The Islamic State in West Africa.
The Islamic State (IS) has sought to expand its neo-jihadist brand of militancy across the globe since its rapid expansion in Syria and Iraq. The rise of smaller groups claiming allegiance to alBaghdadi’s so-called caliphate has become a significant trend internationally, adding to the myriad of al-Qaeda’s affiliated subgroups across the Middle East.
Many of IS affiliates have used the black and white flag as the symbol of a campaign to undermine governments, and fulfil their ambition of carving out states administered under Sharia’a law. The IS expansion in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions in recent years has exacerbated an already fragile humanitarian situation, and poses a real threat to states, humanitarians and the international community at large.
This paper aims to analyze IS entrance in West Africa, by 1) reviewing the origins of the group’s affiliates in the region (Boko Haram and al-Mourabitoun), 2) exploring the two groups’ modus operandi and main bastions, and 3) analyzing the response against terrorism in the region.