This explores counterterrorism approaches in the Horn of Africa using Kenya as case study. The study investigates the performance of existing counterterrorism strategies and proposes a more comprehensive approach that includes all stakeholders, in the Horn of Africa and Kenya. This study uses Constructivism theory of International Relations as a tool to explain international terrorism and the best strategy to counter terror. The study accepts the hypotheses that: the State centric counterterrorism measure in the horn of Africa excludes non-state actors and has failed to combat terrorism; Increased acts of terror have been consequences of the Kenyan Government institutions focusing only on militaristic strategies, ignoring non-militaristic ones; and combined effort by both the state and Non-state actors ensures success in the fight against terror.
The data findings indicates that the counterterrorism strategy in Kenya have still not addressed preventive terrorism measures such as enhanced partnerships between government of Kenya and domestic NSAs to counter extremism and radicalization, as well as other root causes of terrorism; the strategy lacks an effective combating of terrorism, limited effort of continued diplomatic solutions to restore stability in adjoining countries, and less progressive cooperation with external actors The analysis points out that: State centric counterterrorism measures in the Horn of Africa is counter-productive;the government of Kenya focuses on militaristic strategies in the fight against terrorism; and the government‟s militaristic approach in counterterrorism has not been effective. Furthermore, the militaristic and State centric approach in counterterrorism such as crack down, illegal detention, and extra-judicial killings of terror suspects and innocent victims has fueled terrorism. Also the inclusion of Non- State Actors, just governance, equality and other soft-power measures reduces terrorism.
The study recommends a national counterterrorism and counter violent extremism plans that involves State and non-State actors; other effective counterterrorism strategy that includes elements of border managements, diplomatic arrangements, addressing marginalization of Muslims and equipping the security forces; and finally a grand strategy to countering terrorism in Kenya. Such multilateral grand strategy involves strengthening regional and international actors in the unstable Somalia,fight against corruption as a loophole of counterterror, supersession of regional interest in peace and security over national interest of coalitions in Somalia, prioritization of regional information sharing and coordination of intelligence,regional support to the economic development of Somalia to address some elements of terror root causes and robust border control and screening of criminals from refugees.