Terror informants require protection
The war on terror needs concerted efforts if the safety of Kenyans is to be safeguarded. It was recently reported that a planned terror attack in Mombasa was foiled towards its last stages of execution. Three suspects were shot dead while seven others were arrested. Police believe it would have been one of the worst terror attacks.
What comes out clearly is the intricate and concealed network that terrorists such as Al-Shabaab operate although there are collaborative efforts of all security forces in combatting terrorism is quite challenging for Police Intelligence and the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) to conclusively crack the modus operandi of the terror groups. Previously, there has been blame game with security agents on who to blame when the country is hit by deadly terror attacks. In most cases the Police have been blamed for the lethargic manner of response to intelligence provided especially if its actionable.
The Witness Protection Programme run by the Witness Protection Agency offers the necessary protection. The Agency works closely with other key players in the criminal justice sector such as ATPU, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to assess the threat and risk levels faced by such witnesses.
There is also need to applaud informers for the intel they provide to police which has greatly helped to neutralize dangerous plans by terrorists. People with any information of criminal nature should not fear sharing it with security forces. They should be willing to testify in court when the terror suspects are arraigned in court.
The appropriate protection measure is provided depending on the severity of the threats to the life of the witnesses. The all-round protection is offered before, during and after court proceedings to ensure witnesses do not suffer any harm by virtue of their testimony in court.
Informers, whistleblowers and members of the public in general should boldly come forward to report any criminal activities they witness. Their contribution is not only patriotic but a clear show that they are willing to help the government confront the terror menace. When terrorists strike, their diabolic actions are felt by everyone and this calls for a multi-pronged effort to deal with those goons.