Sep 23, 2019

3 Key components in the fight against terror

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Understanding the root causes of terrorism can lead to better policies in the prevention and reduction of attacks, as well as mitigating their impact if they do occur. To defeat terrorism, effective policy strategies should be put in place. These strategies should include three important components: intelligence, integration, and development.
Intelligence – A terrorist attack is relatively easy to conduct for anyone with the right motivations. In the Kenyan context, for example, there is a myriad of exposed and vulnerable targets. These include mall, schools, religious institutions etc. It is virtually impossible to cover all angles based on speculation. Every security measure should therefore be based on intelligence. Intelligence implies understanding the motivations, leadership structure, and modus operandi of terrorist organizations, and developing a plan that can anticipate and adapt to their constantly changing operations. The ideological dimensions should also not be ignored because it helps to predict the extremes to which the perpetrators are willing to go.
Integration – One of the most important characteristics of a strong nation is a healthy national identity. This can however only be achieved by the integration of people of different ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Kenya is a typical example of a cultural melting pot. There is little that can inflame more hatred than the feeling of being excluded, and a misguided search for a sense of belonging can be the trigger that incites religious, ethnic, and ideological radicalization. Policies should be directed towards restoring national pride and embedding it into the immigrant population so as to reduce or completely destroy the feeling of exclusion by certain members of the society.
Development – Most if not all terror organizations derive following from the precept that they represent the complaints and grievances of the disenfranchised, the poor and the unemployed. The hundreds of thousands of unemployed and discouraged young men in places like Africa are the potential armies of common and political (mostly electoral) violence. Investing in development, conducting economic reforms, and providing equal opportunities for these distraught youth is a good strategy in the fight against radicalization and violent extremism.
Effective military and policing services are undoubtedly important in counter terrorism. However, it’s not sufficient in the long run. Defeating terrorism permanently and completely needs a comprehensive approach; by use of political and security intelligence, social integration, and economic development.

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