East Africa’s country Tanzania has in the past been exposed to terrorism threats stemming from home grown terror as well as from insurgency spill over from her neighboring counties.
Intelligence analysis forecasts a possibility of increased threats as the country approaches her elections. Tanzania presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for Sunday 25th October 2015. The official campaign period began on 22 August.
On 28th August 2015, the Government of UK updated their travel advisory for its citizens against Tanzania, warning that there could be heightened tension and unrest coupled with the heat that precedes national elections that is also likely to come up after elections, depending on the election outcomes.
Dormant terror cells in a country are known to spring up amid a country’s heat that could otherwise not be related to terrorists.
Tanzania exposure to terror
Tanzania is has experienced a rising number of militant Islamist attacks that have targeted local Christian leaders and foreign tourists, as well as popular bars and restaurants.
A bomb attack near a mosque in Stone Town, Zanzibar, killed 1 person and injured several others in June 2014.
There were a number of small scale attacks in Arusha in 2014, targeting bars and restaurants. Though the attacks were carried out with primitive technology, they send a warning to Tanzanian government which should come up with ways to curb possible large scale threats.
Tanzania was hit like Kenya in the 1998 embassy bombing in an attack that left over 200 hundred people dead in twin attacks orchestrated by Al-Qaida. According to US investigators, local Tanzanians aided Osama bin Laden’s efforts to bomb the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Mohammed Emwazi, ISIS militant possibly intended to commit acts of terrorism in Tanzania when he travelled there in 2009. Emwazi was refused entry into the country. His choice for Tanzania could suggest he wanted to establish a terror cell there. It also amounts to the generalization that Tanzania is a potential target for terrorism.
Al-Shabaab took credit for the 2010 Kampala, Uganda coordinated suicide bombings that left 74 people dead, and the attack was linked to a cell operating in Tanzania. Mohamed Mohamed, a Kenyan national, was charged with coordinating the attack from Tanzania.
Also clear is the fact that there is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist threats and attacks globally against western backed countries. Tanzania is remotely connected with the ongoing crisis in Somalia but in the long run, the militants could spill over to it probably for supporting western interests.
Boko Haram started on a small scale no one could predict their current position. Homegrown terror is as worse as global terror. In no time, such networks link themselves to bigger networks like Al Qaeda and ISIS and cause trouble to their own governments.