the ATA program donated some equipment to help in analyzing digital data in mobile phones as asserted by Thielman (2004). In Kenya, mobile banking and money transfer facilitate terrorism activities as the terrorists can transfer money to their collaborators to help finance their terror activities. The terrorist’s financiers also have an easier way of transferring money to the terrorists.
In addition to providing the forensic equipment, the US government provides training.............
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