Nick Schifrin and Zach Fannin traveled to Kenya for a PBS NewsHour series on corruption, radical recruitment, and al-Shabaab.
Schifrin and Fannin’s stories detail al-Shabaab’s deadly war in Somalia and Kenya and why the actions of Kenya’s security services are helping breed the country’s enemies.
The journalists embedded with a militarized police unit in Wajir, just 70 miles from the Somali border, and traveled to Garissa University, sight of the deadliest attack in Kenya since the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing. They interviewed half a dozen Kenyans who say they have been abused by Kenan security services. That abuse, human rights campaigners argue, helps al-Shabaab recruit Kenyans for attacks inside Kenya. They also spoke with Kenyans who joined al-Shabaab and have now become deradicalized. One al-Shabaab fighter spoke about his motivations and the deadliest incident in Kenyan military history: an al-Shabaab attack on the el Adde camp in Somalia, where more than 100 Kenyan soldiers died.
In a separate story, Schifrin and Fannin present a country where corruption is increasingly endemic and the people who fight the hardest against entrenched interests are often punished the most. They interviewed anti-corruption activists, cops who admit to extortion, a whistleblower who says his bosses framed him for crimes he exposed, and marathon runners who accuse the body that oversees Kenyan athletes of pocketing runners’ winnings. They also report on allegations that the government stole $1 billion dollars that was earmarked for development and infrastructure projects.