ISIS Fractions and Allies in Africa: Medium-Term Outlook for Further Activity

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Deputy-Director, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Professor, RUDN and SPbGU Universities
Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 12

At the end of 2017, Moscow and Washington separately and at different times announced the defeat of the so-called Islamic state (is). At the end of August 2018, leading news agencies reported that the ISIS group for the first time in almost a year distributed an audio recording, authorship of which is attributed to the leader of the defeated ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling «to continue Jihad». Concurrently, the number of reports from different countries in Asia and Africa about the influx of surviving groups of ISIS increased dramatically. Having come back the returning fighters are actively recruiting jihadist replenishment, engage in clashes with competing local groups and carry out terrorist attacks. It became obvious that after suffering a crushing military defeat in Syria, ISIS did not disappear completely as a threat to the development of many Eastern societies. Moreover, in some parts of the world, the advent of large contingents of «shelled» militants and experienced field commanders gave a new impetus to the activity of the local ISIS units as well as to Daesh’s allies. The author considers the possible scenarios and directions of development of the Islamist terrorist threat in the near and medium term in the African region. The article uncovers the potential and the development trends of all known “provincial” divisions of ISIS in Africa against the background of competitive jihadi groupings in the subregions of the continent, in particular those associated with the structures of “al-Qaida”. In this connection, the author provides his own forecast of the dynamics of relative global “importance” of individual subregions of Africa.

KeywordsISIS, threat forecasting, terrorism, Africa, Eastern societies, information and communication technologies and propaganda
Publication date20.12.2018
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