Security threats in the Sahel and beyond: AQIM, Boko Haram and al Shabaab
This document discusses current security threats in the Sahel and surrounding regions, with the rise of groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram and al Shabaab. A brief background and current events will be presented for each group, along with a review of regional cross-cutting issues. Related information is available at www.cimicweb.org. Hyperlinks to source material are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text.
Security threats in Africa’s Sahel region, spanning the northern tier of the African continent, have existed for decades. However, in recent years security analysts have focused their attention on the increasingly sophisticated attacks by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the now al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab based in Somalia and the insurgent group Boko Haram based in northern Nigeria. Increased fighting in this “arc of instability” as well as changing tactics among insurgent and terrorist groups might reveal a growing relationship1 between these groups and as a result pose a greater risk for instability not only in the region but for the international community. The following report will provide a brief review of AQIM, Boko Haram and al Shabaab in the Sahel region based upon open source reports and will also highlight potential linkages.