What is Violent Extremist Activity? Reporting ‘suspicious activities’ in Kenya

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RUSI has led research to gain a greater understanding of local communities’ awareness of ‘suspicious activities’ and the role that they play in reporting and thus contributing to the prevention of violent extremist activities.

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In January 2020, al-Shabaab attackers killed a US serviceman and two contractors and destroyed military planes at Camp Simba – a Kenyan military installation – mere miles from Lamu Island, the tropical destination of well-heeled travellers.

This will be a discussion of the key findings and methodology from a forthcoming research report. In partnership with local researchers from Lamu and Garissa Counties, locations notorious as hotspots for al-Shabaab operations, RUSI Nairobi conducted research on the obstacles to reporting suspicious activities. The research seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of what are considered ‘suspicious activities’, as well as the extent to which members of the local communities of Lamu and Garissa are aware of ‘suspicious activities’ locally. We also seek to understand what role local communities play in reporting and thus contributing to the prevention of violent extremist activities.

The report, entitled ‘Barriers to reporting of suspicious activities to law enforcement authorities in the counties of Lamu and Garissa’, is part of the US Department of State-funded project ‘Kwa Pamoja Tuzuie Balaa’, implemented in Lamu and Garissa since 2020. The project was conducted by a consortium led by Search for Common Ground and including RUSI Nairobi, Ijara Women for Peace (IJWP) and Kiunga Youth Bunge Initiative (KYBI). It aims to examine questions of radicalisation and violent extremist recruitment by addressing the trust deficit between affected communities and security actors.


  • Timothy Kimaiyo, Project Assistant, RUSI
  • Abdikadir Dakane, Field Data Collector
  • Aden Awle, Field Data Collector
  • Luniya Msuku, Director, RUSI Nairobi

This event is chaired by: Martine Zeuthen, Associate Fellow, RUSI

How to attend

The event will be held online only and is taking place 12:00 - 13:00 BST / 14:00 - 15:00 EAT. Please register to attend by 25 July 2022. For any enquiries about this event, please contact Sabrina Downey, Events Director, at sabrinad@rusi.org.

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