Islamist terrorist groups in the Sahel and Sahara are attempting to exploit pastoralist grievances to mobilize greater support for their agenda, write Kaley Fulton and Benjamin Nickels.
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Abdisaid M. Ali reviews the mainstreaming of Salafist ideology in East Africa and the polarizing impact of this more exclusivist interpretation of Islam.
The unfolding events between Morocco and Western Sahara could provide a sought-after opportunity for AQIM to reassert its relevance in the region.
The terrorist attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou is the second time in recent months, following the deadly assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015, that groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), largely based in northern Mali, have conducted attacks of this type outside their base area.... Continue Reading
To block the spread of recruitment and radicalization in West Africa, African policymakers and their partners should seize the window of opportunity to support preventative measures in as-yet untouched communities. The Africa Center’s Dr. Benjamin P. Nickels, Academic Chair for Transnational Threats and Counterterrorism, offered these observations while participating as a speaker at a recent... Continue Reading
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
Since 2011, thousands of North African citizens have gone to Syria to join the country’s civil war. Through its research, Small Arms Survey found that North African fighters are more likely to come from countries with stable but authoritarian governments. These governments provide fewer opportunities for local expression, forcing potential fighters to look to Syria... Continue Reading
The shootings of tourists on a beach in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse is the second such attack since the March 18 assault on Bardo Museum in the capital city. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) once again asserted responsibility for the attack that claimed 39 lives and injured 36, mostly foreigners.... Continue Reading
Part 1: Identity Part 2: Faultlines Part 3: Extremism Part 4: Boko Haram Part 5: Strategies for combating extremism Part 6: Military professionalism Part 7: Maritime security Part 8: Governance Boko Haram emerged in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in Nigeria’s Northeast Region. Initially organized as a sect under the leadership of... Continue Reading
The ideological appeal of violent Islamist insurgencies in Nigeria predates Boko Haram. Without addressing the region’s grievances, extremism will live on.
The deadly terrorist attack on the Bardo museum in Tunisia on March 18 turned the global spotlight on this North African nation, which has made significant strides in consolidating democracy since its long-serving ruler, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was ousted from power in January 2011. Noureddine Jebnoun, a professor of North Africa Studies at... Continue Reading
Violence by Islamist insurgents in northern Nigeria and northern Mali continues to attract international attention. Boko Haram, which wants an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria, has killed hundreds in gun and bomb attacks since it intensified its insurgency two years ago. Its fighters operate across northern Nigeria and in neighboring states Chad, Niger, and... Continue Reading