Thursday, March 20, 2014

Are we just going to sit around and wait to be blown to bits by terrorists?

A pipe bomb fitted in the dashboard of this vehicle is among the explosives recovered by the police in Mombasa, March 19, 2014. The cache of weapons that were recovered is the kind Al-Shabaab has been employing to devastating effect in Mogadishu. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA

A pipe bomb fitted in the dashboard of this vehicle is among the explosives recovered by the police in Mombasa, March 19, 2014. The cache of weapons that were recovered is the kind Al-Shabaab has been employing to devastating effect in Mogadishu. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA  

By MUTUMA MATHIU
More by this Author

I fear that soon I will begin to sound like a broken, right wing record. But I am a man with fears which I believe to be real and I am frustrated that no one seems to share them.

It would appear that every little, two-bit Somali has a big dream – to blow us up, knock down our buildings and slaughter our children.

They declared war on us and we thought it was a small matter that some guy in government was going to take care of. We were wrong.

This week, police have tracked down two bomb wagons and recovered a cache of weapons. My colleague who is more conversant with arms than myself has regaled me with the horrors that this kind of arsenal can cause.

He says these are weapons Al-Shabaab has been employing to devastating effect in Mogadishu.

First, the bombs are very powerful. They are made from C4, which is military grade explosive material. Apparently, they are harvesting the explosive from landmines and artillery shells, which are plenty in Somalia.

Secondly, the bombs are many. So far police have recovered eight which had been sewn into vehicles the way beads are sewn into a kiondo.

Third, the type of attack, described as a “complex” attack against buildings, is just evil. It is like Westgate and the US Embassy attack rolled into one.

The plan is to blow up a building, then open fire and slaughter survivors and other shocked people around.

What kind of person dreams of killing people they have never met, who have done them no harm, just to make some point?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently said that he would not worship a homophobic God. Would God command us to indiscriminately slaughter men, women and children? Would the taking of innocent life really please God?

For years, it has been my job to sit here at my desk and look at the pictures of many events, some of them atrocities, others not so. I look at the eyes of people and I can tell what kind of human beings they are.

I have learnt to recognise the frozen, blazing eyes of the killer; the unblinking, reptilian stare of those who had crossed the line from human to monster. And I see it often in those who have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism.

Apart from the combatants, the killers have a rich catchment of support among us. I remember once seeing a picture of women whose faces were wreathed in smiles gawping at the brains of a young AP who had been shot at close quarters with a high-calibre rifle by suspected Al Shabaab.

MANAGE IMMIGRATION

Do we or don’t we have the right to protect the innocent and all of us from an unfair death? Do we or don’t we have the right to stop guys from driving across the border to knock down our towns?

If we do, let’s get down to work then. First, we stop that stupid corruption at border points, registration centres and Immigration. Those who allow terrorists into the country, or give them papers, for 30 pieces of silver should share in the terrorists’ guilt.

Secondly, we should up our security game. I am horrified at the mess in the Police Service. As technical-borne terrorists are pouring across the border, they are fighting over who should transfer officers.

I know it would be totally wrong and out of order for anyone to suggest that these police bosses should be locked in the same room with the explosive tubes –and for someone to call the attached cell phone. But the Commander-in-Chief should get back the job of hiring and firing police bosses and Parliament to approve or disapprove.

All countries must manage immigration. Many Western countries, which sit in judgment of the world, are very rough with immigrants. Australia holds them in horrible camps in Papua New Guinea.

We, on the other hand, have welcomed them into our cities and sold them our property. But generosity has public safety limits. A thorough audit of Somali immigrants must be done and options for repatriation vigorously debated.

The presence of Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia is not sufficiently degrading the capacity of Al Shabaab to attack us. Actually, the terror group appears to have regrouped and retaken the initiative.

There needs to be a strong military response to these atrocities.

We are at war. Let’s start shooting.

mmathiu@ke.nationmedia.com

advertisement