Nairobi has transformed the four side of the u.
embassy into a memorial park it includes a wall engraved with the names of the victims attending a ceremony in Washington a former US ambassador to Kenya warned that embassies around the world still remain at risk two decades later Peter Vincent is a global security expert he previously served as a.
Counterterrorism official with the US Department of Homeland.
Security he’s kind enough to join us here and Peter I know that you were in Kenya recently um how was the country kind of changed.
The dynamic change because I know you’re working with counterterrorism people there I mean it’s a different country now isn’t a.
20 years later it really is of course today we are celebrating the horrific 20th anniversary of the attack in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam Tanzania and I was in Kenya twice the summer in May and just last week working with Kenyan counterterrorism prosecutors and if anything their job has gotten even more difficult of course with the.
Embassy in Dar es Salaam and I Roby Kenya we first solidified the reputation of al-qaida as the most fearsome well organized and lethal terrorist organization in the world since then an al Qaeda Somali affiliate al-shabaab has gained a great deal of attention and attraction by by engaging in horrific acts in Kenya.
And Somalia they say it’s more difficult I mean they sense that don’t they they do sense that there is a palpable fear in particular in particular.
Of al-shabaab in Kenya the Kenyan border with al-shabaab is quite porous al-shabaab is well organized they’re well financed and they have declared war on Kenya since 2011 when the Kenyan – forced fence the Defense Forces officially entered Somalia to fight al-shabaab 20 years I mean that’s a long period of time things have certainly changed I mean al-qaeda at that time who.
Are these guys now you’re talking about al-shabaab we’re talking about Isis how’s the landscape changed over the last 20 years one would think that we’ve improved in some ways but we’ve kind of taken.
Steps backwards we have learned our lessons and the Kenyan Defense Forces in particular working with the United States have really perfected its ability to get good intelligence on terrorist organizations operating in the Horn of Africa but it’s more complicated because you have more diverse and so in some ways much more complicated organizational.
Structure that you’re trying to deal with now whereas al-qaeda was a very hierarchical organization al-shabaab is not as hierarchical and it’s impossible to fully know who’s in charge and what cells are operating and where they’re operating and it’s it’s whack-a-mole in a sense – because I know talking to you and other counterterrorism people you know like al-qaeda may fade from the headlines but that doesn’t.
Mean they’re gone Isis the same story al-shabaab and it’s really kind of.
Hard to stay on top of this isn’t it precisely Mike I mean we saw great victories.
Against the so-called Islamic state routing them out of places like Iraq and Syria but the the intellectual the emotional Caliphate exists although the geographical physical Caliphate.