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Global Islamism Monitor - No. 11

Edited by Ilan Berman
October 5, 2015

Despite the Somali government's efforts in recent months to clip the wings of Al-Shabaab, the Islamist group is once again on the offensive. Over the past two weeks, it has carried out raids on two towns - Yaqbariweyne in the lower Shabelle region and
Janale, situated south of Mogadishu – capturing two military bases in the former. According to local Somali officials, the group now controls much of the Shabelle region, south of the country's capital. (Beirut Daily Star, September 19, 2005) 


The growing radicalization of Canadian youth by extremists has spurred the government of Stephen Harper into action. In Calgary, local police are poised to launch a program called "ReDirect," which is designed specifically for vulnerable young people who could be targeted by Islamic extremist groups, as well as far right ones. The program centers on a referral system whereby teachers or family members can refer an at-risk to government-approved counselors and mentors. 

But "ReDirect" is just the beginning. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will launch a national intervention strategy by the end of this year, and hopes are running high that this national attention will yield a slowdown in the radicalization of Canada's at-risk population. (
Calgary Herald, September 15, 2015)


Paris, meanwhile, is looking south in its efforts to counter the radicalization of its Muslim population. A two-day visit to Morocco by French President Francois Hollande has netted a new agreement on religious education. Under the arrangement agreed to by Hollande and Moroccan King Mohammed VI, up to 50 French imams annually will receive religious training at the Kingdom's Mohammed VI Institute in Rabat, which opened earlier in 2015. The training, the two leaders said in a joint statement, will ensure that religious figures in France learn "an Islam with the right balance," and which adheres to the "values of openness and tolerance." (
Radio France International, September 20, 2015) 


Kremlin officials are raising the alarm over the growing number of Russian militants who have migrated to Syria to join the ranks of the Islamic State. According to Russia's First Deputy Director of Federal Security, Sergei Smirnov, approximately 2,400 Russian nationals are now fighting with ISIS. This figure, according to Smirnov, is supplemented by "about 3,000" Central Asian Islamists now active in the Middle East. (
Reuters, September 22, 2015) 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The statistics cited by Smirnov showcase a major expansion in the involvement of Russian Islamists in the conflict in Syria. Only a year ago, Russian authorities were estimating that 800 Russian nationals had joined ISIS. Today, that figure has tripled.]

Related Categories: Middle East; Africa; Russia; Radical Islam

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