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The headquarters of Kenya Prisons. Courtesy of raidarmax/Wikimedia

The Nexus Between Crime and Violent Extremism in Kenya: A Case Study of Two Prison Complexes

Gayatri Sahgal and Martine Zeuthen
RUSI Journal, 14 August 2020
Terrorism and Conflict, Domestic Security, Terrorism, Africa
There is little evidence that radicalisation is occurring in Kenya's prisons.

The link between crime and violent extremism (VE) has been the subject of increasing scholarly and political concern. While there is evidence to suggest a link between crime and VE, such evidence is particularly limited in developing countries. In an attempt to address this gap in understanding, Gayatri Sahgal and Martine Zeuthen conducted a study in a prison environment to investigate the relationship between criminality and VE in Kenya. The study finds a tenuous link between other types of crime and VE at the individual and organisational levels, with some indication of specific institutional patterns of recruitment and radicalisation within prisons.

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Gayatri Sahgal
Research Fellow (RUSI Nairobi)

Gayatri Sahgal is a Research Fellow with RUSI’s East Africa office and has worked in South Asia - India, Bangladesh, North America - USA... read more

Martine Zeuthen
Martine Zeuthen
Associate Fellow

Martine Zeuthen is an Associate Fellow in the Terrorism and Conflict programme at RUSI. She is currently based in Kenya and set up RUSI’... read more

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