Global Journalist: Why jihadists are taking root in North Africa

Feb 7, 2013

The recent hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria, and Islamist violence in Mali, both illustrate the reach of jihadist movements in Northern Africa.

New centers of fundamentalist Muslim thought emerged in Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya in the 1990s. Terrorist activities have surged in recent years in North Africa and are increasing in intensity. In northern Mali, an extreme Islamist group with links to Al-Qaeda has taken root. Last month, French forces intervened and forced militants controlling Timbuktu into the countryside.

To find out how jihadists have spread through North Africa, Global Journalist spoke to photojournalist Pete Muller, and the BBC World Service's Mary Harper.

Mary Harper is the Africa Editor of the BBC World Service, and has reported on Africa for 20 years.

Pete Muller is a photojournalist based in South Sudan, and is returning to Mali on Sunday to continue documenting the armed conflict. Muller has also been shortlisted in two categories for the Sony World Photography Awards.