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African Terrorists

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African Terrorists are militia groups from Sub-Saharan Africa who primarily operate around their home countries, carrying out guerrilla warfare against domestic and foreign governments, and frequently being involved in the drug trade. Like all terrorist organizations, they have been known to commit serious atrocities and war crimes, and are frequently shown to be forcibly recruiting underage minors to fight for them.

They will often be serving as mooks to a wealthier, lighter-skinned criminal organization, typically Western or from the former Communist Bloc. Similar to their Middle Eastern counterparts, they are often entirely equipped with surplus Warsaw Pact firearms, supplied by the USSR and China during the Cold War (usually to the Communist revolutionaries in Angola and Mozambique) or bought on the cheap from other warlords.

For terrorism-related sister tropes, see Middle Eastern Terrorists (which includes North Africans), Western Terrorists, South Asian Terrorists, and Far East Asian Terrorists. It also has a sister trope in Amoral Afrikaner, who is almost always white and a member of generally better-equipped Private Military Contractors, but still African in origin (generally white South Africans, with the occasional white Namibian or Rhodesian) and just as nasty.

While Truth in Television, this subject is very volatile in nature, so No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • Since the strip is set in a fictional African nation, it's natural enough that The Phantom has faced some African terrorists. A few groups have been shown forcefully recruiting Child Soldiers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • General Amajagh and his men from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A group of rebels in Nairomi who are secretly being supplied with experimental LexCorp weapons by the US, and, on Lex's orders, are murdered and then burned to frame Superman for the massacre.
  • Beasts of No Nation revolves around these (pictured above). In an unnamed West African country torn apart by civil war, an orphaned boy named Agu gets picked up by the Native Defense Forces (NDF) rebel militia, who force him to join a unit of child soldiers and assist them in committing all sorts of war crimes, while they fight against government forces and other rebel factions.
  • Black Hawk Down features the Somali National Alliance (SNA), which was a real-life militia involved in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu during the Somali Civil War. They are the antagonists fighting against US-led UN forces over control of the city.
  • Black Panther (2018) has a Mook Horror Show scene, where Black Panther himself ambushes a traveling convoy of Nigerian terrorists (who are heavily implied to be members of the real-life jihadist group Boko Haram), in order to rescue about a dozen or so captive women they were transporting. He also spares the last militant, who was a conscripted teenage boy, and lets him go free with the female hostages.
  • Blood Diamond has the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which was a real-life rebel militia that fought in the Sierra Leone Civil War. They commit a very wide range of atrocities, including the conscription of child soldiers; Solomon Vandy's son Dia is one of many boys who are forced to join the RUF.
  • Steven Obanno, an LRA commander, shows up near the beginning of Casino Royale (2006) in a meeting with Mr. White, in order to negotiate a deal with the criminal international banker Le Chiffre to hold the funds of his organization for safekeeping. Word of God is that Obanno was based on the real-life leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony.
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy features Sam Boga and his men, who shoot up the Cabinet of a Bulungi and spend the rest of the film fleeing from the army.
  • In Predators, one member of the diverse assortment of homicidal criminals and soldiers who have been kidnapped by the Predators and trapped on their game reserve planet is Mombasa, an RUF death squad officer from Sierra Leone.
  • Rogue (2020): Within the grasslands of East Africa, a mercenary named Samantha "Sam" O'Hara is leading an operation with a team of multinational mercenaries on a rescue mission to retrieve Asilia Wilson, the teenage daughter of a governor who was abducted for ransom purposes alongside her two schoolmates Chloe and Tessa by Zalaam, the leader of a terrorist cell affiliated with al-Shabaab.
  • The terrorist bar in Team America: World Police features various Islamist terrorists, two of which introduce themselves to a disguised Gary as "Bashir rebels from the country of Somalia." They're among the terrorists gunned down when Sarah sweeps the place with a minigun.
  • Tears of the Sun revolves around a fictional civil war in Nigeria, and features an unnamed rebel group as the antagonists; as they attempt to hunt down a fleeing group of local refugees who are being escorted by a team of US Navy SEALs to the border with Cameroon.
  • Watu Wote is a short film about a band of Muslim terrorists, based out of Somalia but operating in Kenya, who hijack a bus with the intent of killing all the Christians on board.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dempsey and Makepeace: Played With in “Silver Dollar.” The episode sees S.I.10 dealing with a small but well-armed militant group calling themselves the African Liberation Army who are targeting Consolidated Westmore Limited, first attacking their petrol stations and then when their demands aren’t met, poisoning their supplies of cough syrup. Likewise in their demands, they want one million dollars for the company (describing it as a “tax upon their African subsidiaries”) and for the company to use their economic influence to facilitate the release of several political prisoners from a specific military dictator of an unnamed nation of their own choice. It's never confirmed if the members are actual Africans or British descendants as they’re confirmed to all live in West London (though they all speak with generic African accents) and it overall stumps S.I.10 why they would be seemingly randomly targeting this particular public corporation. As Makepeace uncovers, they’re secretly being exploited by the corrupt executives of Consolidation Westmore to drive down the stock price, allowing them to buy up the shares dirty cheap and thus have greater control of the company after their captured and the share prices return to normal.
  • FlashForward (2009): The protagonists came to Somalia to investigate mysterious towers and ran into those guys.
  • In the JAG episode "Embassy", when Harm & Mac are at a reception at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, it's seemingly taken over by a rebel faction supporting an opposition leader. It actually is an elaborate setup by the asshole ambassador to make him look like a hero and discredit the opposition.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Hell" dealt with an LRA warlord from Uganda known as the "Devil of Gulu" responsible for burning down a church with women and children inside, and also has found refuge in the United States. He was brought down after assaulting and trying to kill his former sex slave to keep his identity secret.
  • The rebel army who forces Mr. Eko to become a child soldier in Lost.
  • These appear in Season 7 of 24. Appropriate to the trope, The Man Behind the Man is white Corrupt Corporate Executive Jonas Hodges.

