The jihadist massacre in Mozambique, in which numerous victims were slaughtered – many were beheaded – highlighted a massive terrorist attack across Africa.
Terrorism in West Africa was already the new front against global jihad. 300 British among 15,000 UN troops were there on peacekeeping missions.
In a separate battle, 5,000 French soldiers are embroiled in fierce firefights against jihadists in the region, and the security nightmare spreads.
Global Risk Consultancy’s French jihad expert Olivier Guitta recently warned: “Africa will be the battlefield for jihad for the next 20 years, replacing the Middle East.”
Thousands of local troops from African countries are also fighting to repel the Jhadists, whose numbers seem to be growing day by day.
Terrorism is already threatening the entire Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, with hotspots in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, after emigrating from Libya, Chad and further north from the Middle East.
The slaughter in Palma in northern Mozambique in southern Africa, also 3,750 miles away, underscores a terrible expansion of terrorist attacks by Islamist terror groups across the continent.
And although it appeared to be an ISIS-affiliated rabble, retired Colonel Lionel Dyck, whose staff at the private security firm fought the insurgents, warned: “This was a different caliber of terrorists.”
It is also feared that the weapons they used, such as mortars, were brought from neighboring Tanzania and that the fighters looked tried and tested and even trained.
A security analyst said: “The problem is that fighters have had to migrate after the defeat of Islamic State in the Middle East and the deadlock in Libya.
“Many of them moved to Chad and Niger and moved to Mali to take advantage of unregulated space and an insecure government in Mali to build bases.
“When you combine that with poverty, discontented youth, civil wars and general dissatisfaction, you have an ideal recruiting tool for attracting very angry jihadists.
“It almost doesn’t matter if it’s an Islamic state – there have been fluid movements between ISIS and Al-Qaeda and all other networks and jihad sub-franchisees.
“Some groups have even organized job swaps where you can do some kind of paid internship in another group to learn another form of guerrilla terrorism.
“And it’s spreading because, as we saw in Mozambique, weak local security forces mean they can’t fall hard unless a government is directly threatened.
“And if you think it doesn’t affect the UK, think again – we have a huge diaspora in the UK and it only takes one person to be excited about jihad to launch an attack.
“But it is also correct to say that British companies have invested billions in oil companies and other financial interests across the continent.”
Experts also fear that many attacks, like the one in Mozambique, are triggered by local grievances by groups that then cling to the Islamic State and attract jihad fighters.
This daunting clearing house system in much of Africa means that groups are “bleeding” into neighboring areas and focusing on the newest hot spot.
Sometimes they are paid to fight by local organizations, but often the rewards from looting and robbery are enough to promote them, all in the name of their chosen form of militancy.
Global warming has also led to food shortages, water shortages, migration and crippling poverty, and has pushed poverty-stricken youth back into the arms of the jihad network.
A recent study by global risk researchers conducted by Verisk Maplecroft found that seven out of ten of the world’s most dangerous countries are currently in Africa.
In her report she warns: “The violence in the terrorist hot spots of Africa is getting worse and the risk of attack is increasing in many countries in the region, including some countries that were previously considered safe.
“The quarterly ranking of 198 countries shows that sub-Saharan Africa is home to seven of the world’s riskiest locations, making Africa the worst performing region in the world.”
The warning comes like in Mali, a multi-European force is supporting local troops in the United Nations’ Operation Minusma and in the French-led counter-combat missions Operation Barkhane.
British “Ranger Battalions” will be in small, well-trained units later this year to train and fight together with the local armed forces against terrorism in Africa.
Hundreds of mobile British infantrymen are stationed in Gao, Mali, protecting locals on long-range desert patrols while French troops fight fierce insurgents in the north.
For the past four years, British forces in countries such as Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria have trained local armed forces to address the growing threat of terrorism.
Mali, Burkina Faso, western Niger
Jamat at Nusrat al Islam Wal Muslims (JNIM) is a coalition of armed groups with al Qaeda connections but also connections to criminal gangs and really deadly.
This armed mob is responsible for around 1,000 attacks and the killing of around 8,000 people in the past year.
This group devastated the Sahel.
The Islamic State in West Africa is also represented in these three countries, an offshoot of a split in Boko Haram in Nigeria that encouraged the locals to consider him a kind of “Boko lite” by being nicer to the locals and being better off focused on military targets rather than civilians.
Boko Haram (founded 2010) – Means “Westernization is sacrilege”.
An IS that supports insane riots, financed mainly on the ground through robbery, extortion, searches, kidnapping and takeover of villages.
Stop in the northeast. Notorious for kidnapping hundreds of school girls.
It killed more than 50,000 people and displaced more.
There is also Boko’s splinter group called ISIS in West Africa or ISWA, which was founded in 2015 as a split from Boko and is responsible for thousands of murders.
Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania
Al-Shabaab or “the young men” and one of the deadliest and most established al-Qaeda subdivisions.
Founded in Somalia in 2006, the company has not registered with al-Qaeda for six years and is behind large-scale and well-organized insurgent attacks such as the attack on the 2104 Westgate shopping center.
They have spread to neighboring Kenya and Tanzania.
There are also fears that they had a loose relationship with elements of Boko Haram. They killed tens of thousands.
Oddly enough, the group responsible for the recent attack in Palma is believed to be known locally as al-Shabaab, although there are no apparent links to the Somalia uprising and this network is linked to the Islamic State.
This shady group is actually called Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and has been around since 2017.
Unfortunately, the security officers there did not take them seriously and simply dismissed them as bandits.