Al Qaeda strategists are beginning to see a future in Africa. There's this recent strategic analysis from an AQ strategist:
Recently, a new article published by a virtual magazine of supporters of global Jihad—Sada al-Jihad (Echo of Jihad)—has very clearly sketched the new direction of Al-Qaeda or global Jihad – towards Africa. The magazine, which celebrated in June 2006 its 7th issue, appears to be an alternative to the “late” popular Jihadi virtual magazine Sawt al-Jihad, which was published by Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. It disappeared after the severe and successful measures taken by the Saudi authorities against the Saudi branch of Al-Qaeda.
The article in Arabic, titled “Al-Qaeda is moving to Africa” by Abu Azzam al-Ansari provides us with an analysis of all the possible advantages of Africa as a battlefield and greenhouse for global Jihad. Here is the translation of the full text of the article, which speaks very clearly for itself.
Then there's this from Osama himself:
Speaking to Somalis, bin Laden said "you can survive only by upholding Islam and being one [in] hand with the Islamic Courts…" He urged them to avoid negotiations with Somali General Abdullahi Yusuf's Baidoa-based government. "There must be no dialogue…except with the sword," he said. "Don't waste time. Fight them immediately." Yusuf is a U.S. agent, bin Laden argued, and will be used to further the thinly disguised U.S. war on Islam. He continued: "Preparations for sending [international] military forces to Somalia upon America's instructions are part of this context, claiming that it is meant to help the people of Somalia and to establish security there. By saying so, they would be lying. "Somalia has been suffering from tribal feuds since the defeat of the United States in it several years ago. Can any sensible person believe that they have discovered this tragedy today? Or is the real reason that the Islamic Courts have controlled the capital and imposed its influence on most of the important areas and are now striving to establish an Islamic state. "We cannot possibly understand the reason for the arrival of any military forces in Somalia from whatever state, even if it is claimed that they are Islamic, other than as a continuation of the Crusade against the Islamic world. We warn all countries of the world against responding to America by sending international forces to Somalia" .
And now this on Niger:
A member of a password-protected al-Qaeda-affiliated forum posted a message yesterday, Sunday, August 27, 2006, describing the Nigerien people as faithful and true to Islam, and claiming that Niger may be a state for future jihad. The author, providing maps of Niger and demarcations of its eight regions, including Niamey, writes that he was told of the people of Niger by a fellow Muslim. Despite their poverty and oppression by a sectarian regime, which sides with the United States and purportedly has a Jewish presence, they have much love and devotion of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. The Muslim brother to whom the author refers advocates Emirs of the Mujahideen to deploy jihadi brigades to the Islamic Niger, and states: “Niger is looking for men from the Northern area like the Islamic Algerian Sahara. In the South there are mountains, hills and forests which suit the jihadi purpose”.