Terrorist campaigns always come to an end, and far more quickly than expected. In fact, most terrorist organizations despite their age must die under the hands of robust counter-terrorism operations. We must understand what exemplifies a decline in terrorism and what does not. For example, a decline in terrorists’ attacks is not an indicator. It may be a signal of incubation, radicalization, or even a planning stage for multiple attacks. In Kenya, the rate of youth radicalization has significantly dropped. Surveys conducted by research firm’s show more youths are identifying joining terror groups as silly and psychopathic.
The word ‘silly ‘connotes, in their city language, foolishness or ill informed all together. The psychopathic aspect depicts disbelief in what terrorism represents. Despite the challenge of social economics, often put forward factoring joining terror networks, more youths are aware of the fact that terrorism does not pay let alone offer any kind social and psychological rewards such as adventure, camaraderie and a heightened sense of identity, as promised by recruiters.
Youths interviewed in North Eastern and Coastal Kenya, including over 168 cohorts who quit the Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen agrees that does not give them the power to effect real social political change.
What has factored these gains against terrorism in Kenya? According to respondents of the research, the public in Kenya is more informed about terrorism and the damage it causes. The government has been educating the public thus winning hearts and minds. More terrorists have been killed. Top leaders of the Al-Shabaab terror group including top commander Mohamed Dulyadeen Kuno and the group Amniyaat head, Mahad Karatey were killed further weakening the group. These efforts are paying off, thus the decline in attacks in the country.
Given the close ties between terrorism analysis and government support, when the perception of imminent attacks subsides, support for solid research declines, and this, as we argued earlier is miscontrued for decline. Work on a declining or defunct terrorist group is therefore typically sparser than is the tackling of its origins and evolution, a reason why, SIS used surveys to identify footprints of the decline of terrorism in Kenya.