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Terrorist Cells and Groups within the Northern Region of Africa Research Paper


Abstract

This research paper looks into the emerging issues of terrorist threats in Africa and especially the Northern African region. The paper tries to answer whether the U.S. has the ability to counter the emerging terrorist threats in Africa through military co-operation missions with aligned countries.

As a result the research paper looks into how the United States can participate both militarily, and diplomatically to combat the emerging terrorist threat in Northern Africa. Additionally, the paper discusses the disposition of the threat and where it is going.

Some of the issues the article looks at are:

  1. increasing kidnapping cases for ransoms that fund terrorism;
  2. the AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and Al Qaeda relationship;
  3. emergence of Al Shabab in the horn of Africa,
  4. the transitional federation government in Somalia and its implication on the state of lawlessness;
  5. the AQIM using Torgs as protection and logistical support;
  6. the un-official truce between AQIM and the government;
  7. the situation of the anti AQIM movement in Mauritania;
  8. the research will also cover the U.S. involvement in Africa, the State Department and DoD.

Other important issues that will be considered will include the foreign internal defense mission that the U.S. is conducting, military agencies like: -Special Operations Command Africa -Special Operations Command Europe -EUCOM -AFRICOM and all of their participating efforts.

In line with the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Resolution 1373 by the Security Council, all states are required to work on combating and suppressing terrorist activities within their regions. This is through the suppression of financial help to terrorist groupings and organizations, improvement of cooperation between states and monitoring of implementation of these resolutions.

Introduction

The possibilities of terrorist threats taking place within any particular country are now more than ever very alarming. In the last decade or so, there have been increased terrorist activities in the Middle East and more so, the region covering Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

This has not gone unnoticed as, Africa and in particular Northern African and northern horn of Africa (Somalia) countries have been sucked into this quagmire.1 The United States in particular is becoming more and more uneasy with the increasing frequency that terrorist cells are taking root in the northern tip of Africa.

Political upheavals, social problems, economic imbalances, the ever widening gap between the rich and poor are some of the dynamics being exploited by terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Terrorist cells such as Al shabaab have now turned to abduction for ransom to finance their terrorist activities.

The transitional federation government in Somalia and its implication on the state of lawlessness has also lead to constant strong and sudden change in political, social, and living conditions within the country leading to a thrive in terrorism.

Another point worth noting is that the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) movement has strong ties and affiliations to Al Qaeda. AQIM’s use of Togs as protection and for logistical support; the uneasy, un-official truce between AQIM and the government of Mauritania have all lead to the United State’s interest in Africa. And in particular, its ability in combating this ever growing threat to its interest in the region.

These growing concerns have seen the State Dept and Dodd; the United States foreign internal defense mission; military agencies like: -Special Operations Command Africa -Special Operations Command Europe -EUCOM -AFRICOM and all of their participating organs, pool together their efforts in finding ways to combat terrorism in North Africa both militarily and diplomatically.

Research question

Thesis statement: – Can the U.S. counter the emerging terrorist threats in Africa through military cooperation missions with aligned countries.

Discussion of research questionThis research has been carried out as a result of emerging and ongoing state of affairs within the Northern African region, which have led to this research being carried out. Africa for a long time has been a very focal point in the U.S’s policies and has been regarded as a friend.

Major economical, political and social changes that are observable within the region have led to an upsurge of terrorist actions within the region.

There has also been noticed an emerging trend among Northern African states, where terrorist organizations for example; Al Qaeda in the Middle East are engaged in recruitment and establishment of terrorist cells such as Al Shaba East Africa, the AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) movement in Mauritania and so forth.

The inclusion of African states in global issues and especially the focus put on it from the United Nations and the European Union has opened up serious obligations concerning civil liberties protection arising from a number of ratified global pacts. To this point, the reaction from the UN has brought out various important weaknesses in the population strategies and legislation, predominantly relating to minorities’ matters.

