Countering Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamo (al-Shabaab) Insurgency In Mozambique

Published On : January 16, 2019
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Executive Summary

By investigating the factors that contribute to and the risks posed by the series of armed insurgent attacks by Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamo (ASWJ), also locally known as Ansar al-Sunna and Al-Shabaab, since October 2017 in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique, this report aims to discuss the context and propose ideas for effective counter-insurgency measures with a minimally intrusive military footprint.

Since Q3 2017, and up to early December 2018, analysts have recorded 51 attacks that appear to be growing in intensity and lethality, despite the arrest of almost 500 suspects. The group’s activities pose a potentially devastating threat to the promise of lucrative on- and off-shore gas exploration and extraction operations by multinational corporations such as Anadarko and ExxonMobil, in addition to terrorizing local populations.

The suggestions focus on installing a small specialized military presence, intelligence gathering capabilities, multi-party liaisons, anti-smuggling operations, and cross-border cooperation to curtail the ability of ASWJ to terrorize civilians, imprint their radical Islam ideology and conduct organized crime activities. 


Published By:

Dr. Joan Swart

Senior Analyst – Psychology of Terrorism – Africa Desk (South Africa)

Dr. Joan Swart is a South African psychologist, author, consultant and researcher. Dr. Swart has completed Masters in Forensic Psychology at the HLC-accredited Walden University and a doctorate at the BPPE-approved Eisner Institute for Professional Studies, based in Encino, California. She is currently a consultant and researcher at the Apsche Institute, based in Leesburg, Virginia. She is also a consulting committee member at the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC). Swart is an editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal, International Journal of Behavioural Consultation and Therapy (IJBCT), that is published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr Joan has authored many books.

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