Boko Haram-ISWAP and the Growing Footprint of Islamic State (IS) in Africa

Boko Haram-ISWAP and the Growing Footprint of Islamic State (IS) in Africa

Boko Haram-ISWAP and the Growing Footprint of Islamic State (IS) in Africa

Article: “Boko Haram-ISWAP and the Growing Footprint of Islamic State (IS) in Africa”

Author: Atta Barkindo

Published in: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 12-17 (6 pages)

Publication Date: March 2023

Publisher: International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research


In November 2015, the Islamic State (IS) dedicated the eighth issue of its English-language monthly propaganda magazine, Dabiq, to the propagation of strict Islamic governance in Africa, with the title “Sharia Alone will Rule Africa”. It was done to counter the growing tentacles of Al-Qaeda (AQ) in Africa. The issue also outlined IS’ strategy on how to mobilize, create and support various regional groups, known as provinces or wilayat, around the continent, whose members carry out violence in its name. In early 2014, different jihadist groups around Africa, such as Boko Haram, began pledging allegiance to then IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leading the region to become the new IS wilayat in Africa. While each province undertook IS-approved activities in terms of violence and governance, one unifying element was total submission to the vision of a self-styled global Sunni caliphate. Today, some African militant groups have regional partners with networks spanning the North African region and straddling the Sahara into East and West Africa. At the same time, it has become an IS recruitment hub, with the terror group co-opting indigenous partners and interfacing with local imams (prayer leaders) to control, influence or intimidate other Islamic sects with similar ideologies to join their cause. Since early 2022, IS has conducted half of its claimed global operations in Africa. This means Africa has emerged as the new center of gravity for IS. With existing structural issues of poverty and dispossession across different African regions, there is the potential for IS to consolidate its presence and serve as a threat to the global order. Against this backdrop, this article examines the place of Boko Haram-Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in this expanding terror network of IS across Africa. It highlights the future scenarios that could emerge if this trend is not checkmated.

Read the full text HERE.

Source: JSTOR

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.