The issue on the increasing terrorist threats, has become the target of both, international and national interest, due to recent events (for example: The AQIM and Al Qaeda relationship, emergence of Al Shabab in Somalia, rampant piracy in the Indian ocean off the shores of Kenya) witnessed in Africa.

This has warranted the world, the United Nations, the European Union and other world bodies, to reconsider and revise the whole population policy and human rights legislation.

Davis (2010, 16) notes “these aforementioned reasons and the overall need to put a stop on emerging terrorist activities and threats in Africa requires updated current legislation and a revision of national policies by the U.S and aligned countries.” This offers the basic background for motivation to discuss the issues that have generated interest in the emerging terrorist threats in Africa and America’s ability to combat this.

Methodology

A random number generator was used to assign participants with number identities to facilitate the research. But before this was done consent forms were given out to all the participants and they were asked to fill out the necessary details. All participants were given the required and necessary instructions.

The research was based on finding out impact of terrorist threats and implications of these threats in North Africa and in regards to America’s foreign policy. Research respondents were asked a number of questions in regards to current issues and political matters within their country. The participants were all provided with information regarding the effects of terrorism threats on the region.

They were asked not to look at the names of participants on the consent forms. The participants were asked to remember a sequence past and ongoing events that are either directly or indirectly related to terrorism within their countries. They had one full minute to encode the information that was supplied to them and they had two minutes to record their answers in the same sequence.

The experiment was carried out between a subject design consisting of the group of respondents being exposed to the independent variables and dependent variables at various times during gathering of information for the study.

Research findings

The research found out that from the results, most local inhabitants of the northern region of Africa are aware of the looming threat from terrorist activities. There is a general feel that the international bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union are not doing enough to combat terrorism.

Another vital point to note is that, the United States despite it trying to beef up its efforts to counter terrorism, the constant problems faced in Africa, are a hindrance. The research found out that Africa is faced with a myriad of problems such as political instability social problems, economic imbalances, and the ever widening gap between the rich and poor.

Discussion

Back ground study of terrorist threats in Africa

Terrorism refers to the violent acts or attacks perpetrated by a group of people for religious, political, or for ideological goal. Most the terrorism acts are usually instigated politically or emotionally. Terrorist’s threats in Africa started way back in the 19980s and 1990s.

In 1989 Sudan power was taken by the National Islamic Front (NIF) whose presence led to an increase in terrorist groups in Africa as it provided safe havens for the well known international terrorist groups. It is believed it was once home to Osama Bin Laden he had established a base where he conducted his operations until he went back to Afghanistan in 1996.

During a period which one of the greatest terror leaders Osama bin Laden was planning an attack against Hosni Mubarak the then Egyptian president. They tried to assassinate him while in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

During the same decade, three years later in August 1998 the al-Qaida planned an attack on two of the East African capital states blowing off the American embassies in Nairobi , Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam ,Tanzania killing hundreds of innocent people and injuring many others.

It was an awakening call for the Africans and from that time, the United States sought to find those who were behind the attacks in the two countries. During their search they destroyed a chemical plant in Sudan which they claimed was supplying chemicals and weapons to the malicious organization.

They also implemented another policy that thoughtfully concentrated on searching, capturing and killing of the perpetrators of the attacks in Somali where the U.S believed they were seeking refuge.

In September 11 2001 the al-Qaida planned another attack but this time they destroyed the world trade center in New York and Washington an event that marked the reaffirmation of a trend that had been evident for several years. After four years since the august 1998 attack, in November 2002 the Al-Qaida planned another attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya killing 15 people.

The attacks also included the firing of artillery to an Israeli passenger aircraft that was departing from Mombasa airport. Many government administrators believed that Africa stood as the best breeding ground for terrorism acts (Rothchild and Keller 2006, 100-8).

The attacks in Kenya and Tanzania placed Africa right in the middle of war on terrorism siting that more attacks would take place in Mombasa and the terrorist acts carried out by the Al-Qaida not only affected the states in East Africa but also other states in the horn of Africa and the west African states since most of the African states are weak and are regarded as failures.

