Almost every day in the news we hear about successful airstrikes that have hit ISIS or the Nusra Front (and Al Qaeda) in Syria. The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have taken back territory from ISIS and are the first group to go on the offensive on the ground against them backed by US air power. Even several Middle East nations have formed a coalition against ISIS and now Russia is bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria too. But are we missing something very important with the growing radical Islamic element in Africa? There is a good chance that not paying more attention to the ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates in Africa may come back to haunt us.
Why do I feel this way? Take a look at some of the terrorist attacks that these groups have claimed responsibility for in Africa over the last few years:
Just in the last few days, six heavily armed terrorists stormed the beach at a popular hotel for westerners in the African nation of Ivory Coast. It was rumored their intended target was US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Marcus Jadotte and his delegation, but fortunately they were delayed and had not arrived at the hotel yet. Still, 16 innocent people lost their lives in the attack, some of them small children, and scores more were injured.
That is not the only hotel attacks to take place in the last year in Africa either. Twenty people died in an attack on a Mali hotel in November of 2015 and in January of 2015 another group of terrorists killed 30 people when they stormed a hotel in Burkina Faso. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for all three attacks. And let’s not forget that ISIS allied with Boko Haram, perhaps the most feared and organized radical element in Africa, and thought nothing of kidnapping 200 school girls in April of 2014.
These groups have money, they have little respect for the life of those that don’t share their religious ideology, they get more organized every day and make no mistake about it, they have the potential to be very deadly.
Why is this a problem? We only have to take a look at past experience to answer this question. The only opposition these groups face in Africa are a few French expeditionary forces, US drone strikes and rag tag armies of the governments in the region that don’t seem to be able to do much to discourage these groups from growing. That means these groups are largely free to govern themselves, subject local populations to their rule and freely plan and carry out attacks. We all know what happened the last time Al Qaeda was allowed to do that in Afghanistan; it’s called 9/11.
There is no doubt in my mind that we need to start forming a coalition in Africa to go after these groups soon or we will be facing a more imminent threat from them here in the USA.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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