The Latest - North Africa

North Africa Latest Mentions

19th December 2017 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

North Africa Braces for Impact as Islamic State Fighters Return

North African officials say a large number of foreign recruits who joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have returned to their countries and remain loyal to the extremist organization. They fear the returnees are planning to unleash terrorist attacks in the coming months, adding to a jihadist menace that includes well-entrenched al-Qaida affiliates. more...

29th November 2017 – Quoted by Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review

Khatallah’s Acquittals on Benghazi Murders Show, Again, Need for New System

Clifford D. May, Thomas Joscelyn

There was never going to be justice for the American war dead of the Benghazi attack. The jihadist strike on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities was too bound up in the politics of the 2012 presidential election. Moreover, the prosecution of the lone defendant charged in the attack was a product of the progressive ideological insistence that acts of war can seamlessly be downgraded into mere penal offenses, adjudicated with all the due-process strictures that implies. more...

24th October 2017 – Quoted by Shawn Snow - The Military Times

Niger is a central hub for US counterterrorism ops in West Africa

Bill Roggio

The deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger on Oct. 4 caused many Americans, including U.S. senators, to question why American troops are operating in the small West African nation. As details of the event begin to trickle in, a once shadowy mission is coming to light. more...

22nd October 2017 – Quoted by Ed Blanche - The Arab Weekly

US sends its special forces as Africa’s jihadist threat grows

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The October 12 bombing of central Mogadishu in So­malia, which killed more than 270 people, along with the death of four US special forces troops in a jihad­ist ambush on the other side of the vast continent in south-western Niger, marked a sharp escalation in Africa’s war on terror. more...

19th October 2017 – Quoted by W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett - The Los Angeles Times

Pentagon investigating troubling questions after deadly Niger ambush

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, troubled by a lack of information two weeks after an ambush on a special operations patrol in Niger left four U.S. soldiers dead, is demanding a timeline of what is known about the attack, as a team of investigators sent to West Africa begins its work. more...

22nd February 2017 – Quoted by Natalie Johnson - The Washington Free Beacon

Political Instability in Africa Could Lead to ISIS Resurgence

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State has faced significant defeats in Africa over the past year but political instability across the northern and western regions could offer a ripe breeding ground for the terrorist group to resurge, according to a new report. more...

7th February 2017 – Quoted by Kamailoudini Tagba - The North Africa Post

Algeria’s Explosive Mix: Economics, Extremism and Demographics

Benjamin Weinthal

Algeria is a tinderbox waiting to implode in light of the existence of a dangerous mix of economic instability, radical Islamism and growing youth unrest, which make the north African country on the brink of a new revolt, US magazine, the National Review, wrote on its website. more...

18th January 2017 – Quoted by Kira Zalan - PRI

For Sudan, breaking ties with its radical past is a ‘delicate balancing act’

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Sudan is one of just three nations the US government still accuses of sponsoring international terrorism. Now, as the North African country looks to part with past alignments, and improve US relations, it’s finding that battling extremism at home can be tricky business. more...

9th March 2016 – Quoted by Howard LaFranchi - The Christian Science Monitor

From Africa, an unexpected lesson in how to topple terrorists

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

After the self-proclaimed Islamic State swept in from Syria in 2014 and grabbed huge swaths of Iraq, counterterrorism experts said the group’s control of significant territory would make it considerably more difficult to defeat. more...

9th March 2016 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

US to Forge 2nd Coalition to Stop IS Growth in Africa

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S. officials are pushing a select group of allies to expand their sights beyond Iraq and Syria in the global effort to destroy the Islamic State (IS) terror group. more...

23rd February 2016 – Quoted by Eli Lake - Bloomberg

Where Islamic State Stumbles in Its War With Al-Qaeda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Since al-Qaeda expelled it from its ranks a little more than two years ago, the Islamic State has been on a tear. It has taken Iraq's second-largest city, declared itself a caliphate, won over al Qaeda affiliates in Sinai and Nigeria, and conducted high-profile terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East. more...