The main aim of attacking these states is so that the countries can allow al-Qaida to establish radical Islamism from one state to another. For example Somalia one of the states in the Horn of Africa is a country that has long stayed without a stable government for over a very long time and the opportunities present in this country to the international terrorist are limitless.

The horn of Africa acts as a bridge to the greater parts of the Middle East hence the tight relationship between the two continents. The absence of a central government in Somalia has generated a very favorable environment for terrorist and extremist groups to thrive in.

Al-Qaida has evolved to form other terrorist organizations that carry out terrorist acts in Somalia, the common terrorist organization is known as Al-Shabab a militant group which gained support from the Al-Qaida through provision of power, stability and order to the group, these small terrorist groups have warlords who control the activities of the group.

In the current time the Al-Shabab group is directly working with Al-Qaida in forming training camps and recruiting people to join the organization in its territories.

The fact is that the Al-Qaida group is spreading out its network and the threat in Somalia encompasses both the international and local fields as the organizations continue to influence even the local politics. In one report, there is evidence that there is possibility that Kenya is home to 17 training centers for the Al-Qaida affiliates.2

The most recent example is the kidnapping of two Kenyan citizens in Mogadishu by members who were alleged to be associated with the Al-Qaida linked Al-Shabab group whom were later released.

The attack proves that the Islamic terrorist organizations feel they have the power to control areas in Somalia and conduct attacks with impunity. The disadvantage is that the organization will use its influence over Somalia as a strategy to impose threats to the surrounding regions causing destabilization of various states.

Threats from the Somali based Al-Qaida commanders were directed to Uganda and Burundi when they deployed their army to bring security to Somalia and the threats are taken seriously as stated by the army chief of Burundi Gaudefroid Niyombare “We take the threats by the Al Shabab seriously…It was something we are aware of since deploying our troops in Somalia and we know that we have to be vigilant to protect our country”.

Sub-Sahara Africa is home to unstable and failing Africa states as compared to other regions in the continent. Nigeria in West Africa is a state that faces major terrorist threats considering that the country is home to over 65 million Muslims and the country is considered as the second largest Muslim population state in the continent. For this reason, the country is under attack from radical Islam and tribal wrangles.

It could be the strategic state in war against global terror but the increase in Islamic militancy makes the country have fruitful grounds for extremist recruiters. Presently the Al-Qaida operations are said to have been established and are active in Nigeria.

According to an article in the new York times, Douglous Farah points out that during the capture of fighters in Iraq a quarter of the total came from the sub-Saharan region in Africa mostly from Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Mauritania. If nothing is done as soon as possible it is likely that Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa will be become the fundamental part of Al-Qaida terrorist network.

Africa is not an exception to terrorists’ threats, a combination of weak and poor states in addition to this , it is known to have dynamic religious and ethnic practices with many of them (states) experiencing “ungoverned space” leading to a sufficient vulnerability to the growth of radical connections with terrorists.

The reality is that international terrorism in Africa is awakening and many of the African countries have links to these organizations from countries in the south, South Africa to the countries in the north, Algeria. U.S. can counter the emerging terrorist threats in Africa through military cooperation missions with aligned countries

The United States has over the years shown concern about the probable signs of Africa fetching a breeding ground for terrorists. Thus the United States has been in the fore front on the war on terrorism all around the world. African states that have been confronted with terrorist’s threats have considered help from the U.S.

The aid provided by the Americans acts as a positive response to the activities conducted by malicious terrorist groups. The U.S. military operation that considers a number of about 18000 U.S forces in most parts of terrorist’s zone like Africa, Afghanistan, Colombia are one of the initiatives the United States is using to fight the War on Terrorism in the world.

The military operations that started in October 7, 2001 are believed to cover up a broad range of warfare and non combat missions that include combating rebels and civil affairs and reconstructing the old operations to training of military personnel of other countries in efforts to counterterrorism.

