I saw today on the Fox and CNN that almost 20,000 Nigerians are fleeing to Cameroon to escape a Islamist radical group I believe called Bokp Haram. I'm also aware that the U.S. and allies have been doing counterinsurgency operations in Somalia.

My question is what are militant groups doing in Africa? Do they train terrorist/fighters in Africa and then send them to the Middle East?

Thanks! I'll keep updating as well of anymore information I can find out, I'm trying to read up on Africa's history to see if I can connect the dots.


3 Answers 3


Short version: they do the same thing in Africa as they do anywhere else:

  1. Try to establish local control

  2. Participate in the economy

  3. Train fighters

  4. Coordinate with worldwide Islamist groups on some level or another

  5. Exchange fighters (e.g. someone would go from Africa to fight in Syria/Chechnya/Afghanistan, then come back, with more training and experience)


Reviving this question abit. Africa does not have a role in US efforts against terrorism. Why? because quite simply put Terrorism is a concept and not an enemy. anyone , any nation any group can be branded terrorists by government and this is one of the major flaws in the Efforts against Terrorism. If the US was engaged in a war against say Mongolian White tiger poachers then this would be definitive enough for others to join in. Africa, does not have the apetite for anything that does not bring in financial rewards. Don't be folled by Boko Haram, at its core it has nothing to do with Islamic fundamentalism - i'd advice a little more research into Boko Haram and you'll be flabagasted at what you find. There is quite and interesting background to this insurgence but thats outside the scope of this question.

  • "Africa does not have a role in US efforts against terrorism" - and those drones that blow up people there once in a while renounced their US citizenship to escape taxes, I suppose?
    – user4012
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 18:20
  • I'm sorry maybe... did I read the question wrong? The Question asks what is Africa's Role...not what is the US doing in Africa. to me this implies what if any are the African States'contributions to the US's war on Terror.
    – Ambassador
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 23:42
  • You can probably read the subject that way (ambiguous, I admit) but the body asks "what are militant groups doing in Africa?", meaning what are they doing that US needs to get involved
    – user4012
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 2:04

The real answer is that when countries have superior militaries, there is pressure by wealthy parties to use those militaries to go to war and make the wealthy people even wealthier, via stock ownership in the companies receiving military contracts. This has been true throughout history. Our military is especially strong, so this pressure is surely very great.

Americans do not go to Africa much, so they really have no idea what goes on over there. We only know what we get through the news. These days there is no investigative journalism; all news comes from either "official" sources or the Associated Press. So if we wanted to start wars to "stabilize" Africa in a way that is friendly to our interests, all we would have to do is create an enemy out of nothing and send troops to "rescue" the Africans from them, or find some pre-existing minority rebel group and give them lots of guns to overthrow some government we don't like. There is tyranny all over the world, but what gets reported is what people want you to hear about. So when you hear about the same groups over and over, that came out of nowhere and we are suddenly asked to be concerned about, perhaps this is just someone getting us geared up to send in troops to "maintain order" in a certain part of the world.

To the military the world is a chessboard, and our military hopes to capture all the pieces. There was a guy many years ago who wrote a plan for the USA to take over Russia, and the whole plan begun with (and hinged on) control of Ukraine. Maybe this is the real reason we talk about sending troops to support the neo-Nazi rebels who literally took over the Ukrainian government by force with sniper attacks, who we try to pretend are the real Ukrainian government, and part of why Russia chose to oppose the actions of this new rebel government. Not that it's related to the question, but here's some food for thought: Which country do you think would play the greatest hand in Ukraine's politics, off the top of your head? The USA, or Russia?

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