An anlysis of militant radical terrorism and counter terrorism measures in Kenya, 1985-2010
Globalised radical militant Islamist terrorism has been on the rise. Located in the fourth wave of modem terrorism, this kind of terror differs from other since it is deeply rooted in religion. In effect its religious root makes the deployment of terror a sacred act. Overtime it has spread from its Middle Eastern roots and currently no state is safe from attacks by these terrorists. Taking cognizance of the threats posed, Kenya which has been a victim has developed a raft of counter terrorism measures. The measures range from legislative and institutional measures which spawns the domestic, regional and international levels. Despite the presence of these measures, the threat of terror persists. This study has analyzed the growth of radical militant Islamist terrorism, its presence. in Kenya and measures put in place to counter it. Significantly it has critically and in a comprehensive way examined the international, regional and domestic challenges which Kenya faces in its quest to secure itself against terrorism. Data for the study have been collected using interviews and case study methodologies. Regarding Interviews, semi structured interview schedules were used and purposive sampling method was utilized in the selection of respondents. The primary data collected was augmented by case study analysis. This involved collecting of data from secondary sources such as mass media, books, scholarly journals, policy papers and internet sources. The methodologies have been appropriate for the study and have generated valuable and usable data. Data generated has been qualitatively analyzed and inferences made against the studies objectives and hypotheses. The study has established that at Kenya is not only a victim of this kind of terror but also a source. More Kenyans are joining the terrorist ranks motivated by both intrinsic factors such as desire to revenge, re-affirm one's identity, religious motivations and extrinsic ones such as the nature of international system, regional dynamics and presence of grievances and perceptions of discrimination. Significantly it has established that Kenya's counter terrorism measures have been faced by legislative, institutional and operational challenges. Additionally Kenya's cooperation in the war against terrorism, the centrality of radical ideology and a hostile regional environment pose fundamental challenges. On the strength of the findings the study concludes that, Kenya needs to enhance its counter terrorism measures through addressing the challenges identified and proactively countering emergent threats such a cyber and bio-terrorism. In doing so a holistic, rule of law and human rights respecting framework must underpin such measures.
University of Nairobi, Kenya