This article attempts to shed light on the challenges confronting relevant actors (state and non-state) in countering the threat of terrorism recruitment by focusing on the Boko Haram terrorist organization, whose presence and activities threaten the security of the Lake Chad region. The article uses a qualitative research technique combining key informant interviews with stakeholders familiar with the conflict, academic and non-academic documents, reports, and policy briefs. The findings of the article suggest that despite the various initiatives by stakeholders aimed at containing the strategies of recruitment, the group continues to expand its base by launching coordinated attacks that further destabilize the region. These challenges stem from a lack of a clear-cut counterterrorism strategy, a dearth in technological and mutual trust between actors and locals in the management and utilization of intelligence, and the inability of state institutions to ‘coerce and convince’ citizens in terms of its capacity to counter the danger of terrorism recruitment and expansion. The article, amongst other things, recommends a community policing model similar to the ‘Nyumba-Kumi security initiative
’ adopted by most countries in East Africa for the effective assessment and detection of threat forces; the state and its agencies should show the capacity to coerce and convince in dealing with the (ideological, religious, social, and economic) conditions, drivers, and factors promoting the spread of terrorism as well as other forms of violent extremism in the society; furthermore, there is a need for stakeholders to adopt a comprehensive and holistic counterterrorism/violent extremism strategy to reflect present-day security challenges as well as to guarantee sustainable peace.
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