US equipment grant boosts security at Senegalese airport


US and Senegalese officials have inaugurated two body scanners and four explosives trace detectors at the passenger checkpoint for outbound flights inside Blaise Diagne International Airport, about 25 miles east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

The equipment, handed over on 1 August, was provided by the US Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) programme with funding and guidance from the Bureau of Counterterrorism.

The equipment grant, worth more than $800 000, is the latest component of a broader aviation security-enhancement program provided to the Government of Senegal by ATA that totals $1.4 million.  This past spring, ATA delivered mentoring and training in airport security management and airport patrol management to civil and law enforcement authorities from the seven agencies responsible for Senegal’s airport and aviation security, the US Department of State said.

Conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the ATA training focused on maintaining and improving the airport’s security in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization and TSA standards.

The ATA programme has been delivering counterterrorism training in Senegal since 1985. “The airport security training and equipment program further cements our relationship and underscores the continued close partnership that the United States has with Senegal, which has emerged as a leader in the fight against terrorism in West Africa,” the Department of State said.

Established in 1983, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) programme is the US Government’s premier counterterrorism training and equipment provider for foreign law enforcement agencies. ATA receives funding and policy guidance from the Bureau of Counterterrorism and is administered by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Training Directorate.

ATA builds counterterrorism capabilities of law enforcement partners abroad with both knowledge-enhancing training courses and tactical skills development to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorist activities.