Is Kenya’s harsh response to “terrorism” by Al Shabab and Muslim groups backfiring?

Africa - News and Analysis

ISS

Is Kenya’s response to terrorism making it worse?
15 October 2014

Nairobi, Kenya – The Kenyan government’s response to terrorism may have made the problem worse, new research shows. Many Muslim youths joined extremist groups as a reaction to the Kenyan government’s collective punishment or assassination of religious leaders, says senior researcher Dr Anneli Botha from the authoritative Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

‘It is clear from the research that strategies based on mass arrests and racial profiling are counterproductive and may drive individuals to extremism,’ Botha says. ‘Unless government changes its approach, there is a real risk it will inspire a new cycle of radicalisation and violence.’

Very little research has been done into why young men join al-Shabaab and the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). The independent academic research led by Botha – with the assistance of organisations such as the Kenyan Muslim Youth Alliance – included interviews…

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