An Analysis of the role of the police service in counterterrorism operations in Kenya
Waringa, James Njoroge
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This study explored the role of the Kenya Police Service in counterterrorism operations, specifically examining and analyzing the factors underlying the continued terrorism attacks in Kenya despite various counterterrorism measures by the government. It equally examined and analyzed the effects of intra and inter-institutional coordination and intelligence sharing constraints on police counterterrorism operations in Kenya. Using quasi-experimental research designs, the study examined the place of strategic intelligence and coordination issues in respect of counterterrorism operations by the Kenya Police. Kenya continues to suffer terrorist attacks associated with the Al Qaeda and its affiliate networks in the region, particularly the Al Shabab group, which is mainly domiciled in Somalia. These attacks have left hundreds of people dead and scores injured, especially following Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia beginning in October 2011. Operationalizing the variant of Contingency Theory, the study argues that the continuity of terror attacks is a function of Al Shabab’s ability to protect and deny internal security agencies access to their operational intelligence. It equally argues that the inability of the police to counter terror attacks is a function of absence of enhanced intra and inter institutional coordination and cooperation in intelligence sharing. This study finds that there is a lapse of coordination and cooperation in information sharing within and among the state's national security agencies. Consequently, this study gives recommendations for a pragmatic counterterrorism strategy for the National Police Service in Kenya.