Terror War: Envoy Calls for Stronger US-Nigeria Cooperation

The Consul-General of the United States in Nigeria, Joseph Stafford has said that to win the war on terror which is a trans-national crime, a closer collaboration between Nigerian government and the US government was a cognitive imperative.

According to him, the US government is collaborating with Nigerians in the areas of explosives crime scene investigations, intelligence gathering, analysis and inter-agency co-operation. He said that the US government agencies conducted counter-terrorism training for Nigerian security officials and financing of anti-terrorism operations.

Speaking at the 2011 Security Conference titled Combating Terrorism in Nigeria, organized by the Association of Industrial Safety and Security Operators of Nigeria in Lagos, he noted that with the menace of Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, “we have to continue our part to work together to eliminate terrorism”.

However, he said, the two states also collaborate in the areas of training, development of the task force against terrorism, basic forensic analysis and money laundering investigation.

Acknowledging the US as a key partner in the fight against terrorism globally, he said that terrorists do not wage conventional wars. He identifies four vital areas on the war on terror including communication and intelligence sharing among security agencies, training of law enforcement and security service personnel on specific strategies in combating terrorism.

Stafford said there was the need to empower the judicial officers and reform the judicial system in order to successfully prosecute terrorists. He advised the Nigerian government to ensure safety and security of judges and prosecutors to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice. He said in some countries like Iraq, dozens of prosecutors have been intimidated by terrorists and their supporters such that they were reluctant to adjudicate terrorist cases.

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