War on Terrorism

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Africa : The Gold Mine of Al-Qaeda and Global Jihad

By Reuven Paz and Moshe Terdman

Introduction

The interest and presence of global Jihad groups in Africa is not new, particularly in the eastern and northern parts of the continent. Yet, more recently, in the wake of political violence in Sudan and Somalia , it seemsthat Africa is becoming a viable region for Al-Qaeda. This has manifested itself through - organized Jihadi radicalism, and self-radicalized sympathizers of global Jihad, which follow the strategy and doctrines of Al-Qaeda and its supportive clerics and scholars. In the past year we have witnessed a growing presence of new formed Jihadi groups in Africa , which use old and more recent violent conflicts to radicalize African Islamicelements, recruit support, and bring the African arena under the Jihadi"global umbrella."

Recently, a new article published by a virtual magazine of supporters of global Jihad-Sada al-Jihad (Echo of Jihad)-has very clearly sketched the new direction of Al-Qaeda or global Jihad - towards Africa . The magazine, which celebrated in June 2006 its 7 th issue, appears to be an alternative to the"late" popular Jihadi virtual magazine Sawt al-Jihad, which was published by Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia . It disappeared after the severe and successful measures taken by the Saudi authorities against the Saudi branch ofAl-Qaeda.

The article in Arabic, titled "Al-Qaeda is moving to Africa" by Abu Azzamal-Ansari provides us with an analysis of all the possible advantages ofAfrica as a battlefield and greenhouse for global Jihad. Here is the translation of the full text of the article, which speaks very clearly for itself.

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