Youth and Radicalization in Mombasa, Kenya

Understanding the need

Although it is well-known that extremist groups such as al-Shabaab use social media to spread fear and recruit susceptible youth, there is very little evidence-based research that details how at-risk youth use social media and how language is used online by extremists to radicalize and recruit these youth. By better understanding language related to violent extremism and utilizing innovative social media monitoring technologies to track radical online narratives, PeaceTech Lab has developed a solid analytical foundation that will inform and support local P/CVE efforts in Mombasa.

Tackling the issue

In partnership with Wasafiri Consulting and with funding from DAI, PeaceTech Lab has identified, monitored, and analyzed online content and the sources of influence used by extremist groups to radicalize youth in specific communities in Mombasa, Kenya. The Lexicon was created by adapting and applying the Lab’s existing South Sudan and Nigeria online hate speech research framework. The project ensures that rigorous research around online violent extremism informs locally-driven, participatory initiatives that can build resilience and prevent radicalization in at-risk communities.