Friday, April 6, 2012

Al-Qaeda Seeks Collaborative Groups in Africa

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in the United Kingdom published in April 2012 an analysis of al-Qaeda's effort to regroup in Africa. Written by Valentina Soria, research analyst on counterterrorism and security at RUSI, it is titled Global Jihad Sustained through Africa.

The report contains the following key findings:

--As the leadership of al-Qaeda has weakened, the terrorist movement is looking to establish partnerships in Africa in an effort to re-group and energize itself.

--Despite greater cooperation, there seems to be an unresolved tension between the transnational aims of al-Qaeda central and the local grievances of African partners.

--Following alliances with al-Qaeda, regional affiliates such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Shabaab have undergone similar patterns of strategic, tactical and propagandistic evolution.

--Nigeria's Boko Haram is still focused on a local campaign, but recent operational refinement and ability to stage deadly spectacular attacks suggests disturbing connections with other regional terror groups.

--Links between al-Qaeda central and some jihadist groups in Africa have been established over the last decade which vary in strategic and operational significance.

--A range of new challenges is possible as jihadism evolves and disperses into territories of ungoverned space across large stretches of the African continent. Among these are the potential for radicalization and mobilization of a new subset of British youth in the UK.

Click here to access the entire report.

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