“Radicalization,” said Uhuru Kenyatta, takes place in madrasas and mosques. Will he, then, monitor the mosques? Will leaders in other countries follow his lead? Or will they sit and wait for this kind of attack to happen in their own countries?
“Kenyatta says campus attackers ’embedded’ in Kenya’s Muslim community,” by Edith Honan, Reuters, April 4, 2015:
(Reuters) – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday that those behind an attack in which al Shabaab Islamist militants killed 148 people at a university were “deeply embedded” in Kenya, and called on Kenyan Muslims to help prevent radicalization.
His televised speech in response to Thursday’s 15-hour siege at the Garissa university campus came after the Interior Ministry said five suspects in the assault had been detained, some while trying to flee to Somalia.
Four suspects were Kenyans of Somali origin, and the fifth was Tanzanian, the ministry said. The suspected mastermind, Mohamed Mohamud, a former teacher at a Garissa madrasa, is still on the run. Kenya has offered a 20 million shillings ($215,000) reward for his arrest.
“Our task of countering terrorism has been made all the more difficult by the fact that the planners and financiers of this brutality are deeply embedded in our communities,” Kenyatta said.
“Radicalization that breeds terrorism is not conducted in the bush at night. It occurs in the full glare of day, in madrasas, in homes, and in mosques with rogue imams.”
The attack at Garissa, which lies 200 km (120 miles) from the Somali border, has put Kenya on high alert and spooked its Christian communities after reports the gunmen sought out Christian students while sparing some Muslims.
Kenyatta’s comments will put more pressure on Kenya’s Muslim community, who make up about 10 percent of the 44-million-strong population.
More than 400 people have been killed by al Shabaab on Kenyan soil since he took power two years ago, including 67 people who died during a siege in September 2013 on a Nairobi shopping mall.
Earlier on Thursday, Somali militants vowed to wage a long war against Kenya and run its cities “red with blood”.
In a message directed at Kenyans, the al Qaeda aligned group said the raid on Garissa was revenge for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia and mistreatment of Muslims within Kenya.
“No amount of precaution or safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath from occurring in your cities,” the group said in an emailed statement received by Reuters in the Somali capital….