Coordination in multi agency response to international terrorism in Kenya: a comparison of Dusit d2 and Westgate terror attacks
Musoma, Albert Lusiola
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Kenya has in the last decade been faced by a constant terror threat from al-Shabaab, ISIS and al Qaeda. This study sets out to assess responses to international terrorism in Kenya. It draws a comparison of the Dusit D2 and Westgate terror attacks. The study questions were as follows: Are there existing or lack thereof of multi-agency strategic policies on coordination in response to international terrorism in Kenya? Are there existing or lack thereof of structural and legal frameworks guiding multi-agency operations on countering international terrorism in Kenya? And what are the successes and failures borne out of having/not having multi-agency laws, policies, doctrines and strategies regarding terror response coordination? The study adopted mixed methods and exploratory research designs. The target population was all the members of the KDF SoFs, the NPS Recce squad, and ATPU Officers as well as policy level Military, Intelligence and Police Officers. The target population is estimated at 3400 personnel from which a sample of 97 was obtained. The used primary data collected from the respondents using mainly questionnaires and interviews as well as secondary data that was obtained from library-based research via books, e-books, journals, government publications, and published thesis, among other reputable academic publications. The data collected from questionnaires were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24. The findings were presented in descriptive statistics, tables, graphs, charts and inferential statistics. On its part, data from interviews were analyzed thematically based on the objectives so as to establish the key themes and trends from which findings, conclusions, and recommendations were drawn. The study findings make it manifest that strategic multi-agency policy on coordination in response to terrorism in Kenya enhances coordination in response to international terrorism. In this light, the level to which Kenyan security agents are guided by well formulated and clear policies in their response affects the quality of their coordination to international terrorism and vice versa. Additionally, the existence of structural and legal frameworks guiding multi-agency operations on countering terrorism in Kenya had led to effective response through standardizations of operation guidelines, better sharing of information, joint training and exchange of best practices among the various responders. This was evidenced in the Dusit D2 Attack in which synchronization of operations showed better response to the attack by the various operational and tactical teams as compared to the Westgate Attack. The study recommends that: the multiagency response teams should constantly review their operation guidelines and standard operating procedures so as to deal with the ever-changing sophistication in terrorist attacks; the government should put in place ways aimed at checking disparities in capabilities and equipment among various tactical and intelligence teams in Kenya for uniform response to terrorism; there is need for multinational frameworks for undertaking financing and creation of joint information infrastructure for security agencies so as to reign in on international terrorism in the East African Region; there is need for mobile-based applications to enhance real-time information sharing among intelligence and tactical teams on terrorism-related issues during operations; E-policing and rapport with the community should be enhanced so as to enhance sharing of information between police officers and the community on terrorism-related issues and There should also be measures aimed at regulating the use of social media in response to terrorism.