Maritime Terrorism: Why the East African Community is the Next Potential Target of Maritime Terrorism
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume 6, issue 6, 2016
8 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2017
Date Written: November 14, 2016
Maritime terrorism is a politically motivated crime launched at or from the sea. In recent years, there have been a number of terrorist incidents on land in the East African Community (EAC) region, all in Kenya. Nonetheless, no act of terrorism has yet occurred by sea in the EAC, even though Kenya shares both land and maritime borders with Somalia. This study investigates the likelihood of the EAC being the next victim of maritime terrorism. It also looks at why the EAC is so vulnerable to maritime terrorism. This study found that the likelihood of the EAC being a target of maritime terrorism stems from the fact that it borders Somalia and that Kenya is at war with al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist group. Al-Shabaab has significant experience in the EAC maritime domain and the possibility of al-Shabaab using the Muslim youths it has recruited in Mombasa, Kenya and among ethnic Somalis living in Kenya further heightens the likelihood of the group attacking the EAC’s shores. This study further found that the lack of a regional maritime security strategy (including a Maritime Domain Awareness programme), unpoliced maritime waters and poor cooperation between Kenyan and Tanzanian maritime law enforcement agencies make the region extremely vulnerable to maritime terrorism. The author of this study believes that this paper would act as a wakeup call to the EAC Secretariat and the politicians amongst the EAC member states on the importance of investing their political wills and financial resources in the regional maritime security efforts.
Keywords: Maritime Terrorism, Maritime Security, East African Community, Kenya, Tanzania, Al-Shabaab
JEL Classification: f55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation