Drug trafficking has found its way into the terror landscape and is now a major player in the funding of violent extremist groups. It involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of illegal or banned pharmaceutical substances. In its original context, narco-terrorism meant the attempts of drug traffickers to influence the policies of a government or society through violence and intimidation, hindering the enforcement of anti-drug laws by the systematic threat or use of such violence.
In this context however, Drug traffickers have gone a notch higher not only to collaborate with radical Islamist groups like the Al Shabaab in trafficking their merchandise and weapons through the latters’ territory, but also to carry out terror attacks on their behalf.
A good example in this case is seen with the Akasha brothers; notorious international drug traffickers that reportedly bought guns, ammunition, and explosives from the defunct Al Shabaab group, while at the same time providing drugs Intel and facilitation for Al Shabaab operatives in a peculiar but symbiotic relationship.
It is in this breadth that the FBI pledged to work with the Kenya government to put a stop to both these vices following a meeting between a Kenyan delegation led by the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and FBI deputy director David Bowdich in Washington DC. The news came as a result of an extradition deal between the Kenyan and US government that saw the Akasha brothers each receive no less than 10 years with the possibility of life imprisonment.
The move is seen as a plus in the wars against drugs and terror and promises a bright future for Kenya as a Country.