Report: Radicalisation in the Sahel

Tactics Institute, in collaboration with Stractegia, presents its latest report Radicalisation in the Sahel. From Brussels to Abu Dhabi: Islamic Mobilisation and Colliding Anti-Terrorism Strategies.

You can download the report for free below.

The Sahel region of Africa is locked in a series of conflicts and destabilisation. The conflicts have provided regionally grounded Islamist extremist networks with opportunities to gain access to weapons and money to defend their interests in expanding territories. As a result, transnational terrorist groups have gained ground vis-à-vis national defence forces, requiring the EU to enter a prolonged military engagement as a stakeholder in regional security.

The response to the crisis by external actors takes two trajectories. On the one hand, EU states, notably France, have invested in military and state-building capabilities, while others, such as the UAE and China, have engaged with non-state actors, securing the ability to negotiate with them but also providing weapons and material resources feeding into transnational terrorist capability.

The EU, NATO and other collective security stakeholders need to limit the capacities of these networks to expand their own influence while bolstering Sahel states’ capacities to respond.

For the purposes of addressing collective security in the region and in Europe, the report points towards a strategy of empowering local actors and state institutions.


Barah Mikaïl Founder of Stractegia, a Madrid-based consulting company focusing on the MENA region and Spanish politics. He is also an Associate Professor of International Security at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus and Director of the Observatory on Contemporary Crises. His research focuses on the Geopolitics of the MENA region. Mikail was previously a senior researcher in the Paris-based Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques and a lecturer at the university of Paris-VIII. His latest book, “A Necessary Re-reading of the Arab Spring”, was published in French at the Editions du Cygne in 2012.

Jamie Thomson Security analyst; holds MAs from the University of Oxford (Modern History) and King’s College London (International Relations). In five years with the British Army, he deployed on operations as a platoon commander in Iraq (focusing on security sector reform), and as an intelligence operations officer in Bosnia (working on police liaison). Jamie has subsequently worked in the security industry in Dubai and London, in commercial and intelligence roles. He is currently a Senior Risk Analyst with Northcott Global Solutions.

Lyes Menacer Journalist and head of the International Desk at the Algerian daily newspaper Liberté. He served as a reporter and journalist for La Tribune (2009-2015), Le Soir d’Algérie (2008-2009) and El Watan (2003-2007). Lyes is also a researcher with Stractegia. His research focuses on Algeria, migration movements and human trafficking in the Southern Mediterranean, identity politics and the activity of radical groups in North Africa and the Sahel. Lyes Menacer is the author of several articles that deal with Algeria and North Africa. He also authored several books examining identity issues.

François Chauvancy retired from the French land force with the rank of Brigadier General in 2014. He holds a PhD in Information and Communication Sciences and his research focuses on geopolitics, influence and propaganda in international relations. As Lecturer and Director of Studies, he teaches courses on geopolitics in French universities at Masters’ Degree level and participates in the preparation of national examinations for the civil and military service. Dr Chauvancy regularly comments on current affairs in the media, most recently on Syria and Libya. In 2018, François published a study in geopolitics discussing various aspects of the Qatar crisis, titled: “Blockade of Qatar, the Failed Offensive: Information War, Influence Games, Economic Confrontation”.

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