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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Shabaab Recruiting Part 1

This article from the nation ( Kenya ) is two months old, but it illustrates an emerging trend. al Shabaab Recuriters recurintg in the same way al Qaeda recruiters haven been recruiting foreighn fighters for them for some time.

-Shimron Issachar

Kenyan anti-terrorism officials are analysing information about the alleged recruitment of local youth to fight alongside the al-Shabaab militia in war-ravaged Somalia.
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A few of them were traced to the village of Liboi, 150 km east of Garissa in northeastern Kenya, on their way to the missions into which they had been secretly recruited by al-Shabaab.
The youth, who are smuggled into Somalia, do not talk about their parents, who may never see them again, or the homes they have left behind forever.

Instead they repeat, as if by rote, the lessons drummed into their heads by al-Shabaab radicals. They talk about the “triumphs” of al-Shabaab, and they talk about the coming battles as al-Shabaab prepares to expand its activities into the Horn of Africa region.

Al-Shabaab is the most virulent of the militant groups destroying Somalia and threatening regional security.

One of the Kenyan ethnic Somali recruits said that at first he did not want to go with the al-Shabaab recruiters, but they forced him. Over time, the trainers persuaded him to join the jihad, or holy war.

Other forced recruits were not so taken in by the militant propaganda, and they dropped out as soon as they could do so safely to return to their previous lives. One of those who left al-Shabaab said he is “steering away from trouble”.

He said he was recruited in Nairobi’s Eastleigh Estate but then discovered the recruiter was lying about the benefits.

“He had promised 15 of us money, but he gave us barely half the amount and vanished the moment we landed in Somalia,” the ex-recruit told investigators.

  • Kenyan ethnic Somali parents have long blamed Islamist radicals for the disappearance of their sons.
  • Some of the extremist recruiting went on in the schools where the young men were supposed to be educated for a peaceful productive life.
  • In October last year, residents of Nairobi’s Pumwani Estate attacked teachers at a madrassa, accusing them of being part of a human trafficking ring that stole their sons.
    The parents said many of their children who attended the madrassa had been smuggled out of Kenya to be trained as terrorists.

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