News / Africa

Africa's Militants May Be Inspired by Islamic State, Officials Told

FILE - Alleged members of al-Shabab are blindfolded and guarded at a former police station by soldiers of the Somali National Army, in Kismayo, southern Somalia.
FILE - Alleged members of al-Shabab are blindfolded and guarded at a former police station by soldiers of the Somali National Army, in Kismayo, southern Somalia.
Reuters

African Islamists may be emboldened by the Islamic State's gains in the Middle East, and local security services need to cooperate to counter the continent's militants, African intelligence officials heard on Thursday.

African Islamist rebels like Nigeria's Boko Haram have not made as dramatic an advance as Islamic State, which controls a swath of Syria and Iraq. They have launched attacks across Africa, though, from Niger, Mali and Nigeria in the west to Somalia and Kenya in the east.

The success of Islamic State could shape the thinking of African Islamists, said Andrew Muzonzini, Zimbabwe's head of external intelligence and a member of the African Union's Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa [CISSA].

“Given [Islamic State's] brutality in pursuit of its cause, it would be prudent for us to brace ourselves for a new cadre-ship of extremist fanatics,”  Muzonzini said at a CISSA conference in Nairobi.

Islamic State's success may be “the most significant development in the international jihadist discourse” since al-Qaida's attack on United States on Sept. 11, 2001, he said. “Ahead of time, we should seek to understand [the Islamic State] modus operandi if we are to anticipate and predict challenges ahead.”

Africa has many Islamist militant groups, which have operated with varying levels of success. Boko Haram controls territory in Nigeria, but holds no strategic towns or major resources. Somalia's al-Shabab has been beaten back in recent years by African Union peacekeepers.

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto called at the conference for better intelligence sharing between African states to challenge Islamist militants and criminal cartels smuggling arms, drugs and ivory.

“We must match these threats with commensurate imagination and innovative solutions,” Ruto said in the Kenyan capital, the site in last September of a bold attack by al-Shababgunmen on the Westgate shopping mall, an assault that left 67 people dead.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

New Yellow Fever Research May Lead to Improved Treatment

Researchers identify features of disease that may lead to more effective treatment More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid