Mungiki activities helping global terrorist groups

Mungiki is a local terrorist group whose activities are working to directly benefit their more lethal foreign brothers.

The last three months have been very trying for Kenya. But even as fellow citizens celebrate the peace deal struck and now being implemented jointly by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the true cost has yet to come to bear on us, especially in terms of gains that we have now lost.

One major drawback is that as Kenyans directed their interest fully on their country’s survival, a group of foreigners, who have previously brought us serious harm, was profiting from the chaos.

By this I mean the terrorist networks that flourish in Kenya and which our security apparatus have worked hard for years to break. As if that was not enough, the Mungiki have now taken over and are spreading panic wholesale.

As Kenya went through turmoil, suspects with possible ties to terrorist attacks in the country were arrested in Tanzania, and in Somalia a building regularly used by terrorist suspects was the target of a missile strike.

The Tanzanian police arrested nine men suspected of planning to bomb various sites during the recent visit of US President Bush.

The Kenya Police were notified that a man thought to be associated with the suspects may have been behind the terrorist attacks at a Mombasa resort in 2002.

There were reports that the suspects were arrested in Dar es Salaam and Arusha after police tracked their telephone conversations and movements. The suspects include five Tanzanians, three Arabs and one Asian and there have been suggestions that their leader is Harun Fazul, of the 2002 Paradise Hotel bombing infamy.

If the suspects are proved to be al-Qaeda operatives, that would indicate a shift in strategy by the terror organisation. In the past, the group has focused mainly on attacking prominent Western-linked facilities, not personnel.

The Somali missile attack occurred in Dobley, 6km from the Kenya border. The house was believed to be a refuge for terrorist suspects. The missiles strike destroyed the house and left eight people seriously injured.

Terrorists continue to raise other concerns for Kenya and its neighbours in the Horn of Africa. Reporters in the region appear to be a new target for terrorists. At least nine journalists have been killed in the last year, and death threats have forced at least 50 others to seek refuge elsewhere.

In February, after a long trial in London, Mohammed Hamid was found guilty of recruiting and training five of the failed bombers in the July 21, 2005 attack on London metro. Hamid was also found guilty of encouraging Muslims to murder non-believers.

Three of his followers were convicted of attending terror camps in Britain. During the trial, it was learnt that Hamid aspired to send more of his trained recruits to foreign lands to conduct terrorist activities. One of those places is East Africa.

Observers agree that East Africa is a fertile terrain for sowing radical propaganda and exploit the many undesirable social and economic conditions that exist there.

Now that the violence in Kenya has calmed, observers are hopeful that the war on terrorism again will receive the attention it requires.

The African countryside has become a major battleground in the war against terrorism. Continued insecurity brought by the Mungiki menace only works to further their course.


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