CIKU’S BEEFS: Truant today, terrorist tomorrow

By: Ciku Muiruri

There are some teenage boys who smoked weed recently and decided to kill their neighbour’s dog because the barking was interfering with their ‘high’.

They got some bats, grabbed some knives and proceeded to beat and stab the dog to death. This is a true story, right here in Nairobi. If that were my son, I’d be very worried.

I would take him to see a head doctor because 10 years from now, it won’t be a dog he will be stabbing. Almost all serial killers admit that they started by torturing small animals before they moved on to humans.

It brought them a great sense of pleasure. The past is important. Always look there to understand the present and prepare for the future. A difficult childhood actually explains the world’s biggest problem right now – ISIS.

Who are these boys? What drives them? Journalists like Lydia Wilson of The Nation (the oldest published weekly magazine in the US) have interacted with ISIS and will tell you the same thing – It’s not always Islamic fundamentalism.

It’s much more provincial. Given their ages, one doesn’t need to look very far at the real factors that led to this.


Let me paint you a picture. He was merely a boy when the Americans swopped in to topple Saddam Hussein. Things were not that great in Saddam’s time but they weren’t so bad either.

There wasn’t much food but he could certainly kick a ball around with his siblings without fearing for his life. Growing up under the American occupation was precarious – It was hard not to dislike these foreigners.

There were stories that they came in search of weapons of mass destruction. Yet wherever they looked, none could be found. Worse, the toppling of Saddam brought about the brutal sectarian Shia government run by Nouri al Maliki.

As he grew older in the midst of civil war, the rougher it got. Where could he go? What could he do for fun? Boys his age around the world were making out with a girl somewhere, going out for a movie, being normal teenagers.

His life was anything but normal. He watched his father get executed. Other boys his age had no fathers either, some were sent to jail and others were fighting in the insurgency.

There was no one to guide them. Each passing day, his rage grew. He mourned for his lost youth. He hated America. He hated the Shia. How he prayed for an escape.

One day ISIS approached him. A recruiter offered him a way to celebrate being a Sunni. He could finally be exalted and bring honour to his family. He could be a hero. His life would count for something.

That’s whom the world is fighting – A young man with a sense of purpose. The US says that choices have consequences. Indeed. Like George Bush and his foolhardy decision to invade Iraq. Add their closest ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia into the mix

that continuously funds ISIS in efforts to promote Wahhabism (a branch of Sunni Islam) and we have the Perfect Storm.

Who are the bad guys? Is it really North Korea, Iran, Russia and China as we have for years been led to believe by Hollywood? Or is the world’s worst villain, ironically, the good old US of A, creator of monsters?

I just wish one thing – That he knew, that young boy (before he blew himself up in the City of Light), that France vehemently opposed the invasion of his homeland. Way back in 2003, when he was just a carefree lad kicking a ball in the dusty fields of

Baghdad, I wish he knew, that France said no.

*This is a fictional mindset of an ISIS jihadist. All Paris attackers have so far been identified as French nationals.