Jihad in the Arabian Sea
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The lands and coasts across the Bab el Mandeb--the tiny strait that separates the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean--at the southern tip of the Red Sea, have for centuries had a forbidding reputation as lands of piracy and privation. In Jihad in the Arabian Sea, Camille Pecastaing examines the twenty-first-century challenges facing this troubled and treacherous region. He looks at the past and present of the key players in the area, including Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti, the Sudan, and Ethiopia, reviewing the terrorist activities of Al Qaeda, the state of lawlessness that has led to the rise of piracy in the western Indian Ocean, the rise of the radical Shabab group, and the spread of extremist forms of Islam in the south.
Pecastaing displays a real feel for the land, seamlessly blending history and current headlines to paint a picture of a region that, for most of the past two thousand years, has never quite evolved into the era of the modern state. He shows how the current challenges of civil war, piracy, radical Islamism, and terrorism, along with a real risk of environmental and economic failure on both sides of the strait, could lead to still more social dislocation and violence in this strategically important area.