Al Qaeda’s Sahel branch threatens coastal West African states


Analysis and assessment of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa and related security and political dynamics. Al Qaeda’s branch in the Sahel poses a growing threat to coastal West African states. The group has established an enduring base in Mali, where support for the French-led counterterrorism mission is eroding. This base allows Salafi-jihadi militants to expand operations from Mali into neighboring countries, including Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, and now Senegal. Al Qaeda–linked militants may choose to attack coastal West African countries to deter participation in counterterrorism missions and advance al Qaeda’s overarching objective of removing Western presence from the…

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