A review of violent events involving militant Islamist groups in Africa over the past year ending March 31 reveals the following trends:
- Violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa over the last year increased by 38 percent over the previous 12-month period (2,933 vs. 2,117). This continues an upward trend observed in 2017 after a brief decline in 2016. The surge in activity is not the result of any one factor. Rather, it reflects increases associated with all major militant Islamist groups on the continent—al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Islamic State (ISIS), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
- Al Shabaab was linked to 58 percent of all reported violent events by militant Islamist groups in Africa (1,749 out of 2,933) over the last year. It was also associated with the greatest number of reported fatalities (4,834 out of 10,535), amounting to 46 percent of the total.
- While their activity has increased, the major militant groups each continue to be geographically concentrated (i.e., Somalia, Lake Chad Basin, and central Mali). This highlights the distinct local factors associated with each context as opposed to a single monolithic threat.