Radicalism on the Rise? Citizens' views on security and radicalization

A large majority of citizens (88%) think that Tanzania is safe and secure. At the same time, just 6 out of 10 citizens (61%) think that East Africa as a whole is secure. This may be influenced by citizens’ awareness of incidents involving extremist groups: 6 out of 10 citizens (63%) are aware of the attack at Garissa University and 4 out of 10 (40%) are aware of the attack at Westgate Mall, both in Kenya

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Radicalism on the Rise? Citizens’ views on security and radicalization. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,879 respondents across Mainland Tanzania (Zanzibar is not covered in these results) between 29 September and 11 October 2015.

Despite feeling that Tanzania is currently secure, more than half of citizens (56%) are worried about threats from extremists groups to attack Tanzania in the future. A majority of citizens (56%) believe that economic and political motivations, including frustration with the government and political system, the lack of employment, and poor governance are contributing to the rise of radical groups in the region. Only 1 out of 5 citizens (21%) cite religious reasons as the cause. In this light, it is perhaps unsurprising that citizens are fearful of attacks in Tanzania given that many of the same conditions are prevalent.

Citizens are also concerned with radical groups trying to recruit members of their family. Although close to half (46%) are not worried about this, a full 3 out of 10 are very or somewhat worried that their family members are at risk of recruitment. Their concern may not match reality however, as only 1 out of 20 citizens (5%) know of someone whom radical groups have recruited or tried to recruit.

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Authors: Sana Jaffer



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