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SCP Enanga Fred

Nine Arrested as Security Agencies Rescue 59 Victims from ADF

He also noted that terrorists and violent extremist groups have also developed propaganda strategies aimed at highlighting the advantages of joining the group or at triggering empathy.
posted onFebruary 8, 2023

Police in Bukedi South and Butaleja, working with the Crime Intelligence and CMI task teams, have rescued 59 victims who were allegedly recruited into an ADF domestic cell and being radicalised.

A total of nine suspects, including two females, who were highly linked to the ADF suspects, who attacked Busiika and other police stations were arrested.

Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga reiterated that " all persons arrested are not targeted for their beliefs, ideology, religion.:

He said they were detained for "their acts of conspiracy and hostile engagement that are in total breach of the law, peace and safety of Ugandans."

Enanga said they had been monitoring all spaces in homes, and places of worship which are acting as domains for recruitment and collection centres, for children who are introduced to ideological messages and beliefs.

"We are now interviewing and counselling the victims and gathering further information on the alleged disappearance of other children from the camp, to an unknown place. Arrangements are also in place to re-integrate and reunite them, with their parents, guardians and relatives," he said, going on the reveal how they recruit targets..

"We wish to inform the public that terrorists and violent extremist groups use forced and brutal recruitment of large numbers of children. Children may be kidnapped, abducted, coerced through threats or purchased from traffickers. Children living in poverty, without parental care, and street children are particularly vulnerable to forcible recruitment campaigns. Sometimes recruitment is done based on ties between the terrorist group and particular communities; especially when the group is perceived as one that is defending the interests and groups of that particular community against threats, they may encourage children to join the group."

He added: "In some instances, the groups may offer payment, food, accommodation and protection, encouraging loyalty. In addition, the transnational nature of terrorism and violent extremism has favoured the emergency of transnational recruitment and the involvement of children in the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters."

He also noted that terrorists and violent extremist groups have also developed propaganda strategies aimed at highlighting the advantages of joining the group or at triggering empathy.

He said: "Joining a group may be portrayed as offering status and prestige, smart uniforms and weapons. The experience is shown as an opportunity for power, especially for children without educational opportunities or employment."

He continued: "They also focus on 'victimhood' using images that show the 'crimes of the enemy' with a view to triggering anger and eliciting empathy with those injured or killed and creating a desire to carry out revenge. Specific websites also advertise the existence of the groups and, in many instances, multiple sites in different languages include different messages tailored to specific audiences. Social media platforms, including email, chat rooms, e-groups, message boards, video recordings and applications are especially popular recruitment tools that can also facilitate tailored approaches."

He said that since girls do not conform to traditional security profiles, they raise less suspicion and thus have an increased likelihood of successfully carrying out attacks or support roles. They also use them to lure recruits under the guise of falling in love with them.

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