A Cause for Concern The Spread of Militant Islam in East Africa
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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This thesis examines the spread of militant Islam in Kenya and Tanzania. We argue that Islamist militants who have gained a foothold in Kenya and are attempting to expand into Tanzania are behind an increasing number of attacks. We contend that spillover effects from the failed state of Somalia, along with influence from other external actors, are as important-if not more important-than other factors that receive the bulk of the attention, such as socioeconomic disparities and the perceived lack of political representation of Muslims. A third under-recognized but critical factor is the burgeoning population of Muslim youth. Ultimately, this thesis seeks to draw attention to the importance of these three factors. It concludes by offering options to counteract the spread of militant Islam in the region.