The threat of terrorism posed by al Shabab, an al Qaida’s affiliate, has been increasing in Kenya since 2011. The fight against al Shabab by Kenyan security forces and agencies has been intensified. While the operations have degraded the terrorists militarily, their ideological infrastructure remains intact. The group continues to radicalize and recruit Kenyan youth in vulnerable regions and pockets in Kenya such as: Upper Eastern, Nairobi, Central, North Eastern, and Coastal regions. Homegrown terrorists and ‘lone wolves’ have increasingly become a feature in the evolution of terrorism in Kenya.
DIMINISHING THE PREVALENCE OF RADICALIZATION INTO VIOLENT EXTREMISM (DEPRIVE)
DEPRIVE program is designed to secure the progress made in the fight against terrorism, and intensify prevention of terrorism measures. The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce radicalization and recruitment into violent extremism and violent extremist organization. The project focuses on trends of radicalization, recruitment, violent extremism, and terrorism in Kenya through physical and virtual spaces. It emphasizes on ideological ‘push back’ to reverse such trends.
Three key pillars of the DEPRIVE program are Deep or/and Extreme Dialogues (DED), Disruption of Extremists’ Narratives (DEN), and CVE capacity building. The Institute uses an ideational definition and operationalization of Deep or/and Extreme Dialogues, comprehensive enough to intercept and diminish the extremists’ narratives. In this regard, the ‘root-cause’ approach is used to address the ideological conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and violent extremism among the ‘at-risk’ communities in the most vulnerable regions in Kenya.