Gambia gets Elite Force to respond to terrorism attacks

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By Omar Bah

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice has informed the National Assembly that the government has set up a Counter Terrorism Elite Force Unit to respond to terrorism attacks.

Responding to a parliamentary question on the stage of implementation of the recommendations of the TRRC on legal, political and institutional reforms, Justice Minister Dawda Jallow said a National Counter Terrorism Strategy Implementation Plan has been prepared and it will be accompanied by two hand books.

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“One is the role of the first respondent to counter terrorism scene hand book and the hostage situation hand book,” he said. According to Minister Jallow, the country was never prepared for any terrorist attacks but through this government, Gambia now has “an Elite Force that is prepared and trained to respond to any terrorist attack”.

“We have also mapped out all vulnerable target institutions that could be a potential target to any terrorist attack. We have also got the response strategy ready. We don’t pray that it happens but we are prepared for it,” he added.

The Gambia has not experienced terrorism issues but according to the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), West Africa faces an extremely high terrorist threat, attributing dramatic increase in terrorist activity in the subregion to the Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). The group said the growing strength of ISIL in West Africa has compounded the terrorist threat and contributed to the deteriorating security situation in the subregion.