The UK government’s decision to ban the mild stimulant khat seems a poor choice. This decision, without doubt, is more political than rational. In any case, the likely outcomes are frightening.
Al-Shabaab in the mafrishes?
A former Khat addict claimed that the effects of khat are so severe that it makes users become easy prey for Al-Shabaab recruiters. Abukar Awale appears to describe a process of slow deterioration of self-worth that eventually delivers vulnerable addicts into the hands of ready and waiting recruiters lurking around mafrishes (Khat cafes)…This view was further sensationalized and advanced by a Bristol based Somali NGO leader who on BBC Radio Bristol claimed that he had evidence, proving that Al- Shabaab was actively recruiting similar lost young souls in Bristol. The existence of evidence for both of these claims has not being made public – if they actually exist – by police and, in any case, both men ought to have gone to the authorities first to disclose it before approaching the media. Because going to the media first could have easily driven dangerous terrorist to underground and endangered civilian lives.