NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya has set aside additional funds to revitalize
counter-terrorism initiatives at the grassroots amid evolution of a
menace which threatens the country’s future stability and economic
growth, officials said on Monday.
Director of National Counter-terrorism Centre, Martin Kimani said
Kenya will invest in new technological tools and community-led
interventions to combat violent extremism effectively.
“Our security services have already increased investments in
intelligence gathering and other operational capabilities in order
to degrade Al-Shabaab and other terrorist networks that have
attacked us in the past,” Kimani said in Nairobi during the 2nd
anniversary of Garissa University terrorist attack that claimed 148
lives in northeast Kenya.
Heavily armed militants from Al-Shabaab stormed the only university
in northern Kenya at dawn on April 2, 2015 and massacred 142
students and six security officers.
Kimani said Kenya was forced to go back to the drawing board and
re-organize its security architecture after the terrorist attack
that elicited worldwide condemnation.
“Since the Garissa University attack, Kenya has invested heavily in
social, political and economic tools to defeat terrorism. This war
requires close collaboration among our security agencies, civilians,
religious and community leaders,” Kimani said.
He noted the launch of a national strategy on countering violent
extremism by President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2016 has
re-energized the war against terrorism.
“We even have county led action plans to fight extremism and radical
ideologies. At the same time, the state is addressing the issue of
unemployment, poverty and under-development that make our youth
vulnerable to radicalization,” said Kimani.
He added that community policing, enhanced border patrols and
lengthy jail terms for terror suspects and their financiers have
minimized the threat to manageable levels.
Terrorist attacks inside the Kenyan soil have declined significantly
for the last one and a half years thanks to sophisticated
intelligence gathering and harmonious relationship between security
officers and civilians.
The Leader of Majority in Kenyan Parliament, Aden Duale attributed
the slump in terrorist attacks to better policing, technology and
community involvement in efforts to root out violent extremism.
“After the Garissa attack of April 2015, Kenya developed a more
coherent, broad and well funded counter-terrorism strategy whose
impact is visible,” said Duale.