Solomon, Hussein. Terrorism and counter-terrorism in Africa: fighting insurgency from Al Shabaab, Ansar Dine and Boko Haram. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 182p index afp ISBN 9781137489883 cloth, $90.00
This timely, brief, but pricey comparative study of three contemporary cases investigates the roots of Islamist terrorism in Africa; its irruptions in Somalia, Mali, and Nigeria; and the counterterrorism strategies of the African Union (AU) and the US. Solomon (Univ. of the Free State, South Africa) argues that Islamist ideology emerged in the generally tolerant environment of African Islam as a historical legacy of Arabism and Islamism, the influence of Islamic charities generously supported by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States, and the endemic vulnerabilities of economic inequality and bad governance across Africa.
In each case, he shows how uniquely local conditions helped spawn Islamist insurgencies and that counterterrorism efforts by the AU and US have failed to appreciate and address these local realities. Solomon's prescriptions include broader preventive strategies, a more holistic counterterrorism strategy that incorporates political and development dimensions, and more effective responses by African states and the AU. He ends with the interesting assertion that the ideological poverty of the Islamist project will seal its fate. Recommended for university libraries; collections supporting programs in international relations, security studies, Africa, and Islam; and larger public library systems. Summing Up: ** Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.--J. P. Smaldone, Georgetown University