Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tanzania: Sixteen suspected terrorists arrested in Arusha

Sixteen suspected terrorists were arrested in an operation in Arusha in northern Tanzania. The young men were charged in court on 29 May with the April bombing of an Arusha bar and with recruiting young men to Al Shabaab. Previous bombings in Arusha over the past two years were mentioned in police statements although they did not appear on the charge sheet. These include the June 2013 bombing of a CHADEMA election rally and a bombing of a Catholic church in the town the previous year.

Loose or informal connections between Al Shabaab and Tanzania are known to exist and Islamist groups are openly active. One Arusha resident was involved in the bombing of a bar in Uganda in 2010 and was arrested the following year. Given the extent of small scale mining operations in the area, particularly those for gemstones, there is also an easy supply of explosives in the general area.

For more news and expert analysis about East Africa, please see East Africa Politics & Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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