Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house
SEE ALSO :The unseen war - Part 2However, incident response was too fast for the terrorists to set up a hostage situation. A full nationwide broadcast in minutes and a coordinated response to the entire activity forced the terrorists to move from attack to defensive mode. The result was that though there was a regrettable loss of lives, the number of casualties was significantly lower than would have been. Third, whereas the 1998 attack was mooted and executed entirely by foreign nationals on Kenyan soil, the attack on Dusit was undertaken by a mix of homegrown Kenyans and Somali nationals. One of the attackers was from Nyeri and another from Mombasa, lending credence to the notion that there has been an insidious penetration within the ranks of Kenyan youth by terror organizations. Social media Because Kenyans live in a glass house of security, they need to stop throwing stones. The first step is in appreciating the distinctions between Muslims and terrorists and between Somali as an ethnic identity and Somali as a nationality. Social media is awash with chatter from ignoramuses that ascribe all terrorist activity to Muslims. Absurd! True Muslim faithful abhor violence. Extremists may abound within them just as they would among Christians or Jews or any other religions. These radical elements do not make fundamentalists of everyone. There are Kenyans who are Somalis by ethnicity and not by country. Most of these are patriots whose allegiance to the country is doubtless. And they suffer the brunt of terrorism same as any other ethnic grouping. In fact, some of those who lost their lives at the 14 Riverside attack were Somalis. This leads to the question of how to combat future threats from Al Shabaab. Because of proximity to Kenya’s border with Somalia, Kenyan Somalis hold the answers. It is time to put them on the frontline of the fight against the group. An anti-Al Shabaab police force whose bulk is Somalis, needs to be constituted, complete with an intelligence wing.This is because Somalis with information will only speak to fellow Somalis due to historical injustices and abuses meted out to the community from independence. Terror attacks in the North-East of the country have dwindled using this approach. Finally, corruption is the last stone that threatens our glass house. There have been accusations from Al Shabaab that some of Kenya’s military top brass have replaced them in the lucrative sugar and charcoal industries. The same corruption is what has led to unemployment among Kenyan youth and made them easy marks for indoctrination into terrorism. Until we get to the bottom of this, there will be no end of shattered lives and dreams at the hands of those who have nothing to lose. Khafafa is Vice Chairman, Kenya-Turkey Business Council
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