13th January 2016 – Quoted by Jonah Bennett - The Daily Caller

Expert: ‘History Won’t Look Kindly’ On Obama’s Foreign Policy, For 3 Crystal Clear Reasons

John Hannah

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy is in danger of being viewed as an unmitigated disaster by future observers, John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday. more...

5th January 2016 – Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Islamic State’s Thirst for Oil Highlighted by Attacks in Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s main branch in Libya launched attacks Monday near a key oil export terminal on the Mediterranean, the latest in a growing offensive that national security sources say underscores the terrorist group’s desire to seize lucrative territory in the war-torn North African nation to fund its global ambitions. more...

22nd October 2015 – Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Hillary Clinton Says Libya Chaos Shows Consequences of U.S. Withdrawal From Unstable Places

Bill Roggio

While all eyes in Washington watch the clash between former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and House Republicans over events in Benghazi four years ago, chaos reigns in Libya, where two separate governments battle for control. Islamists are in control in the capital city of Tripoli, and Islamic State militants are expanding their hold on cities and towns across the country. more...

10th September 2015 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

IS Insurgents Say Europe-bound Refugees Are Courting Sin

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Syrians and Libyans fleeing their war-torn countries and seeking to settle in Europe are exposing their children to atheism, drugs, alcohol and sexual permissiveness, Islamic State insurgents say. more...

20th July 2015 – Quoted by Melissa Clyne - Newsmax

Qaida-Linked Group Executes ISIS Chief ‘Game of Thrones’ Style

Thomas Joscelyn

In an apparent attempt to beat the Islamic State at its own game of propaganda, a group in eastern Libya linked to al-Qaida has replicated HBO's popular series "Game of Thrones" by publicly humiliating and then hanging an ISIS commander to send a message to locals that sympathizing with ISIS would result in the same fate, The Daily Beast reports. more...

19th July 2015 – Quoted by Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

Town Shames ISIS Chief ‘Cersei Lannister-Style’—and Then Executes Him

Thomas Joscelyn

In a scene of medieval brutality, a jihadi group fighting to control a strategically important Libyan port captured ISIS’s local commander there, paraded him through the streets amid the taunts of onlookers, and then walked him to a gallows, where he was hanged. more...

12th July 2015 – Quoted by Awad Mustafa - Defense News

UAE To Supply Regional Aid in Terror Fight

David Andrew Weinberg

The United Arab Emirates is instituting an armed forces commission to supply financial and military aid to Arab allies for counterterrorism efforts, a UAE source told Defense News. more...

26th June 2015 – Quoted by Max J. Rosenthal - Mother Jones

Here’s What We Know About the Terrorist Attacks That Hit Tunisia, France, and Kuwait

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Dozens of people were killed on Friday in Tunisia, France, and Kuwait in what authorities in all three countries are calling terrorist attacks. Here's what we know so far. more...

15th June 2015 – Quoted by Sean D. Naylor - Foreign Policy

Will the U.S. Go After Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s Network?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Jihadi leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s death in a weekend airstrike in Libya, if confirmed, presents U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration with both a tantalizing opportunity and a complicated choice. more...

Experts

Jonathan Schanzer

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Bill Roggio

Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD's Long War Journal

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Events

5th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?

A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer

Speaking about organizations claiming allegiance to al Qaeda, President Barack Obama stated that "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The president’s remarks have sparked yet another debate about whether al Qaeda is weakened, whether it is resurgent, or whether it was ever weakened in the first place.  Has the Arab Spring spawned a surge in jihadism? Are these organizations taking advantage of the new environment in the region, or is the expansion of jihadist groups largely independent of the revolutions? How well is Washington’s current approach to al Qaeda working? If the group is growing despite U.S. efforts, how do we put our policies on the right track?

20th August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: On Life Support or an Imminent Threat?

A Conversation with Eli Lake, Thomas Joscelyn and Cliff May

Twelve years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and more than two years after Osama bin Laden was killed, how great of a threat is al Qaeda to the U.S. homeland and America’s interests abroad? Has the instability in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and throughout Africa allowed al Qaeda to grow in size and power? How should the latest threats against America’s diplomatic facilities, paired with the recent prison breaks in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere impact U.S. counterterrorism strategy?