Many hands make work easier hence for a peaceful nation, both the citizen and the government need to put concerted effort to ensure a haven.
The 14 Riverside Drive terror attack in 2019 cross my mind with sorrow and as I look back I am convinced that the January 15, 2019 incident at the Dusit D2 complex would not have happened if only residents of Guango Estate in Mucatha Kiambu adhered to Nyumba Kumi initiative to the latter. Through this noble government initiative, the neighbors would have known that one of their own was Jihadi terrorist planning to blow anyone at the slightest provocation.
Ali Salim Gichunge the Dusit terror attack planner and a suicide bomber, lived a life like that of a common man in Guango Estate and everyone in his neighborhood viewed him as a person just like them. It never occurred in anyone’s mind that the estate they cherished and called home could be harboring a dangerous criminal and a terrorist who would at one point turn out to be on the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Many who were interviewed about Gichunge testified he was a good person who never quarreled with anyone and always greeted everyone he came across; however, no one ever questioned his daily activities. His wife Violet Kemunto was also known to possess this calm, ever smiley face by neighbors and friends who knew about her before. No one ever imagined that the two were terrorists planning to conduct heinous acts.
People residing in a certain locality being cautious and keen to note any weird traits is a sign of patriotism and will help the country win against terrorism.
As terrorism continues to threaten the security and peace of our country each day, it is vital to understand the fight is not only for our security personnel but requires all of us. These violent extremist gangs do not live in forests or caves, neither do they live in islands, but they live in our villages, estates, and communities. Curiosity, vigilance, and suspicion are what will help us detect and curb terror activities. Landlords, caretakers, and the community elders ought to have a record of one's Identity card, have a glimpse of what one does to earn a living, and at least do some background check to know the person coming to reside in the premises.
It is worth appreciating the fact that several instances took efforts of both the security personnel and the public to thwart criminal and terror activities and this needs to be upheld always. The security forces rely on the community for information for them to act. Indeed no one knows your neighbor more than you and it is therefore imperative to be vigilant on their way of living and any unusual behavior or illegal activities observed should be reported to the relevant authorities without hesitation.
People residing in a certain locality being cautious and keen to note any weird traits is a sign of patriotism and will help the country win against terrorism. Joining hands and understanding that security is everyone’s responsibility will assure us a haven free from violent extremists, armed robbers, and all sorts of criminal activities.