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Political Islam in Somalia

The thesis of this analysis is that most of the wide range of Islamic political activities and agendas present in Somalia can coexist with Western security concerns, but that two radical Islamist agendas inside Somalia constitute serious threats. These are (1) the commitment to jihad against the Ethiopian government (embraced mainly by Somali Islamists with some external support) and (2) the commitment to a terrorist war against the West (embraced by a very small number of Somali and non-Somali radicals associated with Al Qaeda). A collorary to this thesis is the argument that distinguishing between the "benign" and "malignant" strains of political Islam in Somalia is a difficult but vital first step in establishing successful security strategies in the Horn.


Resource published 2002

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