BEWARE

Nanyuki a hotspot for violent extremism — anti-terrorism agency

Says all Kenyans should be brought on board through aggressive sensitisation to fight radicalisation.

In Summary

• NCTC director Njenga Miiri said Thursday there is a need for heightened vigilance in the town and other areas in Laikipia county as they could turn into a hotbed for recruitment to terror groups.

• Miiri said there was also a need for activation of Kenyans into the fight against terrorism by rallying them into countering extremism.

National Counter Terrorism Centre director Njenga Miiri
BE ALERT: National Counter Terrorism Centre director Njenga Miiri
Image: Ndichu Wainaina

@Waithaka06

The National Counter-Terrorism Centre has classified Nanyuki as a hotspot for radicalisation and violent extremism due to its proximity to counties that border Somalia.

NCTC director Njenga Miiri said Thursday there is a need for heightened vigilance in the town and other areas in Laikipia county as they could turn into a hotbed for recruitment to terror groups.

 
 

Miiri said there was also a need for activation of Kenyans into the fight against terrorism by rallying them into countering extremism.

He spoke during a workshop on prevention and countering terrorism and violent extremism held for the national government and Laikipia county officials. It was organised by Forum for Democracy.

Miiri added that in order to shrink the pool of terrorism recruitment, there was a need to bring all Kenyans on board through aggressive sensitisation.

The workshop heard that counties neighbouring Isiolo such as Meru and Laikipia were at risk of attacks and are vulnerable to their youths getting radicalised.

Laikipia county commissioner Daniel Nyameti said high levels of poverty and unemployment were some of the challenges that push the youth into terrorism.

“There is need for heightened vigilance on terror-related activities especially for counties such as Laikipia that border the Northern part of the country,” Nyameti said. 

He said that terrorism was still a major threat in the country hence the need to sensitise people to be on the lookout for dangerous individuals. 

 
 

Miiri said that NCTC was working closely with counties to create plans on countering violent extremism. 

Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki said the county was keen on making Nanyuki town a commercial hub. It is working closely with security agencies to ensure that the area is free of terror threats.

He cautioned against the tendency by Kenyans to associate violent extremism to certain religion or communities. That tendency would erode the gains made in counter-terrorism, he said.