Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Al-Shabab recruits Kenyan youths to fight in Somalia

Al Jazeera interviewed parents of Kenyan youths who were recruited by a terrorist group, Al-Shabab, to overthrow the government in Somalia.

Al-Shabab is an Islamist militant group, an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which was removed from power by Ethiopian troops back in 2006. Al-Shabab, or The Movement of Striving Youth, aims to overthrow the Somali government and it has control over some territories in south Somalia. In these places the group has already imposed its own form of Sharia law, which is even stricter than usual.

Many of the recruited Kenyans come from slums in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and some estimate their numbers to be in the hundreds. Most of them are not native Somali; they come from other ethnic tribes; therefore, they are more difficult to spot by the authorities. Since the Somali army has been fighting Al-Shabab, the parents fear retaliation.

Several of the recruited youths do not come from Islamic families; they convert to it. However, experts believe the recruitments have nothing to do with religion. It is purely human trafficking for the purpose of jihad.

-Adrienn Szlapak

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!! This is crazy. I honestly am surprised every time I hear of a group recruiting young and impressionable kids to an Islamist or terrorist organization. I imagine the process: the recruitment group goes into these parents homes and gives their presentation on them wanting to over throw the present government giving all kinds of pamphlets out saying that this is the right thing to do. Then after the presentation say that their child would convert to Islam making this whole soldier life right because they would be fighting for Allah and not just an ambiguous cause. Then the children, after the parents sign their lives away, gets trained to use a gun and kill people, to fear no one and then tell them, if you die, it is for Allah and he will reward you. I am so confused how someone can be rewarded for possibly taking innocent peoples lives while trying to get to the regime that they actually have a problem with. Child soldiers are a big problem especially in underdeveloped nations, and that is just a shame. This really has to be stopped. Somalia has been facing many issues but at the same time, recruiting child soldiers for the rebel army is not ok. Why don't they aim for the adult men. It makes more sense to me. SMH