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  • Analysis document: The hybrid threat: Jihadism and organized crime in the Sahel



Analysis document: The hybrid threat: Jihadism and organized crime in the Sahel

The increasing involvement of the Spanish Armed Forces in new African scenarios makes it important to study the environment in which soldiers will operate when deployed in some areas of operations in which, until recently, there was a lack of knowledge. This is especially important when we talk about the Sahel, an extraordinarily complex geographical, social and cultural context wherein Islam plays a central role. In this environment, the symbiotic relationship between jihadist groups and organized crime seems consolidated since a few years ago. It is based on a close relationship of mutual benefit between jihadists and traffickers. However its outcome has a strong impact on regional and global security by providing the logistical and financial means allowing terrorist groups to design and implement actions that have a huge local and international impact. Changing this situation is an extremely complex process that surpasses the simple military intervention in the Sahel and requires more complex measures starting with the building of strong state structures. Only through the legitimacy of states it is possible to combat the criminal activities of jihadist groups that take advantage of the social structure to create the appropriate economic and political dynamics aimed at changing the political context in which they move and profit.

Author:  Ignacio Fuente Cobo


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