Al Hijra – the Kenyan arm of al Shabaab – has extended its terror tentacles and has now established bases in Tanzania. Al Hijra has grown in strength and it now counts over 1000 fighters within its rank, thereby signifying that its recruitment campaign has been somewhat successful. Al Hijra has pivoted its recruitment propaganda on Muslim marginalization, social stagnation and economic disempowerment thus appealing to many young employed Muslims.
Moreover, government inadequacies in both Kenya and Tanzania have allowed al Hijra to grow and operate within their nations. Al Hijra has even released a nasheed which mentions that Jannah (paradise) is only a taxi ride away, thus betraying their intentions to conduct attacks in both Kenya and Tanzania using suicide bombers driving VBIEDs.
Al Hijra is mainly funded by foreign Salafists with al Shabaab providing them with terrorist expertise. Its core of jihadists is ideologically committed to waging jihad in Kenya and Tanzania. Moreover, al Muhajiroun (al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa) has also assisted al Hijra in operationalizing its cells in Tanzania. al Muhajiroun has also called on the Tanzanian government to protect Muslim clerics or else suffer the consequences. Both al Muhajiroun and al Hijra are closely tied to Ahmad Iman Ali.