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  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Militant Islamist groups in Africa set a record pace of activity in 2019, reflecting a doubling of militant Islamist activity from 2013. Expanded activity in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin underscores diversification of threat from Somalia.
  • Topic: United Nations, Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Mozambique, Somalia, Sahel, Lake Chad Basin
  • Author: Daniel Eizenga, Wendy Williams
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Composed of distinct operational entities, the militant Islamist group coalition Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen serves the role of obscuring the operations of its component parts in the Sahel, thereby inhibiting a more robust response.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Non State Actors, Violent Extremism, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Pauline Le Roux
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Sahel has experienced the most rapid increase in militant Islamist group activity of any region in Africa in recent years. Violent events involving extremist groups in the region have doubled every year since 2015. In 2019, there have been more than 700 such violent episodes (see Figure 1). Fatalities linked to these events have increased from 225 to 2,000 during the same period. This surge in violence has uprooted more than 900,000 people, including 500,000 in Burkina Faso in 2019 alone. Three groups, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM),1 the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS),2 and Ansaroul Islam,3 are responsible for roughly two-thirds of the extremist violence in the central Sahel.4 Their attacks are largely concentrated in central Mali, northern and eastern Burkina Faso, and western Niger (see Figure 2). Multiple security and development responses have been deployed to address this crisis. While some progress has been realized, the continued escalation of extremist violence underscores that more needs to be done.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: 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.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Islamic State, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Somalia, Mali, Chad, Niger
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A surge of attacks in the Sahel coupled with declines in activity by Boko Haram, ISIS, and al Shabaab reflect the constantly shifting threats posed by militant Islamist groups in Africa.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt, Somalia, Mali, Sahel
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The dynamism of clandestine African migration flows continues to present criminal and violent extremist groups opportunities for exploitation.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Diaspora, Violent Extremism, European Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Southern Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The escalation of violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in the Sahel reflects an array of diverse actors operating within distinct geographic concentrations.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa rose by 38 percent over the past year. All major groups show an increase in activity.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Militant Islam, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: 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.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Al Qaeda, Militant Islam, Al Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Sahel
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: After losing territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has affirmed its intention to expand its operations into Africa. A review of militant group activity on the continent, however, suggests that ISIS will be challenged to do so.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, North Africa, Syria
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A review of militant Islamist group activity in Africa over the past year reveals considerable variation and a geographic concentration.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Algeria, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A review of violent events involving militant Islamist groups in Africa over the past year reveals a mixed picture, with some groups showing increased activity and others diminished. This variance underscores the importance of local factors affecting each context.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A quarterly update of a map tracking militant Islamic group activity in Africa as compiled by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Al Shabaab has been involved in over half of all violent events related to militant Islamist groups in Africa in the first three quarters of 2017 (987 of 1,827 total).
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam, Al Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa
  • Author: Abdisaid Ali
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The growth of Salafist ideology in East Africa has challenged long established norms of tolerance and interfaith cooperation in the region. This is an outcome of a combination of external and internal factors. This includes a decades-long effort by religious foundations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to promulgate ultraconservative interpretations of Islam throughout East Africa’s mosques, madrassas, and Muslim youth and cultural centers. Rooted within a particular Arab cultural identity, this ideology has fostered more exclusive and polarizing religious relations in the region, which has contributed to an increase in violent attacks. These tensions have been amplified by socioeconomic differences and often heavy-handed government responses that are perceived to punish entire communities for the actions of a few. Redressing these challenges will require sustained strategies to rebuild tolerance and solidarity domestically as well as curb the external influence of extremist ideology and actors.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Violent Extremism, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A review of militant Islamist group activity in Africa over the past year reveals considerable variation and a geographic concentration.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa