Latest Articles about Africa

GSPC Joins al-Qaeda and France Becomes Top Enemy

Al-Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri's recent September 11 threat to France, coupled with al-Qaeda's official integration with the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), is significant for two principal reasons. First, from al-Qaeda's perspective, it is a formal alliance with an "out-of-area" Islamist group... MORE

Somalia’s Islamists Attempt to Rein in Pirates

Months after gaining control of Mogadishu, the main seaports and most of the southern parts of the country, Somalia's Islamic Courts Union (ICU) has begun to rein in sea piracy. Somalia's 3,300 kilometer coastline has been classified by the International Maritime Bureau as one of... MORE

Hardline Islamist Militia Group Shabbab Emerges in Somalia

Recent information emerging from Somalia indicates that a hard-line faction within the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) may have evolved into a new organization called Shabbab (Arabic for "youth"), where youthful die-hard elements of the Islamists are being trained for specialized assignments. An official from Kenya's... MORE

Somalia’s ICU and its Roots in al-Ittihad al-Islami

As the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) continues to spread its influence throughout southern Somalia, the international community has reacted with concern since there are accusations that the ICU has ties to international terrorists. These accusations stem from the fact that many of the key leaders... MORE

Somalia’s Regional Proxy War and its Internal Dynamics

The scramble for power in Somalia's violent and contorted clan-based politics is occurring at every new stage of development, opening up fresh possibilities and opportunities as well as new risks and dangers. The stunning victory of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) over CIA-backed warlords left... MORE

Morocco Cracks Down on Islamist Opposition Group JSA

In a major operation in late May, Moroccan security forces arrested over 300 members of al-Adl wa al-Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality Association—JSA), including ranking leaders, over vague allegations that the group was plotting a violent overthrow of the monarchy ( The arrests were made in... MORE

Warlords or Counter-Terrorists: U.S. Intervention in Somalia

As the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to dominate headlines, a new front in the war on terrorism has opened in Somalia. At a brutal cost to Mogadishu's civilian population, once-discredited warlords have reinvented themselves as "counter-terrorists," seeking and apparently gaining U.S. support by... MORE

Understanding Somali Islamism

The security situation in Somalia flared up dramatically in the past few weeks, following a number of acts of provocation between Mogadishu's newly-formed coalition of warlords, dubbed the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, and gunmen allied to the Islamic Courts Union. As... MORE