The Growing Influence of Al-Qaeda on the African Continent

Hans Krech


Al-Qaeda’s influence in Africa is growing. From 2009 to 2011, activity by Al-Qaeda was noted in 19 African nations and regions. Four regional Al-Qaeda organizations operate on the continent, which in turn often have several sub-organizations: the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (with its suborganizations Al-Qaeda in Mali, Al-Qaeda in Mauritania, Al-Qaeda in Morocco and Al-Qaeda in Sudan) and Al-Shabab in Somalia. Since Osama bin Laden’s death on 2 May 2011, the influence of African leaders within Al-Qaeda has increased significantly. All three presumed members of the strategic command level originate from Africa. The revolutions of the Arab Spring have not harmed Al-Qaeda. This contribution highlights the potential for further expansion by Al-Qaeda on the African continent, and how this needs to be responded to.

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