Terror attacks have increased significantly over the past few years and the situation is so severe that Britain must act urgently, not simply to provide support and guidance, but also dedicated and extensive education to these counties, to help route out terrorist ideologies and develop counterterrorism strategies to fight this evil.
The issue is not simply one of increasing security, as advised after the first round of bombings in Nairobi. We in Britain know all too well that security alone cannot defeat extremism. These problems are much more deep-rooted and need to be tackled through better education and community outreach programmes. By identifying potential extremists and their preachers from the outset, this will help to eradicate Islamic extremism.
Over the coming month, the Parliament Street committee will be looking to engage with key African leaders and help to raise awareness of this growing problem through a series of debates on how to tackle these serious issues.
We know from previous examples, such as Al-Qaeda’s rise in Afghanistan, that it is in environments of uncertainty and poverty that extremism thrives. Unfortunately the terrorists are equally aware of this.
The greatest tragedy of all is that, despite high levels of poverty and unemployment, African countries are still full of hope for the future, and Britain has a moral duty to ensure that this hope is not high-jacked and poisoned by extremists.
Britain has knowledge, skill and experience in regards to how to best tackle this growing threat. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with our African friends to stamp out Islamic extremism before it gains a further foothold.
I hope to see you at one of our events soon.