Recruitment into terrorism is a scourge in our country that should be prevented by all means possible. Terrorism is changing its face and in the same way the recruiters are changing tactics and luring innocent civilians into terrorism.
In the past, recruitment was done via face to face conversations in religious institutions such as mosques by rogue sheikhs, rogue sheikhs would indoctrinate the youth who are not well versed with religious knowledge by using false teachings. The government through the security agencies have been able to crack down on mosques which indoctrinate people with false teachings and now the recruiters have been forced to look for alternative means of recruiting.
A new trend has emerged whereby extremists have camouflaged as organisations which want to help the needy who are desperate for employment and money to sustain themselves together with their families. They normally operate in slum areas where people can barely afford a meal a day. An example is a recent case where Amina Hussein was lured with false promises of being a model abroad. The organisation purported to be a modelling agency and promised to make her a famous model.
Without doing any background checks on the organisation and its leaders she fell into their trap and she was smuggled into Somalia where she became a sex slave for the Al Shabaab fighters. She narrated harrowing tales of how she was mistreated and abused by the militants to the extent that she wanted to take her own life. “I wish I knew what I was getting myself into,” she said with tears filled in her eyes.
Amina was lucky to have been rescued by the Kenya defence forces from Somalia in an operation that saw 12 Al Shabaab militants killed and the camp demolished in an early morning raid. Years after rehabilitation, Amina is now an anti radicalisation campaigner and visits areas prone to radicalisation warning the youths not to be deceived.
Parents and guardians should strive to ensure that the youth and children do not fall into such death-traps.