The military operations are considered as one of the aspects that will help fight the global war on terrorism as it involves diplomatic intelligence and law enforcements intended to defeat terrorists around the world.

African leaders have shown concerns in dealing with terrorist threats in their states. After the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the African states adopted the African Convention on Terrorism although the signing of this chatter is slow.

The contradicting matter is that while the African leaders are more concerned with fighting local terrorism the western countries are more concerned with fighting terrorist who threaten westernized interests while operating in Africa.

When the Algerian president visited United States in November 2001 he stated that “terrorism is one and indivisible and that for the world to be able to counter it, then there was need to work together”.

During the recent attacks in Mali which were initiated by the Islamic rebel led to the death of 28 Malian army soldiers.

The U.S. government promised to help Mali fight the war against terrorism as they promised to give the government about $5 million to help the military purchase vehicles and communication equipment in a bid to reduce the growing of the Islamic rebel groups.

The U.S. military have also considered several countries to provide camping sites for their troops to frequent their rotation around the continent and also deploy the troops quickly in troublesome areas in the vast African continent. To manage the emerging terrorist threats the U.S. has to network with the African militaries in provision of information and gathering facts.

In October 2002 the United States established Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) in the horn of Africa in the bid to combat terrorism in the region. Since the area provides entry routes to various countries like Kenya, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen the U.S. military headquarters are in Djibouti and it has approximately 2000 military personnel and Special Forces and other U.S. civilians.

In addition there are naval task forces consisting of military ships from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States who keep watch over the borders of the horn of Africa region and promote the support for ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’.

The United Nations Security Council, “under terms of the text (UN Security Council Anti-Terrorism Resolution 1373 of 2001), decided that all States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the willful provision or collection of funds for such acts.

The funds, financial assets and economic resources of those who commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts and of persons and entities acting on behalf of terrorists should also be frozen without delay”3.

In the west of Africa, the U.S. EUCOM launched an initiative that was intended to help the surrounding governments improve their marine time security and the initiative was referred to as ‘Gulf of Guinea Guard Initiative’.

The initiative according to the U.S government will help them focus on the near lands since most vessels that are used by terrorists need a shore-base that is well supported and it acts as advantage to the continent since most of African states lack ocean-going forces.

United State’s ability to participate to the left of the line militarily and diplomatically to combat terrorism threats

The United States must adopt a more holistic approach to fighting terrorism in Africa. Other than just trying to shut down the existing Al-Qaida groups they should also help the continent states with their everyday problems that include economic difficulties, ethnic and religious wrangles, weak democracy and continuous abuse of human rights which provide a suitable environment that terrorist thrive in.

In addition to that they can support African countries by providing these states with funds, arms and strategic advice on how to combat terrorism in their countries. Former united states president George W. Bush, on November 6, 2001 stated that “no group or nation should mistake America’s intentions: “We will not rest until terrorists groups of global reach have been found, have been stopped, and have been defeated”.

The United States has a distinctive way of putting up partnerships and motivating project power to counter attack terrorism. The U.S can become used to their previous alliances and has created affiliations which assist regional solution that further isolates terrorism uprising.

The success being experienced in the fight against terrorism may project new forms of enemies hence, there is need to come up with strategies that will also be used in the future.

African countries are being encouraged to take aggressive actions against both the individuals and groups of possible terrorist alliance in order to understand where their enemies are weak and where they are strong to use to their advantage in battling the war on terrorism.

Africa together with United States and other international partners will have to come up with a good strategy that would be used effectively to respond to the regular threats in Africa.

Foremost, the African states should have strategies for long term support and develop on the construction of up to date and efficient state institutions that are capable of protecting their own territories and confronting violation of local laws that could have international consequences.

Secondly, the United States ought to unite with other foreign partners and set up their own intelligence law enforcers and military work force to variety African states to assist in addressing terrorist and criminal dynamics which creates threats to U.S homeland.

Lastly, the African leaders are required to strengthen their political will and deploy their evolving security personnel to uphold the rule of law.

