The Islamic State, al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other jihadist movements are protagonists in many of the world’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. We examine the evolving threat posed by these groups – both in warzones and in other places where they recruit fighters or perpetrate terrorist attacks. Our work – including our 2021 series The Legacy of 9/11 and the "War on Terror" – draws on years of field research across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Through in-depth and comparative analysis of these groups’ tactics, strategy and ideology, and of the local conditions and wider geopolitical currents that have enabled their growth, Crisis Group aims to inform policies on how best to tackle or contain the threat.
The Islamist militants in the Sahel have made repeated sorties into coastal West African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire. So far, Abidjan has largely repulsed their attempted advances, with a mix of security and socio-economic initiatives. It should redouble its efforts on both fronts.
Two years after the suicide of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, jihadist factions continue a battle for control of Nigeria’s north east. In this Q&A, Crisis Group assesses the situation and lays out what authorities should do in response.
In this video, Omar Mahmood discusses the Somali government’s recent gains in its war with the Islamist insurgency Al-Shabaab, mainly in central Somalia.
In conjunction with clan militias, the national army has dislodged the Islamist insurgency Al-Shabaab from swathes of central Somalia, marking a breakthrough in the fifteen-year war. As its campaign proceeds, Mogadishu should take steps to strengthen its hold on the territory it has retaken.
The rebels who control north-western Syria are dealing harshly with ISIS cells but have not yet crushed them entirely. The best way to stop jihadists from rebounding is to consolidate the area’s ceasefire. Outside powers can also help by sending more humanitarian aid.
Numerous foreign nationals with ties to ISIS have come to Türkiye since the group’s defeat in Iraq and Syria. This population presents officials with complex questions, one of which is what threat individuals might still pose. The predicament calls for a multi-pronged strategy.
Insurgents have established bases in an important nature reserve spanning parts of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. They pose a growing danger to local ecosystems and people living around the park. The three countries need to collaborate more closely to keep the threat at bay.
Authorities are keen to return or resettle the millions of people who fled homes in Borno state, the epicentre of fighting with Islamist militants in north-eastern Nigeria. But risks abound. The government should slow down its effort, focusing on protecting the displaced from further harm.
On 10 November, Crisis Group’s President & CEO Comfort Ero spoke to the UN Security Council about stabilisation and counter-terrorism missions on the African continent.
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