Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has said that the, “cliques permutation in the country more particularly the Western Area is domestic terrorism…[and] these are matters for immediate attention, especially [by] those of us in the security sector.”
He made this statement while delivering a keynote address at a counter-terrorism legislation validation workshop recently at the Senior Police Officers Mess, Kingtom.
The AG also said, “one thing that struck deep in my heart is the escalation of the murder rate. When I did my computation it appears as if every two weeks somebody is murdered in Freetown… I think it is high time we sit and try to reconfigure our designs, and management of crimes…” every other day a murder file will come across my desk and that is a real serious concern for us in the security sector.
Giving a nexus between these murders and terrorism, the AG said some of these (murders) are as a result of serious violence from clique related activities.
AG explained that the proposed bill is being examined, “we need to make arrangement for constructive engagement.” He noted, “the battle against terrorism could never be won in a battlefield… adding we have to open up our mind and intellectualize the issues and make sure we come up with something that we believe will work as an institution against this menace.”
He urged that issues of state governance that may have the tendency to ferment in to terrorist conduct should be looked into. “We see the increase of Tabliques,… Churches and Social groups, are we engaging them to ensure there is no infiltration of terrorist activities?” he questioned, also noting “It is high time we start engaging some of these religious sect.” he also added that this is the first time an attempt has been made to capture what constitute terrorism in Sierra Leone’s legislation.
The Chairman of the validation workshop Joseph Fofana explained that after the 911 attacks in the US, President Bush asked a simple question that required a very difficult answer. The question was “why do they hate us?”
He said “terrorism is evolving frequently making headlines and in many parts of the world terrorism [posed]…. a threat to peace security and stability.
“What is the nature of its effect, who and what is threatened, how and who and why?” is what would be discussed at this validation said Ansumana Mohamed Idriss Director General Central Intelligence and Security Unit (CISU).
He also pointed out that terrorism transcends geographical boundaries, “it cannot be associated with any one religion or nationality. It affects all countries therefore government has the responsibility to protect human rights and the rule of law,” he stressed.
Police representative AIG Al-Shek Kamara said the police are well prepared to address incidences of terrorism.
The ONS National Security Coordinator, Ishmail Tarashid Tarawali explained that the terrorists are becoming bolder and constructive, thus it is imperative that we have a counter terrorism legislature.