Even though nothing is putting a stop to the increased commitment of both the United States and the African states in the quelling down of the continents terrorists threats, the United States and other nations should make the commitment with the right reasons and with their eyes open.

The United States has to carefully understand the magnitude of the problem and its complexity together with the limitations experienced in African states in coping with their problems and in solution implementation.

Respective actions that countries are using to combat terrorist activities

The United Nations through its security council is at the forefront of countering terrorist activities all around the world. All courses of action taken by the Security Council to try and tackle this growing phenomenon that leads to development of war in Northern African states are all based on the United Nation’s security mandate in peacekeeping operation within the country.

Rothchild and Keller note that the UN Security Council Anti-Terrorism Resolution 1373 of 2001 “called for an, unanimous suppression of financing, improving international cooperation and creation of a committee to monitor implementation”.

From time to time, the mandates governing the Security Council’s decision and actions are formed in accordance with a general attitude that is usually neutral, consequently making a contradiction that has the possibility of destabilizing UN operations en bloc.

Rothchild and Keller note that “the Council also decided that States should prohibit their nationals or persons or entities in their territories from making funds, financial assets, economic resources, financial or other related services available to persons who commit or attempt to commit, facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts”.4

The call for an Anti-Terrorism Resolution by the Security Council, is a show of formally and officially stating of the Security Council’s “unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist acts that took place in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on 11 September” through steps and strategies to combat international terrorism.

Davis notes the Security Council’s wish is that all states should be able to “suppress and prevent financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the willful provision or collection of funds for such acts”.

The United States in its case has four major identifiable counter-terrorism goals: “1) defeating terrorist organizations with global reach; 2) denying sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists; 3) diminishing the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit; and defending U.S. citizens and interests”.5 Oudraat notes that this “can be achieved through unilateral action alone.

The United States adopted a strategy in February of 2003 referred to as the U.S. National Strategy for Combating Terrorism that acknowledges that an effective counter terrorism campaign necessitates widespread multilateral cooperation.

To this extent America is constantly looking for ways to work together with aligned countries by leading military co-operation missions to counter the terrorist threats.

America’s dilemma is based on how it can be able to participate both militarily, and diplomatically to combat the emerging terrorist threat as the 2003 adopted strategy does not offer guidelines on how “to bring about such cooperation and next to nothing about the role of the United Nations. Oudraat notes that “the UN has set a precedent, legitimizing unilateral force against terrorist attacks”.6

Britain understands that terrorist attacks in the last two decades or so underline a great threat to peace and security to “the UK, British nationals and British interests abroad, and that it is current and very real”.

The United Kingdom has had anti-terrorism laws in place for more than thirty years for instance, The Prevention of Violence Act 1939 arose as a result of Irish Republican Army (IRA) campaign of violence. This act was replaced later by the Prevention of Terrorism Acts 1973.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in America, the severity of terrorist threats from outside the UK became evident, this has seen a revision of terrorism prevention laws resulting in the Terrorism Act 2006 which “creates new offences related to terrorism, and amends existing ones. The Act was drafted after entrenched liberal democratic traditions 7 July 2005 London bombings”.7

Australia on its part uses much of legislation to combat emerging terrorist threats. Oudraat notes that several anti-terrorism acts have been passed since 2004 when “a bill comprising three acts Anti-terrorism Act, 2004, (No 2) and (No 3) was passed and later the Anti-terrorism bill, 2004 was introduced by then Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, on March 31.

The bill was described as a “bill to strengthen Australia’s counter-terrorism laws in a number of respects — a task made more urgent following the recent tragic terrorist bombings in Spain”.8 This came about after calls on the updating and reviewing of Australian anti-terrorism laws so that the creation of legal framework capable of “safeguarding all Australians from the scourge of terrorism” both locally and abroad was in place.

In 2005 the government introduced The Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005 which enhanced the powers of the earlier acts. Through this Act Australian laws permit the police “to detain suspects for up to two weeks without charge and to electronically track suspects for up to a year”.

