By David James
Terrorism in Kenya Overview
Terrorism is primarily a psychological act that communicates through violence or threats. Terrorists operations have the goals of manipulating popular perceptions through media coverage of terror events. This point is the single most important aspect of anti-terrorism success, denying terrorists channels to magnify the impact of their intentions.
Key points on Terrorism in Kenya
Terrorists will not carry out an operation that will not attract sufficient media coverage.
Operations purposefulness is attracting massive civilians’ outrage and demoralization of state apparatus.
The physical injuries, deaths, and violent destruction of property is not important to actors of terrorism, media coverage and the fear instilled is the truly profound.
Factors considered by terrorists when identifying a target?
- Special interests of the individual or cell
- Previous success of terrorists operations
- Psychological, economic and cultural factors
- Types of state response to attacks
- Cost of carrying out the attack
Indicators of possible terrorist activity in Kenya
- Conditions of stress, anxiety, and extremist behavior, utterances on or by actors
- Speeches and videos are triggers to activity/operations
- Target country socioeconomic and political conditions (calm and peace offers opportunities to terrorists)
How terrorists Identify a Target
- Cost benefit
- Preferred direction of victims; type of victim and value in terms of importance
- Preferred end state; crippling the economy
For Kenya to end terrorism, these key points must be well understood. Intelligence services must use resources available to identify and destroy terror cells in Kenya.
The role of intelligence organizations go beyond pre-empting external threats on national security. Terrorism is a grey area in national security. In fact, it remains the ultimate challenge to many intelligence organizations.
David James is a web-based intelligence analyst. He has spent over 6 years studying terrorism trends, criminology, and intelligence analysis. He owns Strategic Intelligence and other online media.
You can contact the author by emailing him at [email protected]