The jihadist threat is not new to the Maghreb. However, the fallout of the 2011 Arab uprisings has fundamentally altered the political and security environment of North African countries. While states such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia witnessed an increase in deaths from jihadist attacks, others like Algeria and Morocco experienced a reduced impact.
Despite differences, the threats are persistent and numerous, including local jihadi cells that range from the already settled to the residual to those burgeoning into external groups that operate in the Sahel, such as the well-established al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The mutual lack of trust and cooperation in counterterrorism and security among Maghreb countries further complicates countering such threats. Put together, the region’s security could become even more precarious, and the fight against jihadism might be a long one.