Study highlights ISIS expansion in Africa as it loses swathes in Middle East

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Tue, 29 Jun 2021 - 05:56 GMT

Late Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was killed by an ISIS rival - Still image

Late Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was killed by an ISIS rival - Still image

CAIRO – 29 June 2021: As the Islamic State (ISIS) group is defeated in Syria and Iraq, it is gaining a foothold in Africa, threatening regional stability, a study by Future for Advanced Research and Studies.

The UAE-based think tank said in a June-20 analysis that developed operational and strategic activities of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under Ugandan Moussa Seka Baluku and the Al-Shabab militant group of Mozambique, led by Tanzanian Abu Yasser Hassan, point to aid received from ISIS.

On Monday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned that ISIS is still a serious threat despite liberating stretches of land from its grip in Iraq and Syria, requiring concerted efforts to eliminate it.

At the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS conference in Rome, Shoukry expressed concerns about the increasing activities of ISIS-affiliated groups in some parts of Africa, underscoring that Egypt is committed to enhancing cooperation with African nations in combating terrorism.

In the analysis by Future think tank, author s, Dr. Hamdy Abdel Rahman said Both militant organizations seek to follow the ideology and system of ISIS. This is most apparent in the propaganda and media discourse of the so-called Wilayat Central Africa, which is based in DRC and Mozambique.

The ADF established a relationship with ISIS at an early stage, as this rebel group has contacts and ties abroad and benefitted from networking to gain funding and logistic services, said Abdel Rahman.

For its part, ISIS paid great attention to its new arm in DRC and northern Mozambique in its communiques since 2019 to prove it lingers and expands despite the defeats in Syria and Iraq.

The ISIS expansion in Africa complicates transnational efforts against terrorism as it recruits more foreign fighters from the region and beyond, relying on the allure of violent jihadist rhetoric amid unstable security conditions. This threatens regional stability, according to the analysis.

Further, the death of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau at the hands of a rival ISIS element led by Abu Musab al-Barnawy could establish ISIS dominance on the violent jihadist scene in west and central Africa, the analysis concluded.

 

 

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