Government counter terror strategy faulted by security experts

The government may be taking a counterproductive approach in addressing terror attacks and youth radicalization, Counter-Terrorism experts have said. Speaking at a forum

organized by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Munich-based Hanns Seidel Foundation in Nairobi, the Secretary General of Global Network of Religions for Children Dr. Mustafa Ali said Kenya is at cross-roads in the fight against terrorism and risk plunging into religious conflict. Dr. Ali cautioned that Al-Shabaab militia could achieve its intention to “ignite a wave of violence between Muslims and Christians in Kenya. “These groups have their own ideological
positions misusing and bastardising of Islam and seemingly fits into their game,” he said. “They control the narrative and we are playing catch-up.”  The terrorists, added Dr. Ali, have sophisticated ways to manipulate the push factors such as marginalisation, rejection, corruption, bad governance and have developed impressive narratives that are pulling youth into militant groups.

“The government should instead address the “push and pull” factors that tend to trap the youth into violent extremism,” he said. He said that the government can defeat terrorism using intelligence-led and evidence-based approach to understand that issues at play adding that military interventions is not the answer referring to countries in the Middle East that were invaded by USA after the 9/11. “Let us acknowledge the pain we are undergoing today, is carefully choreographed and intended to cause more pain to all of us. Let’s understand that only in shared security, concerns responsibilities, duties can we overcome the evil design of militant groups like Al Shabaab. “So the idea of complimenting military intervention with ideological counternarrative is something we must seriously consider in the context of increasing of interreligious tension and belligerence. Interreligious dialogue and action is imperative.”

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