Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Tanzania. Although Tanzania hasn’t suffered a major terrorist incident since the bombing of the United States embassy in 1998, there have been a number of smaller scale incidents. Most attacks target the local security forces, although attacks against western interests can’t be ruled out.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like transport hubs, hotels, restaurants and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events. Previous terrorist attacks in the region have targeted places where football matches are being viewed.

Extremists linked to the Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab based in Somalia pose a threat across the east Africa region, and are thought to be active in Tanzania. There is also thought to be some support for Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL). However, many incidents in Tanzania are of unclear origin and may be conducted by criminal gangs.

Although there have been no significant terrorist attacks in Tanzania in recent years, the authorities in Tanzania successfully made a number of arrests in connection to terrorism throughout 2016.

Previous attacks include:

  • in May 2016, 3 people were killed when a group armed with machetes and axes attacked a mosque in Mwanza district, north-west Tanzania

  • in May 2016, 8 people were killed when an armed group raided houses in Kibatini village, 55km from Tanga in north-east Tanzania

  • in August 2016, 4 police officers were killed in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam in an attack on bank, and in July 2015 an attack on a police station in Dar es Salaam killed 6 people including 4 police officers; the motivation behind these and several similar attacks is unclear

  • in April 2017, several police officers were ambushed and killed in an attack in the Pwani coastal region, about 100km south of Dar es Salaam.

Following the April 2017 incident, and reports of the murders of several local officials, there’s a heightened security presence in the area. On 29 March 2017, the Regional Commissioner of Pwani issued a decree covering the Rufiji area requiring drivers of motorcycles, popularly known as Boda Bodas, to stop carrying passengers at 6pm. You should take extra care when travelling in Rufiji and surrounding areas, including at police checkpoints and monitor local media for the latest information.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.