Casualty Figures Show Africa Is Centre Of Islamic State Operations  

The number of people the Islamic State claims it killed in Africa in two weeks of the last month is more than the number it claims to have killed in the rest of the world combined.   

Africa continues to suffer in the hands of Jihadists; the Islamic State has claimed more victims in the continent than anywhere else.

According to the group’s own tally, they killed 114 people in the first two weeks of August.

Although they can’t be independently verified, the claims lend credence to observers who say that Africa has become the centre of operations for the group, following setbacks in Iraq and Syria. 

The Islamic State made the claim in the most recent release of Al-Naba, the extremist group’s weekly propaganda publication. 

Between August 3 to August 17 they killed 114 people in their operations in Africa, they said.

The destruction it has inflicted in other areas of the world has been outweighed by its activity in the continent. 

In the rest of their areas of operation across the world, the Islamic State claimed to have killed 73 people. That’s just over a third more IS casualties in Africa than elsewhere.

Other terrorist groups have claimed to have killed fewer people in recent weeks. Alshabaab claimed to have killed eight people in an attack in Somalia’s Hiran region. Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) claimed assaults in the Niger Republic, Mali, and Burkina Faso, but did not provide a number of its victims in its propaganda material.

A display of ammunition that JNIM claimed to have gotten from an attack in Tillaberi region of Niger Republic. Source: Twitter/Danielle Garofolo

The Islamic State stated that the people counted were victims of its operations in Nigeria, Niger, Central African Republic, Mali, Congo, and Mozambique. It claimed its casualties were both civilians and military.

The attacks were carried out by IS provinces such as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in western Africa and the Sahel, the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) in Central Africa, and some IS fighters in Mozambique. 

The specifics of the attacks were published by the Al-Naba in an infographics and were partly seen by HumAngle in different propaganda messages from the Islamic State media wing, Amaq. 

These claimed attacks have continued as the Islamic State’s new leader, Abu Hafs Alhashimy, continued to receive allegiance to take over the organization leadership following the death of Abu Hussein Al-Quraishy at the hands of Turkish forces. 

IS fighters in Mozambique paying allegiance to Abu Hafs Alhashimy. 

After suffering setbacks in Iraq and Syria, the group has shifted its focus to Africa, urging its members to relocate there and continue their activities by exploiting the relatively weaker resistance where other Jihadi groups operate.

The group’s choice to target Africa is a premeditated move designed to exploit the unstable situation of several African countries such as the upheaval created by political insecurity and poor governance that creates fertile ground for extremism. 

To lure new adherents and carry out more attacks, the terrorist group is also leveraging ethnic tensions and economic inequities across Africa. This strategy not only expands their ranks but also causes a wave of violence that disturbs a sense of serenity.

With the recent coup that ousted President Muhammad Bazoum in Niger Republic, analysts have warned that Jihadists are likely to exploit the tension there if Ecowas intervenes using military force to restore democracy in the country. 

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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