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Radical Islam in East Africa

Radical Islam in East Africa

Angel Rabasa
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 110
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  • Book Info
    Radical Islam in East Africa
    Book Description:

    American geopolitical interests and the potential threats to those interests are both on the rise in East Africa. The author places the spread of militant Islamism and the development of radical Islamist networks in East Africa in the broader context of the social, economic, and political factors that have shaped the region's security environment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4679-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Al-Qaeda in East Africa
    (pp. 1-6)

    The most serious threats to the United States and its allies and interests in East Africa—which, for the purpose of this study, we define as the area from the Sudan to Tanzania—are the al-Qaeda presence in the region and increasing levels of radicalization among sectors of the East African Muslim population. This monograph examines the scope of the problem of Islamic extremism and terrorism in East Africa and the conditions in the region that are conducive to terrorist and radical activity, assesses current U.S. and international counterterrorism and state capacity-building programs, and seeks to identify the building blocks...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Characteristics of East African Environment Conducive to a Jihadist Presence
    (pp. 7-24)

    East Africa’s conduciveness to the presence of Islamist extremists is the consequence of several characteristics of the East African environment: weak governance and collapsed states, alternative power centers, the prevalence of the informal economy, porous borders, widespread access to illegal weapons, proximity to the Arabian Peninsula, and operational access to attack venues.¹

    In assessing East Africa’s conduciveness to terrorism, a distinction must be made between Kenya and Tanzania, which provide a different type of environment for terrorist networks by virtue of their relatively high degree of bureaucratization, and Somalia, which has been in a condition of statelessness since the fall...

  11. CHAPTER THREE The Ethno-Religious Landscape of East Africa
    (pp. 25-38)

    East Africa is divided into several cultural zones: the Arab-Sudanese majority culture of the Sudan; the Christian and animist people of Equatoria and the Great Lakes region of Africa; the majority Coptic Christian Amharic- and Tigrayan-speaking people of Ethiopia’s highlands; the ethnic Somali populations of Somaliland, Puntland, Djibouti, southern Somalia, the Ogaden, and parts of Kenya; the Arabinfluenced Muslim coastal communities of Kenya and Tanzania; and the majority Christian populations in the highlands of Kenya and Tanzania.

    As discussed in the country sections below, Sufism, the traditional “inner-worldly” dimension of Islam, stresses the emotive and personal experiences of the divine...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR The Growth of Radical Islam
    (pp. 39-70)

    The growth of radical Islam in East Africa in recent decades has manifested itself in the spread of Salafi and Wahhabi ideologies, which has put pressure on traditional and Sufi practices, and in the emergence of extremist and terrorist groups influenced by these ideologies. The development of radical Islam is due to the confluence of a number of socio-political factors—some of them at work in the Muslim world at large and others specific to the East African region. In the external categories are the following: the effects of the worldwide Islamic revival of the last several decades, the influence...

  13. (pp. 71-78)

    The importance that the United States and its coalition partners, particularly the United Kingdom and France, attach to the security challenges posed by terrorism, state collapse, insurgencies, and other threats to stability in East Africa is manifested in their military presence and security cooperation programs with regional states.

    The U.S. military presence in the region is centered in Djibouti, the headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa. The CJTF-HOA is part of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which was stood up on October 1, 2008. CJTF-HOA’s area of responsibility (AOR) encompasses Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti,...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 79-92)