British Youths from African communities could be radicalised as al-Qaida looks at Africa as a potential new front to build its strength, according to a study by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Valentina Soria, a counter-terrorism research analyst, said Africa represents a potential new front for counter-terrorism in Britain in her report titled "Global Jihad Sustained Through Africa".

She said al-Qaida affiliations such as AQ in the Maghreb and al-Shabaab in Somalia, a terror group banned in the UK and attempts to influence the terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria already evident across the continent suggests the development of some disturbing new trends.

"The UK cannot expect to remain immune as al-Qaida, which is weakened following the death of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in May last year, looks to partnerships in Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa to re-group and re-energise itself," she wrote.

Soria said that the radicalisation of British youths seen in some sections of the Pakistani, North African and Indian communities over the last 15 years could spread to a greater extent across Somali communities too.

"Most significant is the potential for radicalisation and then mobilisation of a new subset of British youths," she said.

"The UK could soon be facing much greater radicalisation among the Somali minority and new radicalisation in some sections of other communities from east and West African countries, she wrote on the report.

She said that the dynamics of jihadism in Africa may provoke direct terrorist attacks inside the UK but said there had been no direct public evidence of this happening.

"The UK cannot expect to remain immune from the 'spill-over' effects of events that could reshape part of the African continent," she added.

The BBC reported that a government spokeswoman said: "We are tackling the threat of home-grown terrorism with our new prevention strategy, which is challenging extremist ideology and tackling the radicalisation of vulnerable people."

"We are also working with governments in Africa to improve their capacity to tackle the terrorist threat."