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16 where the terrorists thrive from



by Lucy Wanjiku Mwangi

Having experienced terrorism within the boundaries of Kenya as recently as on 21st September 2013 for the first time, and having most of us still suffering and having the pain of the hit still fresh in our hearts and bodies, I wonder who terrorists are. As far as I know, human beings are born innocent and valuing life.  From an innocent child, one cannot grow up to kill a person or be engaged in acts of causing death unless one is socialized and trained to do so. The sanctity of human life should always, in all societies be upheld. This means that members of the society should value life as very important and must always be treated with respect.  Due to the assumption that some societies are characterized with terrorism acts and death and that specific people from those countries will be the only terrorists and that people from such countries who come into our nation should be thoroughly scrutinized at the borders and airports, we fail to recognize that even people from our own nation could be recruited as terrorists. The more we learn about what makes people vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist organizations, the more beneficial our fight against terrorism will become.

What makes a person evil when they grow up and especially in reference to terrorists and their actions? One would say that probably terrorists are as a result of socialization to killing ways or being in an environment of death. In such cases, the terrorists develop disregard for life. Some would also attribute actions of terrorists to being victims of circumstances, victims of revenge, being psychopathic and under no treatment, being fanatics of major terrorist legends such as Osama bin Laden, Samantha Lewthwaite and others, underestimated people in the society and victims of wars. We could come up with an endless list of reasons why one become a terrorist but the main thing that we should all recognize, the persons targeted to be recruited into terrorism organizations include even well educated, economically deprived, those lacking education, muslims and non-muslims, well off young and old persons of the society, the only thing that exposes these people to being exploited is their vulnerability.

Since terrorism as defined by most people including our president Uhuru Kenyatta, is violence intended to instil fear in a population so the population will then influence policy and decision makers, then terrorists can be said to have an agenda. Terrorist movements often arise in reaction to a perceived injustice, whether real or imagined.  They are usually after righting a wrong in the society. In my opinion, this is a cowardly way of doing something about something unfair in the society.

Jessica Stern wrote in the Washington Post: By now “we should be better at plucking a terrorist out of an airport security line. After all, we have some idea of what he’ll be like: young, socially alienated and deeply religious. And he’ll come from a country like Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen. “   According to my opinion, we should be careful about the people who we receive in the airports and borders especially in Kenya especially from countries like Somalia, though we should not dwell on that too much and forget that terrorists could be from elsewhere or even within. The terrorists who attacked Westgate mall had found ways to manoeuvred through the country up to the site without being noticed, which means there were people giving a hand. These people could pose a potential risk of being targeted by terrorist organizations for recruitment either for financial reasons or others.

The terrorists’ claim is that they are revenging against an act that is occurring or has already occurred. Nelson Mandela said, “If you talk to people they will talk to you. If you hit them with stick they will hit you back.” This could be the philosophy they use to hit back at nations trying to go against their acts. Some terrorist masterminds however, take advantage of the frustration of vulnerable people and manipulate their minds. They have a powerful influence and control on these people’s minds. They justify their unscrupulous tasks using religious and communal arguments. Most of them are convinced that they are fighting for the course of their community. In some communities these terrorists are referred as national heroes. So naturally most of these terrorists never actually think about what they are doing or what will be its after effects. They are nothing more than puppets in the hands of some belligerent terrorist leaders.

All I can say is that nobody truly knows where terrorists thrive from or why they choose to become terrorists but if you ask a terrorist why people like me don’t feel strongly enough about a course to die for it, he won’t know the answer either, just that he has a reason for himself. If you feel strongly enough about something, you might be willing to die for it, and take a few (innocent) people with you, just to draw attention to your course. Scientists have proved that “If people are not given an equal opportunity to express their opinions and issues, they can feel they are not respected because of who they are—their group identity.  An important indicator of potential violence is when we see a given group splinter into factions, where some new factions form because they feel the peaceful approach is not working and the political system is broken. Since the current political process has not worked for them, some of the factions may increase their potential for violent strategies of influence.” This means that scientists have proved that many people often join terrorist organizations because they are looking for an identity for themselves and when in such groups, they get the attention they need to address unfair situations in the society. Scientists also say terrorism is usually not the result of one individual’s anger or hatred but of a group, a community or even a nation. Terrorism is the result of a desire to end that perceived oppression, but also a way to give more meaning to their lives.

I am of the opinion as from the beginning of this article, that people are not born terrorists. Terrorists are made and they are also made to believe that the nations they target will respond to the attacks with military force, influencing political outcomes, sparking widespread Muslim anger and violence against those nations. While this backlash has not happened yet, for instance in the case of Kenya, they get disappointed and target the same nation even the more. To under­stand who joins terrorist organizations and where the terrorists thrive from, one should ask themselves: Who holds strong political views and is confident enough to try to impose an extrem­ist vision by violent means?

Article source: https://www.zakenya.com/Politics/16-WHERE-THE-TERRORISTS-THRIVE-FROM.html




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Born in the culinary-rich city of Kisumu, along the shores of Lake Victoria, Cynthia Kendeli's passion for Food & Beverage was almost predestined. Her earliest memories revolve around the bustling fish markets and aromatic eateries of her hometown, and it was this backdrop that kindled her love for food and its cultural significance.

However, Cynthia's interests were dual-pronged. The political landscape of Kenya, with its dynamic shifts and intricate tapestry, also captivated her. This blend of culinary love and political intrigue paved her path to one of Kenya's leading universities, where she pursued degrees in both Food Science and Political Science.

Throughout her academic journey, Cynthia stood out for her unique ability to interweave two seemingly disparate subjects. She penned articles that delved into the socio-political impacts on Kenya's food and beverage industry, exploring topics ranging from local farm policies to international trade agreements.

After graduation, Cynthia quickly established herself in the world of journalism. Her writings, which appeared in national newspapers and magazines, bridged the gap between culinary enthusiasts and political aficionados. With every article, she managed to underscore the intricate relationship between politics and what ends up on the plates of Kenyans.

Her investigative pieces, particularly those that highlighted the interplay between governmental policies and the food & beverage sector, have earned her accolades both nationally and internationally. Cynthia's work does not just inform; it prompts discussions, incites debates, and often leads to tangible change in policy-making circles.

In addition to her journalistic endeavors, Cynthia Kendeli actively participates in food festivals, political debates, and educational seminars, serving as a bridge between the culinary world and the political arena.

Today, as a celebrated voice in both Food & Beverage and political journalism, Cynthia Kendeli continues to satiate the appetites of readers keen on understanding the confluence of culture, cuisine, and politics in Kenya.

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