While commonly perceived as a domestic problem, the threat posed by Boko Haram has important multinational drivers and implications. Both the Nigerian government and external partners, consequently, must make a priority of keeping links between northern Nigeria and the outside world open. The challenges posed by Boko Haram are emblematic of an emerging security paradigm in Africa today where local grievances are fused with international ideology, funding, and technology. Effectively addressing the multilayers of this transnational threat will require the sustained engagement of Nigeria’s neighbors and international partners.
Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger and other states in the Sahel appear to be experiencing a new “Salafist era.” Since the introduction of Saudi Wahhabist institutions in the 1970s Salafism has expanded gradually in the Sahel, though with varying success as it interacted with differing political contexts and contrasted sharply with prevailing Islamic institutions. However, states in the Sahel may be able to leverage their religious and ethnic diversity to temper and reverse extremism’s rise.
While not often considered a hub in global terrorist networks, South Africa has seen a steady and growing pattern of domestic and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist activity over the past decade. Coinciding with the creeping expansion of terrorist threats in other parts of the continent, this Security Brief examines lessons learned from South Africa’s experience and their potential relevance to other African countries and their security sectors. Also available in: FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS
Islamism has been present in the Horn of Africa for decades and is currently making significant impacts across the region. Encompassing a variety of actors and ideological traits, it is a heterogeneous phenomenon with political and reformists groups as well as violent extremist elements. Stability in the region, from the community to the national level, will hinge on engagement strategies that incorporate the non-violent elements of this diversity into the public sphere.
Most countries in Southern Africa lack comprehensive legal frameworks that criminalize terrorism and the methods to finance it. However, as numerous local arrests of international terrorists suggest, the sub-region is attracting terrorist networks. To prevent such activity, states should institute legal reforms and better coordinate anti-money laundering efforts through available international and sub-regional working groups.
The penetration and persistence of extremist ideology in the Horn of Africa remains unclear and moving along many trajectories. Multiple groups from Sudan to Zanzibar have created divergent forces of ideological influence, perhaps complicating efforts by al Qaeda to establish a unified base of support across the region.
Highly commended report that links social, economic, political and cultural factors to extremist ideology and support for terrorism. Develops extremist profiles and “at-risk” populations as well as explores individual motivations.
African Counterterrorism Cooperation provides an overview of terrorist threats and responses in each region of the continent. With contributions from leading African security scholars, this volume is a insightful compendium of knowledge on terrorism in Africa that reflects a balance of African and American perspectives on what can and should be done to address this emerging threat.
Security Topics: Countering Violent Extremism