Al Shabaab Kenya has mastered the art of manipulating Islam religion to fit their desire, atrocious activities and to lure more Muslim Youth into the militia group.
They radicalize and then lure the gullible youth by misinterpreting the Qur’an to serve their particular ideology.
Why Al Shabaab Kenya has Radicalized and Recruited Muslim Youth
Al Shabaab Arabic for “The Youth” is a Somali based Islamist group claiming to be fighting jihad war against unlawful administration in Somalia with fighters aged between 14-45 years that profess Islam religion.
Al Shabaab Kenya has capitalized in claiming to be fighting for Muslim grievances in Kenya and Somalia, a move which has seen youth in Muslim-dominated regions like Northern Kenya, coastal region and Nairobi fall into the hands of these militants.
Once recruited, these youth are initiated into the Al Shabaab Kenya ideology which partly idolizes discrimination by the government. This further fuels more Muslim youth into justifying the increase for radical factions.
Key areas Prone to Al-Shabaab Kenya Radicalization & Recruitment of Muslim Youth
Al Shabaab Kenya have narrowed down their youth targets from North-Eastern Kenya, Nairobi particularly Majengo slum and Mombasa which have a large population of Muslims.
The terrorists who lure these youth by promising them high ranks within the militia bases are gathering numbers in these regions.
The youth’s family members also play a key role in helping them find their way to Somalia. For some, they have remained silent for fear of victimization.
Numerous Salafist religious institutions in Kenya are also breeding points for these youth who further evolve into Kenyan Sufi sheikhs seeking militant training.