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The Department of State and FBI Partner with Kenya to Launch First Overseas Joint Terrorism Task Force
February 12, 2020

Kenyan Joint Terrorism Task Force

The Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation have partnered together to assist Kenya in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to be located outside of the United States. This Kenyan-led JTTF will be a multi-agency counterterrorism investigative force in Nairobi, Kenya.

The initiative to establish a Kenyan Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF-K) began after the al-Shabaab terrorist attack on the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya on January 16, 2019. There was a pressing need for a JTTF that could be met through FBI’s training expertise combined with the State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism’s (CT Bureau) capacity building efforts.

The 42 selected Kenyan investigators will receive a 12-week intensive counterterrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The FBI will administer the curriculum and provide training with assistance from other agencies, as applicable. FBI and the CT Bureau will collaboratively assess the program.

The team will adopt methodologies used by U.S.-based JTTFs and be trained to handle sensitive counterterrorism intelligence shared with the Kenyan government. 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.

Investigations conducted by JTTF-K will be carried out in accordance with international law enforcement standards and in comportment with human rights.  Legal authorities will be derived from the Kenyan Constitution and International Treaties.  Cases will be prosecuted in Kenya’s courts, which promotes the U.S. goal of enabling foreign partners to successfully counter terrorist threats.

The JTTF-K is being funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism under the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, which was established by Congress to build the law enforcement capacity of partner nations on the frontlines of terrorism.  It is part of a comprehensive program with Kenya to promote terrorism investigations and prosecutions, enhance crisis response, and strengthen border security.