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September 12, 2012

Africa: Al-Qaida re-groups, re-energizes and re-launches.

If your clients are among the legions of multi-nationals competing in the ongoing free-for-all for Africa's natural and human resources, here's an inevitable wrinkle of doing business. In Salon, and via the GlobalPost, see yesterday's piece by Tristan McConnell, "Al-Qaida Rising in Africa". Excerpts:

But while Al Qaeda central wanes, affiliates elsewhere are growing stronger, nowhere more so than in Africa, where groups like Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are finding ways of hitching Al Qaeda’s ideology to their local struggles.

“Africa represents a fertile ground for diminished ‘Al Qaeda-core’ to re-group, re-energize and re-launch its mission of global jihad,” according to a recent report by the Royal United Service Institute, a London-based think tank.

The report pointed to the potential for an “arc of instability encompassing the whole Sahara-Sahel strip and extending through to East Africa.” It warned that Al Qaeda’s new strategy seemed to be “going native,” using local militant groups and their conflicts to gain a foothold in new countries.

“Much of this is being driven by the Africans themselves,” Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center at Washington’s Atlantic Council, told GlobalPost. “They are finding in this ideology, which is not native, a way to transcend the local particularities of their individual fight and invest it with a greater meaning that has purchase beyond their borders,” Pham argued.

Photo: GlobalPost

Posted by JD Hull at September 12, 2012 10:59 PM


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