    Video Games 
  • Beyond: Two Souls: Subverted. During her time with the CIA, Jodie goes on a mission into Somalia to assassinate a local warlord to stop the latest insurgency. Only after she completes the mission does she discover that she actually killed the democratically-elected President of the country, and her superiors lied to her.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has the African Militia. They have bases of operation in Sierra Leone and Somalia, and are shown to be a bunch of thugs who kill civilians For the Evulz and help smuggle chemical weapons into Europe for Vladimir Makarov.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour has a mission set in Somalia where you play as the Americans and fight the GLA, which seems to be a reference to al-Qaeda's franchise in Somalia, al-Shabaab (given that the GLA is somewhat an expy of them). The character models and voices don't change to reflect the race and nationality of the terrorists, though.
  • Somali terrorists show up a few times in the Counter-Strike series, namely in Condition Zero and Global Offensive.
  • Nearly every game in the Delta Force series has a mission set in Sub-Saharan Africa. Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, as you can guess, is set entirely in Somalia.
  • Far Cry 2 involves two guerrilla armies whose actions make them look startling like this trope. They are ostensibly fighting for the people while wearing massive irony blinders. In order to get around the game revolving around shooting black people in the face, large numbers of non-black foreigners and mercenaries are included, almost to the point where finding black enemies is a challenge. These allies are PMCs and not terrorists, considering they're only doing it for money.
  • Downplayed with Longinus in Far Cry 4. He's African (in fact, he's from the same country that Far Cry 2 is set in), and he used to be a warlord in the past, before surviving a bullet to the head and converting to Christianity. Now he's an Arms Dealer working for the Golden Path. Additionally, to atone for his sins as a warlord, Longinus is tracking down the blood diamonds he sold that are scattered throughout Kyrat, and he wants Ajay to help with that. As soon as he's done that, he decides to leave Kyrat and travel the world to locate the rest of the blood diamonds, and therefore plays no role in the Full-Circle Revolution that the Golden Path ends up becoming, depending on which of its two co-leaders you bring to power.
  • A non-human variation in Injustice 2. Gorilla Grodd, the leader of the Society, is already African by dint of being a gorilla (if the name didn't clue you in), but this game ups the ante by introducing Grodd giving an impassioned speech to his gorilla soldiers between two flags, bearing the image of two crossed machetes. Subtle, Netherrealm.
  • Akande Ogundimu, or Doomfist, as he's better known, from Overwatch. A gigantic Scary Black Man from Nigeria who happens to be the current leader of the well-known terrorist organization Talon. Doomfist, apart from being armed with a massive mechanical Power Fist serving as his right arm, is also a Social Darwinist who believes that conflict makes humanity stronger, and he's willing to go toe-to-toe with the titular superhero team (whose members include an enhanced gorilla, need we remind you). Even before he got his mechanical arm, Doomfist was strong enough to punch his way out of jail with one arm.
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter has jihadists in Somalia.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is partially set in Angola during its real-life civil war in the 1980s, there's a minor subplot regarding an unnamed rebel militia that would definitely qualify as "terrorists". This group, which is involved in a tribal conflict, had abducted numerous young boys from their families, forcing them to kill their own parents and fight for them as child soldiers.
  • Project Reality introduced the "African Resistance Fighters" faction in v1.0.
  • The terrorists in SimTower who occasionally plant a bomb in your building are represented by a Cool Shades-wearing, trenchcoat-clad Scary Black Man who looks like he just came from Nigeria.


Video Example(s):



OA finds an Arabic banner in a suspect's cabinet, supposedly used by Al-Shabaab in Somalia. He later shows it to Maggie.

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Main / AfricanTerrorists

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