Skip links

The Spread of Radical Islam in Africa: 2021 Summary


In their July 2021 article, Global Jihad in Africa: Risks and Challenges, the authors detailed the spread of Islamic terrorist organizations in Africa—specifically ISIS and al-Qaeda—and highlighted the challenges in contending with them. Their main conclusion was that a joint umbrella/master strategy would be required to fight the spread of Islamic terrorism in Africa. This overarching strategy should include some regional sub-strategies adapted to the reality in the respective region of implementation (e.g., the Horn of Africa or the Sahel). The authors discussed that the African governments, while militarily active against the terrorist organizations, should also be more receptive and meet the resident’s needs in all areas of life (improve personal security, healthcare, education, critical infrastructures such as water and electricity, transportation and most of all, employment for the younger generation). The authors further recommended that the governments should—in parallel to their military and social welfare actions—form oversight mechanisms to prevent the spread of the radical ideologies by the imams in their jurisdictions.

This report is an analysis of events that have transpired in the six months since the original report was published and includes updated trends on the various jihadist organizations in Africa.