The Sahel is considered as safe haven and hotbed for violent Islamic activism. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram emerged and based in Algeria and Nigeria respectively. These movements have been using “Islam” to mobilize contention in several countries touched by the Sahel belt. Some variables allowed these movements to be established. The AQIM and Boko Haram were initially established as moderate and conservative movements, but ended as violent movements when what they regarded as free-spaces diminished after they gathered material and non-material resources. This coincided with the radical view of the movements’ members. They followed similar trajectory to violence and are more likely to focus on the entire Sahel as the region provides what they regard as golden opportunity to thrive. The AQIM in particular has a strong command in the Sahel and Boko Haram actors also exist in some Sahelian countries. They had focus on overthrowing governments in Algiers and Abuja, but now threaten the whole Sahel region with violence and illegal activities such as kidnapping and taking hostages.