Subcommittee on National Security to Examine U.S. Counterterrorism Priorities and Challenges in Africa

Dec 16, 2019
Press Release

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, will hold a hearing on the growing threat of violent extremism to U.S. national security interests in Africa.

WHERE:  2154 Rayburn House Office Building 

WHEN:  Tuesday, December 17, 2019

TIME:  2:00 p.m.

The hearing will be broadcast here


This hearing will examine the current terrorism landscape across the African continent and evaluate the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, and affiliated terrorist organizations.  The hearing will also assess whether existing counterterrorism and assistance resources are being used effectively to achieve U.S. strategic objectives and promote stability and security in Africa.


  • Across the African continent, extremist activity increased from 288 attacks in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018.  Organizations, including Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and various regional affiliates of ISIS, continue to destabilize already fragile African states, with significant implications for U.S. national security interests.
  • Drivers of terrorist recruitment and violence in Africa are systemic, including but not limited to factors such as widespread poverty, the expansion of illicit trade in vast border areas, ethnic divisions, and weak or abusive governance.
  • Under the Trump Administration’s National Security Strategy, in November 2018, the Department of Defense announced that it would reduce its overall footprint in Africa from approximately 7,200 personnel to about 6,480 and that in certain regions such as West Africa, emphasis would shift “from tactical assistance to advising, assisting, liaising, and sharing intelligence.”

Judd Devermont

Director, Africa Program
Center for Strategic & International Studies

Adotei Akwei
Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations
Amnesty International

Alexis Arieff
Specialist in African Affairs
Congressional Research Service

Joshua Meservey
Senior Policy Analyst, Africa and the Middle East
The Heritage Foundation

116th Congress