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Special Reports

Purist Salafism in the Sahel and its position on the Jihadist Map

Countries in the African Sahel region are facing crises that appear to share a common theme, in that they are all manifestations of a new, “Salafist era”. The nature of these crises raises questions about restructured politics, security mechanisms to combat Salafist organisations that are as undulating as chains of sand in the Sahara, and the religion that is used by both the Salafist-Jihadists and their enemies as a battlefield. To study the Salafist scene in this desert region, requires research into the historical and intellectual roots of the philosophy, cultural expression, and possible outcomes as phenomena of religious extremism.

It is fair to say that the Salafist movement in Algeria represents the main branch of Salafism in the African Sahel. Most, if not all, the existing Salafist movements in the region emanated from Algerian Salafism, whose militant leaders were the first instructors of armed jihadist groups.

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