When Nigerian terrorist militia Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to the self-proclaimed caliph of the “Islamic State” (IS), a new dimension was added to the interconnectedness of jihadist extremists. Is a corridor of violence and terror emerging that runs from Nigeria through other African countries to the Middle East? What structures are jihadist networks within Europe using in order to mobilize combatants for “jihad”? Should we expect an increasing radicalization and be worried about Europe’s security?
The GIGA Forum will confront the often very emotionally laden public debate with a focused discussion featuring expert lectures. The goal is to understand the political and social backgrounds, motives and strategies of these groups. Stephan Rosiny will analyse the development of IS both in the context of the collapse of Iraq since the war began there in 2003 and in light of the Syrian uprising, which started in 2011 and has since escalated into a civil war. Robert Kappel will investigate the emergence of Boko Haram in Nigeria, its spillover into neighbouring countries and its convergence with IS. Andreas Hoffmann will tackle the questions of whether jihadist networks represent a danger to Germany and what measures would be best taken to confront this danger.
Jan Hieber is the Kriminaldirektor of the LKA in Hamburg. From 2009 to 2014, he was in the State Security Department, where he was tasked with the prevention and combatting of ideological-jihadist extremism and terrorism.
From 2004 to 2011, Robert Kappel was the president of the GIGA, where he is still active as a Senior Researcher. Among his particular research interests are political and economic developments in Africa.
Stephan Rosiny is a scholar at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies who focuses on Islamism and power-sharing in multi-ethnic societies.
Johannes von Dohnanyi is a journalist and author. As a long-time foreign correspondent, he has dealt extensively with the expansion of Islamism and the networks behind it, such as Al Qaeda.