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A Continent of Terror: Daesh Sets Up Shop in Africa

Tuesday 21 March 2017, by siawi3



05:19 06.10.2016

As Daesh is pushed out of the Middle East, fleeing members are reportedly taking refuge in Africa. While affiliates such as Boko Haram already operate in certain countries, the violent extremist group seeks to establish its own presence in north African countries including Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

According to the Daily Beast, Daesh, once portrayed as a fearsome cadre of hyper-violent fundamentalist warriors, is now in retreat. The question remains, then, in what lucky country will the survivors regroup?

The news outlet quotes an essay by a Daesh supporter, translated by the Quilliam Foundation, claiming that Libya is “the key,” and a “strategic gateway” to nearby countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Mali, Algeria and Niger.

Photo: Islamic State fighters fire their weapons during clashes with the Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces in Manbij, in Aleppo province, Syria (File) © AP Photo/

Majority of Daesh Terrorists to Leave Syria for Libya by End of 2016

Recent rocket attacks on the Libyan city of Benghazi and the ongoing US bombing of Daesh positions in Sirte lend credence to this notion. Should Daesh manage to capture parts of Libya, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, the group would have a base from which to launch attacks on southern Europe. A 2011 US campaign threw Libya into chaos, which has created fertile soil in that country for recruiting terrorists and mercenaries. Another steady source of jihadists is Tunisia. According to Al Arabya, some 1000 to 3000 Tunisians may be fighting, and dying, under the black flag of Daesh.

A group of female suicide bombers was reported to have been arrested in Morocco, which borders Algeria. To the south, Mali reportedly houses the remains of Colonel Gaddafi’s supporters, who turned into partisans armed with Gaddafi’s weapons after the failed 2011 campaign.

According to the Daily Beast, Africa, a continent long-misunderstood and exploited by the West, is in danger of becoming a very big problem for the rest of the world. Between China’s growing economic presence on the continent, European interest in African uranium, phosphorus and various other mineral resources, and Saudi Arabia spreading influence through its Wahhabi preachers, the continent presents significant potential as the location of another proxy war, similar to that currently ongoing in Syria, which the outlet calls “a horrific parody of the Cold War,” but on a much deadlier scale.

Russian Airborne Forces. (File)
© Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov
Russian Aerospace Forces to Deploy Paratroopers to Egypt for Drills - Defense Ministry

Can emerging economies in northern Africa cope with an increasing jihadist threat? Can the powerful economies and militaries of the Northern Hemisphere counter a religious fundamentalist culture whose members are not afraid to die for their cause?

It appears that Russia, wisely, is unlikely to participate in the Lybian mess, and, as such, there will likely be no Cold War-style proxy war, and, so, no modern well-equipped army to inhibit a jihadist advance. Europe, however, could face terrorist actions on an unprecedented scale, with constant waves of attacks from various points beyond the Mediterranean Sea.

Destroying a force capable of inflicting damage on a continental scale would require a military coalition of a size not seen since World War II. Considering the past fifty years of US warmongering, anyone in the country seeking to make a quick profit might find the idea of battling extremists attractive. Stockholders and others who seek positive returns on their military-industrial investments should be careful what they ask for.