Islamic State, Largely Defeated at Home, Is Rebuilding in Africa

Islamic State, Largely Defeated at Home, Is Rebuilding in Africa
Islamic State, Largely Defeated at Home, Is Rebuilding in Africa

Shortly before, Islamic State had claimed its first attack in Congo, where three soldiers were shot dead by what the group said was a new Central African wilayat, or province. He also praised Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which operates in the part of the Sahel region that overlaps Mali and Niger. Africa, he said, would be a land of rebirth.

The loss of the core, the caliphate, was a huge blow to them,” says Thomas Abi-Hanna, a security analyst with Stratfor. “They are really trying to play up the gains they’ve made elsewhere, and Africa’s arguably the place where they’ve made the most gains.”

The continent is fertile ground. Many African states are struggling with a mix of dire poverty and soaring populations. Corruption also fuels discontent, which Islamic State has proved adept at exploiting to recruit fighters and gain support among locals. The countries where it’s taken root “face severe resource constraints and have limited military capability, making it more difficult for them to counter violent extremist organizations,” said General Stephen Townsend, the incoming head of U.S. Africa Command, speaking at a congressional hearing in April.

Islamic State had more than 6,000 fighters in Africa in the middle of last year, according to a paper published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. The biggest cell is Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap), which has 3,500 members according to the CTC, most of them in northeastern Nigeria.That makes it the second-largest terrorist organization in Africa after al-Shabaab, which is based in Somalia and linked to al-Qaeda.

In the video, al-Baghdadi announced he’d accepted a pledge of loyalty from a group in Burkina Faso and talked of exploiting recent political upheaval to gain footholds in Algeria and Sudan.


Center for Africa Studies (AFRAM) which located in Ankara, is an organization facilitating under the administration of African Affairs Council (AFAC). It makes various researches about Africa to enhance economic and cultural bounds between Africa and Turkey. AFRAM’s publishings has been shared with different institutions as they require to obtain.


Africa Observatory is one the publishing of AFRAM and it has been published each two weeks. It has been delivered to different institutions via e-mail.

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