Here is a clause within the Australian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005 that offers for “shoot-to-kill” when there is necessitated need. In a nation with deep rooted liberal independent customs, the measures are contentious and have been condemned by civil libertarians and Islamic organizations. Relationship between the AQIM, Al Qaeda and Al Shabab in the northern horn of Africa (Somalia)

The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb movement referred to as AQIM has strong affiliations with Al Qaeda. It is a radical grouping whose main aim is to replace the Algerian government with Islamic law and transform Algeria to an Islamic state (Davis 2010).

Recent developments in the Middle East have seen terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda establishing cells in African states.9 All this terrorist organizations have one thing in common, there constant engagement in insurgent campaigns.

Somalia one of the states in the Horn of Africa has long been without a stable government thus this scenario creates a favorable base of operation for international terrorist organizations. The horn of Africa acts as a bridge to the greater parts of the Middle East hence the tight relationship between the two continents and subsequently terrorist organizations.

The absence of a central government in Somalia has generated a very favorable environment for terrorist and extremist groups to thrive in. Al-Qaeda has evolved to form and establish other terrorist cells in different regions of the world that carry out terrorist acts worldwide and in particular Africa, especially in Somalia.

The most common and preferred to terrorist cell in the northern horn of Africa is the Al-Shabab; a militant group which gained support from the Al-Qaida through provision of power, stability and order to the group, this small terrorist group, has warlords who control the activities of the group.

In the current time the Al-Shabab group is directly working with Al-Qaida in forming training camps and recruiting people to join the organization in its territories. Difficulties of combating emerging terrorist threats

The lack of proper implementation strategies of resolutions passed on counter- terrorism. Only 12 countries in the 1990s had established laws that enabled them to put into effect financial sanctions. Similar problems had surfaced in UN sanctions regimes in the 1990s.

For example two noted scholars who reviewed UN sanctions regimes in the 1990s estimated that only 12 countries had enacted laws enabling them to enforce financial sanctions. In September 2002, the UN group monitoring sanctions on the Taliban and Al Qaeda reported that the latter continued to have access to considerable financial and other economic resources.10

The report noted that, even though $112 million had been frozen in the first three months after the September 11 attacks, in the following eight months only $10 million of that amount had actually been blocked. The report concluded that “Al-Qaeda is by all accounts ‘fit and well’ and poised to strike again at its leisure”11.

Analysis of the main issues that lead to increasing terrorist activities in northern Africa

A major hindering block to combating of terrorist threats is the constant political upheavals within the region (Africa). Political upheavals, social problems, economic imbalances, the ever widening gap between the rich and poor are some of the dynamics being exploited by terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Lack of political goodwill is also a big problem.

The terrain is also a major hindrance to combating emerging terrorist threats. This is so because of the vast dryness of the region, and the climatic conditions. The terrorist groups are well versed on the detail of their area of operation and this creates a difficult task for counter terrorism forces.

An example of this is the situation in Afghanistan. Davis notes there are numerous cases where states nether do they “refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts; nor take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts; deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, commit terrorist acts and provide safe havens as well”12.

Recommendations and Action

Countering terrorism involves various techniques that governments, militaries police departments and corporations should adopt to respond to the growing terrorism threats and acts. There are different recommendations that can be implemented in the global network of countries trying to defeat the terrorist. They include:

Governments should come up with ways that would ensure the authority and the public cooperate instead of having an authority in place that is hated by civilians. Efforts should be made to make the people trust the authority instead of fearing them as many terrorists create a gap between the people and the authorities as their best strategy in carrying out terrorism activities.

Once there is a relationship between the authorities and the people it becomes easier to uncover individuals and groups associated with terrorists helping in the reduction of terrorism activities both locally and internationally.

Improving the international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist’s acts. By improving the corporation of investigating and prosecuting terrorists among the inter-states will be vital in combating war on terrorism.

