USA TODAY – JACOB WIRTSCHAFTER, KARIM JOHN GADIAGA
A massive blast in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu on Oct. 14 and more recent terror attacks in Somalia, Niger and Egypt highlight Africa as a new battleground against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as they are being driven out of the Middle East.
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is seeking a safe harbor after major losses in Iraq and Syria. And al-Qaeda looks to secure its future by expanding operations and alliances in the sub-Saharan region, analysts say.
“The collapse of the Islamic State’s stronghold in Raqqa (Syria) will cause a re-coalescence of fighters on the continent, most of whom come from North African countries,” said Ali Bakr, an analyst specializing in terrorism at Future Advanced Research, a think tank in Abu Dhabi.