Factors Affecting the Levels of Terrorism in Kenya
Japan, Barbara Kawira
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Kenya became a major partner in the global war on terror in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This research therefore sought to examine the factors that affect and contribute to the rising levels of terrorism. The objectives of the study include: to ascertain the role of radical religion and religious affiliation in the rise and spread of terrorism in Kenya, determine the role of effective border policing and security law enforcement or lack thereof in the proliferation of terrorism;. The research adopted the descriptive design which used both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The population consisted of judges, magistrates, police officers, and Muslim clerics. The sample population was 40 respondents. Collected data was coded and analyzed through SPSS version 21.0. The study revealed that Kenya’s location and proximity to countries with a troubled political and civil life predisposed the country to terrorism unbridled corruption, nepotism and susceptibility to bribery encouraged terrorism. The study further revealed that Muslim leaders are at about 28% in fighting the vice of radicalization which has been seen as a major inducement to terrorism as when the youth become radicalized then they result to terrorism and thus by embracing the fight against the vice and accepting security surveillance of their activities, and ostracizing youth suspected of terror links. The research concluded that there is need for a more all-encompassing look at the origins of terrorism that covers all the political, economic and social environments that would predispose or exacerbate terrorism. Also, calls for a holistic, inclusive approach to counter terrorism is necessary. The study recommends that to tackle radicalization among youth as one of the causes of rising levels of terrorism, the Kenya government and all stakeholders including judges, magistrates, police officers and Muslim clerics should partner with all levels of leadership, including community leaders, religious clergy, and cultural leaders such as the councils of elders to preach an anti-terror message at all forums. Finally, the Government should adopt and implement a robust programme purposely aimed at combating the dissemination of radical propaganda and hate speech via the Internet, social media and other communication technologies.
Africa Nazarene University