Gov’t Plans “Operation Watch Over” against Terrorism

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A national strategy to prevent terrorist attacks in Liberia has been launched and is in full swing by the ‘Joint Security Apparatus,’ the Daily Observer has gathered.

The anti-terrorist strategy came into play in March after 20 people – including 6 attackers – were killed at a beach resort in Grand-Bassam, southeastern Ivory Coast, an act described as the third major attack on a tourism center in a West African country.

As part of present day realities in the war on terror, the codename of the line of attack is “Operation Watch Over.”

The operation aims to prevent terror within the country’s borders, with the support of the United States, which has vowed to put off the recurrence of similar atrocities on any scale – whether at home or abroad.

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Cllr. Lemuel E.A. Reeves Sr., told the Daily Observer on Thursday, April 7 that the BIN plays a ‘very pivotal role in the operation.”

Cllr. Reeves said the BIN has set up a “Special Taskforce” to inspect business institutions and concessions to detect unregistered aliens, among others, as part of their operations.

“We write them, before going to them, and that’s all I can say for now and we are very robust,” the BIN Commissioner said.

He remained tight-lipped on whether they have arrested any unregistered or suspected terrorist in the country.

Though he did not state whether the Special Taskforce also inspects residential areas or plans to conduct random searches on ‘individuals in the street,’ reliable sources say the Taskforce has that responsibility.

The BIN boss, however, admitted that subsequent training of Border Patrol Units (BPU) to carry firearms was also part of their plan to prepare against terrorist attack, adding, “it was part of the plan amidst UNMIL drawdown to mend the borders.”

A senior officer of the AFL told the Daily Observer “We have recognized that we are not at war directly, but as a preventive strategy, we are protecting and defending borders, the Liberian people, and their livelihoods remain our first obligation.

“We have also recognized that the war on terror is a different kind of war. We want to promote freedom and human dignity as alternatives to the terrorists’ perverse vision of oppression,” the senior officer said.

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