Research Note: Terrorism in Northwestern Africa: Mali, Mauretania, and Algeria: What START’s Quantitative Data (1970-2011) Can and Cannot Tell Us

Richard J Chasdi


The murder of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens and three American support personnel in Benghazi, Libya, happened on September 11, 2012, presumably to commemorate the looming calamity of September 11, 2001 events [1]. Plainly, that terrorist assault and the riots in Cairo, Egypt that followed, brings into sharp relief the underlying threat of Al-Qaeda and other Sunni Islamic revivalist extremists in Northern Africa - collectively referred to as Salafis. To be sure, recent threats by Al-Qaeda chieftain Ayman al-Zawahari to assault Western interests abroad against the backdrop of the “Arab Spring,” coupled with effective and sustained efforts by Al-Qaeda and its “affiliates” in parts of Africa to create new “safe-havens,” appears to signal a new phase of transition in the global jihad. [2] Empirical analysis might provide some insight into new “post-bin Laden era” terrorist assault trends.[3]

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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