Terrorism in Africa

July 10, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 25
Do Islamists on the continent threaten the West?
By Brian Beary


A friend comforts a student who survived an al Shabab attack at Kenya's Garissa University (AFP/Getty Images/Tony Karumba)
A friend comforts a student who survived an al Shabab attack at Kenya's Garissa University that killed 142 students and six police officers on April 2, 2015. Shabab said the attack was in retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to forces fighting Shabab in Somalia. (AFP/Getty Images/Tony Karumba)

Parts of Africa have become battlefronts in the fight against terrorism by jihadists and other extremists. The breakdown of law and order in Libya, in particular, has allowed the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization to capture pockets of territory and gain a foothold on the continent. Some jihadi groups want to impose strict Islamic law, which calls for floggings, stonings and executions of nonbelievers. To the south, another violent group, Boko Haram, has killed thousands in Nigeria — and kidnapped hundreds of girls — and aligned itself with ISIS. In Somalia, al Shabab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, has launched attacks in neighboring countries and is trying to prevent Somalia from re-establishing a functioning government. The United States has responded with limited military interventions and is partnering with allies and regional blocs to try to halt the violence. Meanwhile, thousands of Africans are fleeing to Europe to escape violence or poverty, creating a refugee crisis of epic proportions.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 14, 2023  The New Scramble for Africa
Jul. 15, 2022  Africa in Transition
Oct. 22, 2021  ISIS in Africa
Feb. 23, 2018  Africa in Transition
Jul. 10, 2015  Terrorism in Africa
Nov. 20, 2012  Booming Africa
Apr. 05, 2011  Conflict in Congo
Aug. 2009  Attacking Piracy
Jun. 2009  The Troubled Horn of Africa
Sep. 2008  Crisis in Darfur
Jan. 2008  China in Africa
Sep. 09, 2005  Ending Poverty
Aug. 27, 2004  Stopping Genocide
Aug. 29, 2003  Aiding Africa
Nov. 08, 2002  Famine in Africa
Mar. 24, 1995  Democracy in Africa
Jan. 14, 1994  South Africa's Future
Mar. 23, 1990  U.S. Role in South Africa's Future
Nov. 07, 1986  Economic Turnabout In Africa
Jan. 17, 1986  Angola and the Reagan Doctrine
Sep. 09, 1983  South Africa's ‘Total Strategy’
Jul. 14, 1978  African Policy Reversal
Sep. 03, 1976  Africa and the Big Powers
Apr. 04, 1975  Southern Africa in Transition
Dec. 06, 1974  Ethiopia in Turmoil
May 09, 1973  African Nation Building
Feb. 28, 1968  Nigeria at War
Nov. 02, 1966  White Outposts in Southern Africa
Feb. 03, 1965  Congo Dilemma
Aug. 12, 1964  Red Rivalry in Africa
May 22, 1963  Political Turmoil in Southern Africa
Nov. 02, 1960  Tribalism and Nationalism in Africa
Sep. 28, 1960  Education for Africans
Apr. 10, 1959  Power Struggles in Colonial Africa
Aug. 20, 1958  Algerian Conflicts
Apr. 09, 1958  White Supremacy in South Africa
Sep. 11, 1957  Future of Algeria
Apr. 03, 1957  Political Awakening of Black Africa
Sep. 17, 1952  Africa and the West
Feb. 20, 1952  Nationalism in North Africa
Dec. 04, 1942  War Resources in Africa
May 29, 1935  Pre-War and Post-War Imperialism in Africa
Conflicts in Africa
Global Issues
Humanitarian Assistance
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
Religious Freedom
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
War and Conflict