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America Abroad - Islamism in Africa

Airs Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM on 90.3 WCPN

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America Abroad - Islamism in Africa

Anchored by Tess Vigeland

Islamism in Africa

The rise of Islamism in Africa may threaten to further destabilize an already fragile continent.

The recent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi underscored the dangers posed by extremist groups in Libya. But these risks extend beyond Libya, with the rise of jihadist organizations like al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine, and Boko Haram. This month America Abroad takes listeners to Mali, Nigeria, Libya and Kenya to explore Islamism in Africa.


Al Qaeda’s expansion and migration
David Ottaway, senior scholar at the Wilson Center, and Bruce Riedel, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explain the history of al Qaeda’s expansion in the Middle East and Africa through the establishment of local affiliates.

Benghazi attacks: Who was responsible?
Reza Jan of the American Enterprise Institute speaks with host Tess Vigeland about the rise of armed groups in Libya since the fall of Qaddafi – including those suspected of attacking the US consulate in Benghazi.
Boko Haram in Nigeria
Sam Olukoya reports from Nigeria, where the indigenous extremist group Boko Haram continues to gain strength, and may have established ties with al Qaeda.

Terrorism in Timbuktu
In northern Mali, Islamist groups have implemented strict Sharia law, causing thousands to flee south to the capital of Bamako. But Malians are slowly beginning to return north, encouraged by better job prospects and a cheaper cost of living. Katarina Höije reports.

Islamism on the Swahili Coast
Reporter Hilary Heuler takes us to Mombasa, Kenya, where a Muslim secessionist group with ties to Somalia’s al Shabaab has sparked violence that could threaten Kenya’s upcoming elections.

Volatility in northern Mali
Host Tess Vigeland and Michael Shurkin of RAND discuss the complex relationship in northern Mali between Islamists, government forces and the Tuareg rebel group.

Additional Information


Government/Politics, Ethics/Religion, Race, Terrorism

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