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The Youth and the Potential for Involvement in Acts of Terrorism: A Case Study of the Eastleigh Surburb in Nairobi, Kenya

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dc.contributor.author Watheka, Caroline Wanjiru
dc.date.accessioned 2015-08-31T10:37:29Z
dc.date.available 2015-08-31T10:37:29Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/673
dc.description A Research Project Report by Caroline Wanjiru Watheka, Submitted to the School of Business in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Executive Master’s Degree in Organization Development (EMOD). en_US
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study investigated the youth’s potential for involvement in acts of terrorism. These include the factors that influenced youth to join extremist groups in Kenya, especially the youth of Somalia ethnic origin in Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi. It explores the role of poverty, religion and marginalization in drawing the youth to engage in acts of extremism. The three objectives of the study are: investigate whether poverty drives youth to engage in extremism; investigate whether religion is a factor that compels the youth to engage in extremism; find out whether ethno cultural marginalization and discrimination push to extremism. The research methodology that was employed was descriptive. The researcher interviewed 40 respondents that were segregated by gender. The respondents were identified through convenience sampling .Due to the sensitive nature of the research; the research utilized primary data collection. With the primary data collection, individual in depth interviews were utilized with an interview guide so as to prompt the respondents. The major findings of the research identified factors that helped contribute to the youth in Eastleigh engaging in violence and extremism. The findings were as a result of the in-depth interviews where the respondents helped the researcher identify poverty religion and ethno cultural marginalization and discrimination pushed towards extremism. The research resulted in showing that poverty was a driver for the youth to engage in terrorist activities. The youth were pushed to join the outlawed groups as they felt that the engagements in the groups enabled them to provide for their families and themselves. Most youth are unemployed and desperate to make an income and hence felt the pressure to acquire quick money for their families and become bread winners since that was a family obligation that they could not ignore. The study also showed that while poverty pushes the youth to join the extremist behavior. They feel that those who are attracted to carrying out terrorist activities in the name of Islam do so because they have been misled by misinterpreted teachings of the Quran by radicalized and feel that they are justified in what they are doing as it is accepted by their faith. The youth felt that discrimination played a part in driving the youth to terrorism. At the same time those who had experience ethnic profiling and discrimination felt a sense of belonging as the extremist groups enabled them to identify with them and help feel as part of a group. They also felt that being in these outlawed groups they were able to protect themselves from harassment that they received due to ethnicity. The study conclusion was that poverty levels drove a high percentage of the youth to engage in extremism. It showed that lack of employment made the youth who were idle and lacked finances more susceptible to being recruited into extremist gangs in Eastleigh. The study brought out the fact that individuals who had not received proper indoctrination of Islam were more likely to join jihadist movements more enthusiastically due their lack of knowledge, the study also identified youth who spent most of their time in a radicalized religious environment or listening to radical preachers were also more prone to become followers of a jihadist movements. The study showed that the constant harassment by figures of authority (the police) made them more open to joining outlawed groups so as to get some sort of ‘protection’ from the police and avoid harassment. The recommendation of the study included providing the government and community at the large providing youth funding and encouraging innovative ideas that they can pursue as entrepreneur’s and linkages to grow their business as appeal of extremist groups. The youth could also be provided with linkages to grow their business ideas which will reduce the appeal of extremist groups. There is need for these youth to learn how to discuss issues in a constructive and non-violent way. This can be done through variety of programing where the youth are engaged in debates where they can learn how to constructively share ideas which at the base they may differ on but they begin to learn culture of tolerance with regards to people’s opinions. en_US
dc.publisher United States International University - Africa en_US
dc.subject Acts of Terrorism en_US
dc.subject Youth en_US
dc.title The Youth and the Potential for Involvement in Acts of Terrorism: A Case Study of the Eastleigh Surburb in Nairobi, Kenya en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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