Perspectives on Terrorism is an initiative of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. Visit website
VOL. XIV, Issue 5

The Logic of Violence in Africa’s Extremist Insurgencies

What factors explain the great variation in the target selection of VE groups in Africa? Some tend to focus their attacks mostly on official targets while others show a relative preference for civilians. Most, however, tend to typically change their target selection over time. This article demonstrates that the logic of violence in Africa’s fragile, conflict-prone states is driven by four factors: (1) The degree to which VE groups rely on local support to maintain the insurgency; (2) the dynamics of in-group/out-group differentiation and corresponding hostility; (3) inter-group rivalry and looming power shifts; and (4) the strategies of counterinsurgency employed by governments.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…