As local militant groups sign on to Al Qaeda's ideology in Somalia, Nigeria, Mali and beyond, Africa is becoming the war on terror's newest front line. After a terror attack in Nairobi on Sept. 21 left at least 62 dead, extremism in Africa is grabbing headlines around the world. Here's GlobalPost's complete coverage of a trend that's getting more and more attention from the West.
ABUJA, Nigeria — If the goal is carnage, Boko Haram has had its best year ever. Authorities blame the homegrown Islamist rebel movement with ties to Al Qaeda for more than 750 deaths in 2012. The militants have obliterated churches, schools, government offices, security forces, media houses, market places and communications infrastructure. Boko Haram has also stoked ethnic tensions and leveled the economies of several cities. And there appears to be no end in sight.
KISMAYO, Somalia ― Kismayo’s southern entrance is flanked by pile after vast pile of charcoal, bagged and stacked in towering blocks on either side of the asphalt road. These shipments, stalled by a UN embargo, now threaten to undermine hopes of a lasting peace in Somalia.
NAIROBI — It’s been a long-fought battle with the Al Qaeda affiliate, one that may reach its end — at least in conventional military terms — in the days ahead as a regional coalition makes its way to the militant group’s last remaining stronghold in the port town of Kismayo. But although victory is expected, it's not likely to mark the end of Africa's most sophisticated terror organization.
After the successful ousting of the former Egyptian regime, many thought the revolution had achieved its objective — asking for three basic demands: bread, liberty and social justice. The question is, did they get what they asked for?
NAIROBI — The top US military commander for Africa has warned that Al Qaeda affiliates are seeking to strengthen ties across the continent. General Carter Ham, commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), described Nigeria's Boko Haram, Somalia's Al Shabaab and the Saharan Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb as "dangerous and worrisome" but added that there were signs the groups were trying to coordinate their activities.