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Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence

Africa Security Brief No. 18   published by Laurence Aïda Ammour on February 28, 2012

Despite growing concerns across the Sahel and Maghreb over the increasing potency of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the diffusion of heavily armed mercenaries from Libya, the expanding influence of arms and drugs trafficking, and the widening lethality of Boko Haram, regional security cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented. Algeria is well-positioned... Continue Reading

Map of Africa’s Militant Islamist Groups

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 26, 2017

A review of militant Islamist group activity in Africa over the past year reveals considerable variation and a geographic concentration.

ISIS in Africa: Implications from Syria and Iraq

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on March 17, 2017

As ISIS’s influence and territorial control in the Arab world have waned, so too have its reputation and ideological appeal in Africa, writes the Africa Center’s Joseph Siegle.

The Evolution of Militant Islamist Group Activity in Africa 2010–2016

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 10, 2017

Download individual maps as PDFs: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 ‖ all maps (.zip) Highlights The geographic spread and frequency of violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa has expanded steadily since 2010, with a peak in 2015. Eight African countries now regularly face attacks... Continue Reading

Dr. Benjamin Nickels

Associate Professor and Academic Chair, Transnational Threats & Counterterrorism
Areas of Expertise: Counterterrorism, Countering Extremism, Irregular Warfare, Identity Conflict, Democratization, Regional and International Security Cooperation, Sahel, North Africa, Horn of Africa, Algeria

Mediation: Undervalued, Yet Vital to African Security

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on December 21, 2015

“Compatriots, fellow country men and women, Congratulations. With this agreement we have ended the longest war in Africa, 50 years of war out of 55 years of independence. Today, we bring this half a century of war to a dignified end.” The date is January 9, 2005, and the place is Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi,... Continue Reading

Extremism: Root Causes, Drivers, and Responses

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 20, 2015

Four of the eight ‘provinces’ or wilayat of the group’s self-declared caliphate are located in Africa Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Nigeria. While there are questions about the group’s ability to direct affiliates in a unified and coordinated campaign, those who have declared loyalty to ISIS have adopted its signature brutality. Efforts to counter violent extremism... Continue Reading

The Africa Center Community

As part of its mission to expand understanding and build enduring partnerships, the Africa Center maintains relationships and builds networks with thousands of alumni and 33 community chapters. Alumni stay in contact with the Center through bilateral programs, research publications, communities of interest, and ongoing exchanges.

African Migration Funds Criminal and Terrorist Networks

Spotlight   published by Wendy Williams on August 13, 2015

The phenomenon of migrants traversing the hostile terrain of northern Africa to Europe is not new—not the routes or the dangers. A decade ago, experts estimated that about 2,000 migrants drowned each year attempting to cross the Mediterranean and untold numbers perished in the desert. But after the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in 2011,... Continue Reading

Rethinking Security across the Sahara and the Sahel

Recommended research   published by Anouar Boukhars, FRIDE on April 30, 2015

Emerging conflicts in the Sahara and Sahel reveal the influence of transnational ethnic and tribal ties, which serve to facilitate transnational smuggling and movement of radicalized militants. Al Qaeda-associated attacks in Algeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso also reflect the growing cooperation and cross-fertilization among regional militant organizations. This fluidity of alliances between nonstate actors and... Continue Reading