All states should work towards ensuring the implementation of comprehensive and relevant international and regional counter- terrorism legal acts that are relevant with UN, since terrorism cases are related to complex intersections of human rights.

Different states are obligated to come up with well researched counter-terrorism measures which will involve coping up with basic susceptible aspects such as economic anguish, ethnic and religious wrangles, weak governance, fragile state structures and uncontrolled human rights abuses which in turn will effectively take away terrorists havens and recruiting grounds especially in Africa and other third world countries.

For this reason, the ability of the states to make certain that there is enough security to its citizens and also that they preserve their territorial veracity and sovereignty will be strengthened.

For instance the reinforcement of regional security as a counter-terrorism measure in West Africa, will serve as a way to put off a variety of border-linked crimes in the sub- Sahara region and their effects in another region around the continent and the world.

Conclusion

From the study, one thing that stands out is that terrorist attacks in the last two decades or so, underline a great threat to peace and security globally. This is not a problem faced by the United States, the UK or United Nations alone. The terrorist threats are real and this can be evidenced by the emergence of terrorist cells and groups within the northern region of Africa.

Such groups as the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb movement referred to as AQIM whose operational base is in Algeria, Mauritania and parts of the Sahel; Al Shabab whose operational base is in the northern horn of Africa -Somalia are examples of a few threats.

These groups have strong affiliations with the Al Qaeda in the Middle East. As found out by this study, a number of problems faced within the region act as points of reference for the establishing and sustainment of this threat. Political upheavals, social problems, economic imbalances, the ever widening gap between the rich and poor are some of the dynamics being exploited by terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Lack of political goodwill is also a big problem. Efforts by the United States and its ability to counter terrorism in Africa through military co-operation missions with aligned countries have resulted in various methods being embraced both militarily, and diplomatically.

For example, the establishment of a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) in October 2002 in the horn of Africa in a bid to combat terrorism in the region; launch of EUCOM in the west of Africa (to deal with marine time security concerns) are some of the initiatives being implemented by the united states to combat emerging terrorist threats to the region.

The initiative according to the U.S government will help them focus on the near lands since most vessels that are used by terrorists need a shore-base that is well supported and it acts as an advantage to the continent since most of African states lack ocean-going forces.

Bibliography

Davis, John. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

Oudraat, de Jonge Chantal. “Combating Terrorism”. The Washington Quarterly, 26 (2003): 163–176.

Rothchild, Donald, and Keller, Edmond. Africa-US relations: strategic encounters. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2006.13

Footnotes

1 Jonge, Oudraat. “Combating Terrorism”. The Washington Quarterly, 26 (2003): 163–176.

2 John, Davis. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

3 John, Davis. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

4 Donald, Rothchild and Edmond Keller. Africa-US relations: strategic encounters. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2006.

5 Donald, Rothchild and Edmond Keller. Africa-US relations: strategic encounters. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2006.

6 Donald, Rothchild and Edmond Keller. Africa-US relations: strategic encounters. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2006.

7 Donald, Rothchild and Edmond Keller. Africa-US relations: strategic encounters. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2006.

8 Jonge, Oudraat. “Combating Terrorism”. The Washington Quarterly, 26 (2003): 163–176.

9 Jonge, Oudraat. “Combating Terrorism”. The Washington Quarterly, 26 (2003): 163–176.

10 Jonge, Oudraat. “Combating Terrorism”. The Washington Quarterly, 26 (2003): 163–176.

11 John, Davis. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

12 John, Davis. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

13 John, Davis. Terrorism in Africa: the evolving front in the War on Terror. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2010.

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IvyPanda. (2019, August 20). Terrorist Cells and Groups within the Northern Region of Africa. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-terrorist-threat-in-africa-research-paper-2/

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IvyPanda. "Terrorist Cells and Groups within the Northern Region of Africa." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-terrorist-threat-in-africa-research-paper-2/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Terrorist Cells and Groups within the Northern Region of Africa." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emerging-terrorist-threat-in-africa-research-paper-2/.

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