Kenya gov’t to shut down sites luring students to extremist groups


The National Government through the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) has announced plans to shut down websites luring university students to join extremist groups.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the ministry has set up the Computer Incidence Response Team at the Communication Authority to monitor online radicalisation as well offer advice on cyber security matters and coordinate response to cyber incidents in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The facility will also be accessible to the public to report irregular cyber incidents.

Matiang’i said the unit comprises detectives from the police and intelligence. Matiang’i said the government must ensure websites are not infiltrated by terrorist groups, including the al Qaeda, al Shabaab and the Islamic State.

“We are faced with the danger of terrorists using cyberspace to recruit and indoctrinate innocent children and youths into their terror gangs. There is reason for all of us to get concerned with the growing trends in cyber and other computer related crime. I wish to take this opportunity to urge our internet service providers to help us protect our youths against this problem,” he said.

He also added that the Government would be after those who abuse social media to peddle materials that are injurious to children and youths and tend to interfere with freedoms

Matiang’i said the crackdown will ensure freedom of worship is not infringed upon.

The CS said the launch of the child online protection campaign is part of government’s plan to raise awareness adding that it was necessary to train parents and teachers on emerging terror threats.

Matiang’i said the internet user has hit 29.1 million, representing 71.1 per cent of the population.

“With the ubiquitous internet, children have unprecedented access to cyber space thus exposing them to cybercrime,” the Matiang’i.

The move comes months after two university students were linked to the April 2 Garissa University College terror attack in which 148 people were killed. University students were as well mentioned in the failed raid on a military camp in Lamu on June 14.

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