Jim Carey | The Pontiac Tribune
ISIS affiliate violence continued in East Africa on Monday and led to Kenyan soldiers opening fire on suspected Al-Shabaab militants, raising concerns over the global expansion of groups affiliated with both Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
ISIS AFFILIATE STRIKES EAST AFRICA
Kenya — With the recent rise in the volume of attacks by Islamic extremists of all stripes across Africa, the evidence of ISIS affiliate expansion into the region is piling up.
This Monday; Kenyan soldiers opened fire on two of these suspected militants from a group which had already claimed responsibility for multiple attacks near the border of Somalia.
Eastern Africa has been a hotbed of criminal activity from terrorism to piracy with Somalia at the center of it. Kenya has already been engaged in a conflict withe the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab but now a recent split within their ranks has complicated matters further.
It seems that in the past few weeks around 200 former members of Al-Shabaab– allegedly consisting of primarily foreign fighters— left the group and declared themselves as a member cell of the Islamic State.
The leaders of this new group include Mohamed Kuno who is wanted for an April attack on a Kenyan university.
The shootings near the border of the two suspected militants mark the beginning of the Kenyan military operation to flush out militants suspected to be regrouping in Somalia.
The threat of an ISIS affiliate emerging in a totally new region has given the Kenyan security forces a second wind in the war on Islamic extremism, even though Kenyan officials have already “confirmed” several times that Al-Shabaab had “been defeated.”
Kenyan officials have already “confirmed” several times that Al-Shabaab had “been defeated.”
Now that we know these statements can’t be true and it is confirmed there are now several hundred fighters who do technically belong to ISIS in the region, the question becomes; can Kenya and the African Union handle this problem? ISIS poses a type of threat world powers weren’t ready to deal with, now imagine a nation like Kenya, one with few of the technological advancements of the West.
With ISIS making new calls for violence in Saudi Arabia and Israel and carrying out attacks in Libya, it is clear they’re looking to expand globally by finding new alliances anywhere they can.
Add this to the increase of Islamic extremists attacks encompassing the rest of the entire continent, it may not be challenging for ISIS to continue making new friends in Africa.
It’s important to keep in mind that Western and Eastern powers already have assets spread throughout Africa.
European nations have plenty of military bases across the northern half of Africa and the Chinese investment has gotten so heavy that Chinese nationals are now highly valued targets for kidnapping.
Throw ISIS into this mix– we may be looking at a whole host of new problems for our world leaders to propose potentially devastating or at least idiotic solutions for.
Either way, the expansion of this war into Africa shows that it truly is a global conflict and the next act will be on a new stage with potential for even more actors getting involved in the future.