While the world is preoccupied with ISIS’s expansion in the Middle East and North Africa, the group appears determined to expand its reach in Sub-Saharan Africa. Reports indicate that the caliphate is courting – so far to little avail – