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New UNODC Research Paper focuses on Use of Internet, Digital Platforms and Devices for Acts Terrorism in Eastern Africa

Cybercrime CTCoE Norway fundingNairobi (Kenya), Wednesday, 25 August 2021 – UNODC today launched a new research paper on The Use of Internet, Other Cyber and Digital Platforms as well as Digital Devices to Support and Commit Acts of Terrorism in Eastern Africa.

The research paper, commissioned by the regional Countering Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes and funded by the Kingdom of Norway as part of its annual voluntary contribution to the UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa, was presented during the EAPCCO CTCoE and UNODC webinar series on “The Role of Law Enforcement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism in Eastern Africa”.

The ever-evolving threat of violent extremism and terrorism in Eastern Africa and the rest of the continent requires the best possible policy and operational decisions to prevent and counter these crimes. This requires a much better understanding of these threats.

The primary objective of the research paper, authored by Claudia Jematia, is to understand the prevalence of terrorist organizations using the internet, other digital platforms and digital devices throughout the attack cycle and determining the nature of social media or encrypted internet-based messaging used for terrorist activities. The paper draws upon evidence and knowledge from digital forensic investigators, police investigators, counter-terrorism officers, national intelligence officers and INTERPOL officers. The research findings will be critical in raising awareness regarding the use of digital and internet-based technologies to commit acts of terrorism within the region; providing law enforcement agencies with evidence-based research; and lastly, building additional programming and trainings on the provided needs assessments.

During the presentation, Ms. Jematia presented several priority areas and recommendations identified in the study which should enable effective counter-terrorism responses to cybercrime, including:


  • The development of an effective criminal justice and legal framework to detect, handle and prosecute cyber terrorism;
  • Building capacity to better address the use of internet by terror groups, including digital forensic trainings and developing Counterterrorism Intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence Techniques and Cyber Defense;
  • Improving public-private partnership and engagement;
  • Increased international collaboration surrounding responses to cyber crime;
  • Advocacy and raising public awareness, including educational campaigns on possible radicalization or propaganda messages, or cyber threats;

Promoting and developing best practices across the public and private sector on counterterrorism and combatting cybercrime.

The EAPCCO CTCoE and UNODC Issue Papers aim to provide policy options and recommendations for Chiefs of Police in Eastern Africa on various aspects of preventing and countering terrorism. In turn, the new initial four-part EAPCCO CTCoE and UNODC webinar series serves as a terrorism prevention knowledge platform for promoting research publications and for roundtable discussions between practitioners and regional experts in Eastern Africa and beyond.

Her presentation was followed by a panel discussion comprising Ms. Jematia; Ms. Carmen Corbin, Head of Counter Cybercrime Prog

Cybercrime CTCoE Norway funding

ramming for West and Central Africa, UNODC; Ms. Tabitha Mwangi, Security and Counter Terrorism Consultant; Ms. Anneli Botha, Terrorism Prevention Consultant, UNODC; and Chief Inspector Joseph Kolum, Head of the Cyber Crime Section at Anti-Terrorism Police Unit of the Kenya Directorate for Criminal Investigation.

Held under the Chatham House Rules, the webinar series creates an opportunity for law enforcement practitioners in the Eastern Africa region, academia, civil society, donors, partners and media, discuss the development of appropriate policy and operational responses to the identified current and emerging threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism.

The webinar series forms part of the UNODC regional project on Supporting EAPCCO and its Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence to Prevent and Counter Terrorism in Eastern Africa, funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. This UNODC research paper was funded by the Kingdom of Norway.

Building on the previous project “Supporting and enhancing the EAPCCO Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence for Eastern Africa”, the aim of this project is to support and strengthen the capacity of Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) Member States, EAPCCO Secretariat and EAPCCO Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence (CTCoE) to effectively prevent and counter terrorism and links to transnational organized in Eastern Africa, including through enhanced international cooperation in criminal matters, with a rule of law and human rights-based approach.

For further reading, download the UNODC Handbook on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Johan Kruger –

Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes,

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa