Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Kenya’s new terror hotspots raise alarm

With a new study showing that radicalization in nontraditional recruitment areas has been going on for more than a decade, the involvement of Musharaf Abdalla Akhulunga and Joseph Juma Odhiambo in terrorist activities is illuminating.

The Zu den Non-traditional regions include parts of the Rift Valley, western and central Kenya, with the cities of Marsabit, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega and Nyeri being hotspots that security authorities need to keep a close eye on.

Though the country Has remained largely peaceful in the recent past with minimal incidents of terrorism, it remains on high alert as studies show that al-Shabaab militias have learned to either rest, thin out, or break up into small pieces that have since spread have non-traditional zones of radicalization and recruitment to evade control.

“In their newly settled areas, some took over e people took on new roles in business and religious education while prominent al-Hijra agents who had been arrested and convicted became active in the Kenyan prison system, allegedly targeting young men at risk for radicalization, ”according to the new report by Reinvent.

Planning attacks

The study finds that violent extremism in Marsabit County has been linked to members of the Da’wah group, who reportedly exert their influence in the city of Marsabit Militant Jihad and al-Shabaab expanded between 2009 and 2012 through a pastoral preaching initiative in schools, mosques, and madrassas, as well as the publication of brochures in which they expressed their support.

Over time However, most of their employees were arrested, killed or fled to Somalia.

Among those arrested was Sheikh Guyo Gorsa, who is at Madrassa Toba in the Marsabit city arrested while he was preaching.

He was accused of being associated with al-Shabaab militias in Somalia and the countryside, planning attacks and recruiting youths, including an agent known as Mbaraka Ali Huka, who was killed around the same time in Isiolo.

“The case of the Marsabit Da’wah group provides the most compelling evidence of past and ongoing VE (violent extremism) activity in Marsabit County. Although the activities of these people are now the subject of an ongoing police investigation, there is potential for future (clandestine) recruitment, as suggested by the respondents, ”the study notes.

Over time, however, the Community resilience reports have increased the number, as evidenced by the evictions of advocates of extremist views from the Masjid Jamia, the county’s main mosque, as well as a strong Christian-Muslim association.

A number of isolated individuals who Suspected members of violent extremism and from the Nakuru district have caught the attention of prevention and control officials.

This includes the January 18, 2019 case that involved 17 people in one Two bedroom house in Samburu. were arrested, Kwale County, with ID showing they were from Nakuru.

On February 22, 2019, Mr Mohamed Nurrow Mohamed was arrested in Moyale and in the January 26, 2019 because of the explosion Latema Road indicted, which occurred days after the Dusi t Hotel attack.

At about the same time, the report found that an al-Shabaab cell, which was in constant communication with the coordinators of the DusitD2- Attack in Jilib, Somalia, kidnapping of foreigners in Naivasha. planned.

The strangest case for the authorities, however, remains the arrest of Mr. Javan Morton Murai aka Jamal by rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service in a borehole in the Jaldesa Community Conservancy in Marsabit County.

Mr. Murai, who is from Vihiga County, was then a senior year law student at Kabarak University and a rugby player at Nakuru RFC. He had converted to Islam in Nakuru, where he lived with his brother while studying.

Criminal activity

Although Nakuru is currently facing an acute surge in criminal activity, it says in The report notes that locals have been unable to quickly distinguish violent extremism from crime or politically incited violence, and when they try, they lack the evidence linking the alleged crime to VE.

“The rise of criminal gangs in Nakuru highlights the importance of problems caused by a wave of youth in a rapidly urbanizing city. Combined with the inability of local civic security structures to combat or prevent regular crime, the slow emergence of an ideological rift between the Muslim community of Nakuru (with older versions of the Muslim belief clashing with reformist and fundamental ideas) can serve to divide parts of the local Muslims towards more extreme views and actions in the future.

“If it is not properly recognized and promptly addressed, an infrastructure of radicalization and recruitment can emerge that local communities and community-state structures cannot demobilize”, the report adds.

In 2015, Nixon Kipkoech Ruto aka Salim, then a third-year dropout, was linked to youth radicalization at a local madrassa. He was arrested in 2017 for leading a gang robbing M-Pesa stores in Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega and Kitale counties.

He was from the Mwanzo estate in Turbo, Uasin Gishu , an area local authorities identified as witnessed an influx of Somali migrants from northern Kenya after the post-election violence in 2007-08 in which targeted businessmen evacuated the area.

“This recently settled Somali population was considered strong by some respondents. described a limited and exclusive group, but it was also clear that there was a level of anti-Somali / Muslim rhetoric and suspicion in the city, leading one respondent to say that “their (Somalis / Muslim) lifestyle is unique; they bring their own people with them, get involved in their own businesses and are very difficult to get involved, ”the report says.

Online platforms

The report states that violent Extremist actors and holders of extremist views in the country have alienated themselves from the wider public and are not yet entitled to local politics or control over the existing Islamic institutions of Eldoret.

“The nature of VE radicalization and -Recruitment in Eldoret and other parts of Uasin Gishu County suggest that VE actors have either built their own places of worship in this location (without trying to take over existing ones) or are working through other covert infrastructures for recruitment, fundraising and communication, which may include the use of online platforms, ”it says.

According to the study, there are examples in western Kenya, especially in Kakamega and the surrounding area for covert infrastructures for recruitment, fundraising and communication, especially in Busia, Bu ngoma and Siaya, with operators trying to take over a number of local mosques in Mumias, where the two Kamiti refugees come from.

Odhiambo , who was arrested by the Somali National Army (SNA) along with Idris Wesonga on November 22, 2019, soldiers have been linked to Masjid Furqan in Lukoye, Mumias, after crossing the border. Locals said they suspect the violent extremism operators in the area may have splintered and gone under to set up covert channels.

However, the Matungu area in Mumias has seen a surge in criminal gangs due to the breakdown of the Mumia’s Sugar Factory, with locals moving from the more lucrative sugarcane cultivation to corn cultivation.

Majengo’s informal property in Nyeri became notorious after the attack on Hotel DusitD2 in January 2019 after it was found to be a Hotel acted the suicide bomber Ali Salim Gichunge had visited the area. The controversial Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo from Mombasa is said to have also visited Majengo, where he held several meetings with the young people.

Due to its proximity to Isiolo and the northeastern region, Nyeri is considered a transit point for terrorists and a recruiting center for gullible people Youth who are lured with the promise of money and jobs outside the country.

‘Externalization’

The study finds that a narrative of “externalization” is local drivers of violent extremism was installed by high-ranking government officials, despite the fact that an East African al-Qaeda cell had crept into local communities in Kenya as early as 1993.

This calls on the government to address unemployment, a leading vulnerability of perpetrators used by violent extremism to attract members in order to contain them.

In addition, government agencies are recommended that the public elucidate the complex nature of violent extremism.

“This is because VE usually includes a variety of other political, cultural, societal and religious factors and is not exclusively driven by rigorous criminal motives or other instrumental and financial factors driven. In this context, prevent and counter violent extremism (P / CVE) interventions in these locations should be integrated into broader peacebuilding initiatives, ”suggests the study.

The National Counter-Terrorism Center has since evolved 47 County Action Plans to Prevent and Combat Violent Extremism and educate more than 100,000 Kenyans on their role in security in intelligence hotspots and risk areas.

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