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Kenya is at war: step up fight against terror

16 April 2014, 12:54 Mubweka Orodi

Nairobi - When you invade someone else, it is highly likely that they will step back and coil to your pressure. However, the most common act is to retaliate and by so doing bring harm in an effort to destabilize that attacker.

The US went into the ring to fight terror and for centuries to come they will remember the 9/11 attack that marked the full scale of Al Qaeda’s capabilities. Consequently, they stepped up the fight against Muslim extremists by sending troops into Afghanistan backed with the entire White House and the unlimited resources of the United States Government. It was essential to do so because failure would have meant that the terrorists were winning the war against their ideologies.

Kenya entered Somalia back in 2011 after a myriad of attacks launched against its citizens and tourists. The decision had been long awaited and when it was finally arrived at, majority of Kenyans welcomed the idea and backed the government fully to root out Al Shabaab dissidents and pirates operation on Somali land and waters.

As much as our attack was impromptu, there were details that needed to be addressed before cementing our positions within Somalia. First on the list was to tighten the security levels within the country by deploying extra police in major towns and cities as well as sending military personnel to man our borders on a 24 hour basis. This would aid in minimizing the infiltration that we have witnessed of late by the Al Shabaab recruits.

On another scale, the government should have carried out regular checks in various neighborhoods especially those associated with Al Shabaab activities. Cities like Mombasa should have been combed as we prepared to enter Somalia because going by the intelligence reports, the coastal town has been a boiling pot of all cultures more so Islam and thus could be ideally used to camouflage Al Shabaab activities within Kenyan boarders. In the security field, it is crucial to carry out a search unannounced so as to ambush the enemy and catch him off guard.

State department of Immigration would have been another area to deal with as we planned our incursion into Somalia. Our state officers tasked with profiling legal citizens and visitors from illegal ones have been on a downward spiral thanks to the cancer known as corruption.

There was therefore need to clean up the department and weed out those enticed by large sums of money in order to issue identity cards and passports. When the enemy knows a weak link that enables them infiltrate your territory then it becomes imperative for them to use it in a bid to operate within your quarters. That enables them launch flash attacks like the grenades we have witnessed over the years and major attacks like the Westgate terror attack.

As much as we cannot rewind time and start our incursion all over again, it is important that we deal with the crisis on our hands swiftly and smartly to avoid more attacks because in reality the country is at war.

The government needs to tighten its grip on surveillance and if possible seek assistance from partners who support our war on terror.

Boarder security should be stepped up a notch higher to avoid infiltration by Al Shabaab cells. Currently, the efforts being made are tremendous but there needs to be more resources and efforts injected to ensure Kenyans and its visitors are safe and secure within their boarders.

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