Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab – Similarities and Differences

An Analysis of the Genesis, Evolution and Strategies of the Islamist Violent Extremist Groups in Africa

  • Kozera Cyprian Aleksander
  • Popławski Błażej
doi: 10.32576/nb.2019.4.2


The authors offer an analysis of the genesis, evolution, and strategies of three Islamist extremist groups in three parts of Africa: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the borderland of Algeria and Mali; Boko Haram in the borderland of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon; and al-Shabaab in Eastern Africa. Through examining the three comparative case studies they argue that the religious agenda of these groups plays the role of a façade only. The most important reasons of the spread of terrorism in all three regions are related to the political and economic conditions, feelings of relative deprivation, low level of trust in government authorities and the frustration of marginalised groups.


Boko Haram al-Qaeda al-Shabaab Africa Maghreb terrorism extremism