This paper is an examination of the membership recruitment strategies of two violent extremist organizations (VEOs), namely al-Shabaab and Boko Haram. The majority of the literature on VEOs concentrates on the conceptualization of terrorism, motivations for terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies, as well as a focus on the frequency of VEO attacks, number of fatalities and funding sources. The literature tends to portray poverty as the main driver of recruitment. The focus on recruitment strategies has been relatively recent. There is therefore still a lack of in-depth analyses on the processes of recruitment of specific extremist groups, and this impacts on the development of effective counter-insurgency policies and practices. We conclude that there is a need for more nuanced studies of recruitment practices, including radicalization strategies, of specific VEOs in Africa. This understanding of recruitment practices, particularly by VEOs such as Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, will enable more context specific counter-insurgency programmes that target the ability of these organizations to recruit and expand. There can be no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with the challenge of violent extremism in Africa.
Omenma, J. Tochukwu; Hendricks, Cheryl; and Ajaebili, Nnamdi C.
"al-Shabaab and Boko Haram: Recruitment Strategies,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 27
, Article 2.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol27/iss1/2
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