The article asks why the area stretching from Senegal over Nigeria to the Horn of Africa/East Africa is so important to European security. The area is clearly not the “near abroad” like the Middle East/North Africa or the former communist countries to the east. The article launches three arguments aimed at explaining the European Union's crisis management policy towards the region and in particular its strong focus on failed states and terrorism. First, there is a perception among EU decision-makers that Europe's security is threatened by a “Somaliasation” of African states. The second argument states that EU decision-makers are so strongly influenced by French and US security priorities that fighting terrorism becomes a remarkably high priority of the Union's Africa policy. Third, EU decision-makers share a common notion that immigrant communities in Europe might be inspired by the radicalisation taking place among Muslims in some African countries. Thereby, the Muslim immigrant communities may contribute to breeding “home-grown” terrorists. The article concludes that the perception of a threat stemming from “Somaliasation” in Africa, the impact of French and US security priorities and the fear of “home-grown terrorists” explain the comprehensive crisis management initiatives launched by Brussels in recent years.