The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has pursued breadth rather than depth of engagement in its rapid rise along the Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso borders.
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Dr. Raymond Gilpin discusses how Boko Haram has evolved since it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March 2015.
The growing competition between the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda for influence on Africa’s terrorist groups was the theme of a recent panel presentation by Drs. Benjamin Nickels and Joseph Siegle from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. “The advent of the so-called Islamic State has catalyzed something of a re-alignment in African terrorist groups”... Continue Reading
Mali faces multiple security challenges that demand both strengthened legitimacy and state capacity to address. Building on credible elections, stabilization will also require reconciliation and extending the presence of the state.
The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa’s historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.
Increased attacks from militant Islamist groups in the Sahel coupled with cross-border challenges such as trafficking, migration, and displacement have prompted a series of regional and international security responses.
The escalation of violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in the Sahel reflects an array of diverse actors operating within distinct geographic concentrations.
The ADF, one of the least understood militant groups in the Great Lakes, has endured for over 20 years by instrumentalizing Islamist, ethnic, and secessionist ideologies to recruit and forge new alliances.
The struggle to institutionalize legitimate and resilient democracies in Africa will be further shaped by the 2019 elections – with direct consequences for security.
Declines in violent activity linked to Boko Haram and al Shabaab are balanced by increases in the Sahel, generating a mixed picture of the challenge posed by militant Islamist groups in Africa.
Expansion of violent events linked to an array of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel highlights the growing scope of security challenges facing this region.
In August 2016, Boko Haram split as a result of the internal divisions surrounding the succession of militant Abubakar Shekau as leader of the group, and a debate over whether Muslim civilians can be targeted.