Islamist Terrorism in Africa in the 20102020s: Main Trends and Prospects

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-4-66-76
A. Yashlavskii,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 06.11.2023. Revised 28.01.2024. Accepted 31.01.2024.

Abstract. In recent years, an obvious sign of intensifying terrorist activities by Islamist radicals in Africa has been a steady trend indicating the expanding geography of their extremist actions. Africa turned out to be the region of the world most affected by jihadist terrorism. Moreover, there is an “African U-turn” in the activities of transnational Islamist networks that aim to spread their influence in many regions of the continent. While in the 2010s militant Islamist groups were primarily active in Algeria and Somalia, by the early 2020s the scope of African jihadists’ activities had significantly expanded (mainly in West and Central Africa). At the same time, the Sahel region has become one of the main terrorist hotbeds of jihadist groups on the continent, where the number of violent acts committed by Islamists has doubled annually since 2015. In the article, the author analyzes the causes and specifics of the spreading influence of extremist groups in Africa, examines the significance of internal and external factors that affect these processes, and draws conclusions about the correlation of global and local agendas in the activities of militant Islamists in African countries. The author also makes a prediction that current trends suggest the possibility of new “hot spots” of militant jihadist activities on the continent (in particular, in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa) to arise, and the Islamist jihadism in existing hotbeds to intensify.

Keywords: Africa, Sahel, Islamism, jihadism, extremism, terrorism, Islamic State, ISIS, IS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, glocalism


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For citation:
Yashlavskii A. Islamist Terrorism in Africa in the 20102020s: Main Trends and Prospects. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 4, pp. 66-76. EDN: TIQNQC

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