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Technology and social order in the war on terrorism
By Richard Miriti | Updated Apr 07, 2017 at 08:10 EAT
Kenyan policy towards Somalia ought to have some recipe inclusive of caution and firm stand.
Caution in the sense that Al-Shabaab influence is declining but other factions are projecting.Terrorism thrives on a broken and divided Somalia, that United States, European Union, Africa Union and Kenya can do nothing about.There is no form of coalition or nations that can bring a new normal in Somalia if the nation remains divided.Let’s face the facts, the world has tried to solve Somalia issue by having the warlords serve in the government. That has lead Al-Shabaab to assassinate most of the legislators.Al-Shabaab continues to target government buildings, international organizations like United Nations and assets of value.Having turned from a domestic terrorist organization to a regional one, a splinter faction of Al-Shabaab allied to ISIS wants to bring to a new trend of modern terrorism where foreign fighters play more important role than the resident terrorists.This is what Kenya should be worried about. In trying to reign on rogue terrorists who receive orders from abroad, Al-Shabaab has killed all potential leaders of foreign origin.Somali terrorists remain to run the show. ISIS an outfit that is a friend to only those who answer to the caliphate have no room to chat with Al-Shabaab leadership, they seek to dislodge Al-Shabaab from their own territory by recruiting people who can easily work from within Kenya territory and Somalia without any fuss.For that reason, Kenyan candidates remain highly likely to play part in establishing Islamic State in East Africa.Kenya offers many opportunities for ISIS to thrive some of which include the best IT hub in Africa, best airports to bring in foreign recruits legally and lastly high rate corruption makes Kenya more appealing.ISIS in fostering harmony that seeks to offer funding to launch their operations after which the East African ISIS leadership will devise ways to raise their money.Now, ISIS is still identifying an indigenous candidate that will easily drive the narrative that will be acceptable to loosely disorganised Al-Shabaab militants.Al-Shabaab foreign fighters have been alienated, they have no direct role in planning and organizing.ISIS having shown interest in setting foot in East Africa gives these foreign fighters a lease of life.Even though it may take time for ISIS outfit to take shape, developments in Somalia show a big picture of the future of terrorism in East Africa.ISIS can be stopped from recruiting in East Africa. This can be done first by employing modern facial recognition technology.Facial recognition has been used in United States, United Kingdom, and Australia in big gatherings to detect possible terrorist threats.Facial recognition technology has proven able and reliable. Kenya can employ this technology by first integrating all the IDs issued, passports and criminal records.This technology has been criticised for invading privacy. Facial recognition technology especially the portable devices can easily help Kenyan security agencies at the entry points.Portable devices can also help in random checks on the highways and port of entry.Security agencies though they may not have the capacity to install the devices in all public places, they can start a campaign to let the public know that they are being watched in Churches, Mosques, Shopping malls, bus stations, public gatherings like sports and national public events.This will help curb the rates of recidivism, crimes (petty crimes) and terrorism in upmarket areas.This cut-throat technology works miracles. However, rights advocacy groups have opposed the move of exposing people’s data to security agencies especially when someone has no criminal record.It is believed that harvesting of data incriminates millions of people without any legal basis to do so.With the new president in Somalia, it remains to be seen what steps will be taken to cut A-al-Shabaab oxygen.The best strategy to bring Al-Shabaab to the real world is first and foremost to hit them hard, then extend an olive branch but not the other way around.Kenya and the new Somalia administration should do everything necessary to keep ISIS and Al-Shabaab and pirates out of East Africa shores.The new Trump administration is keen on seeing the defeat of Al-Shabaab and ISIS, which is a plus to the war on terrorism.

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