There has been an upsurge in Islamist violence across Africa, which experts attribute to an emerging strategy being used by al-Qaeda.
Britain's Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) cites growing evidence that al-Qaeda is expanding its reach via a network of affiliates and partnerships across the continent. Additionally, Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations expanded on the RUSI claim saying that the terror group is seeking to create a "new Jihadist nexus in Africa" by converting local rebellions across sub-Saharan Africa into part of a global terror front against the West. One of the groups he mentioned is the Nigerian religious sect Boko Haram, a group that has become increasingly violent, just months after al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) chief Abou Moussab disclosed that the terror group had decided to help the Nigerian radicals. But according to analysts this pattern is seen not just in Nigeria, evidence of this trend has been seen also in Somalia and Mali, where al-Qaeda is prompting independence movements to broaden and heighten attacks. Consider that although it is true that military and intelligence efforts have reduced al-Qaeda's operational safe havens, and their leadership structure has been seriously damaged, the organization remains as committed as ever to attacking the U.S. homeland. It is dangerous to dismiss al-Qaeda as a spent force. Analysts say al-Qaeda has become less of an organization and more of an order, in which they have become a central base, which primarily provides ideological guidance to its semi-autonomous cells around the world.