Does al-Qaeda matter for Africa? : how affiliation with al-Qaeda influences the behavior of African Sunni extremist groups
Hoffman, Hailey Anne.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper seeks to investigate the frequently alleged trend that al-Qaeda is growing and becoming more dangerous in Africa. The study uses data from 2004 to 2009 provided by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) on attacks and targeting by African jihadist groups to compare the behavioral trends of those that have joined al-Qaeda and those that have not. The data are interpreted to assess to what extent joining al-Qaeda seems to bring about behavioral changes in African Sunni terrorist organizations. The study finds that membership in the al-Qaeda organization correlates to drastic increases in activity levels and harm caused to victims in Africa. It also finds that groups that join al-Qaeda tend to increase their targeting of Western symbols and assets, although only moderately. From the insights gained through this analysis, the paper offers policy recommendations for the U.S. government.
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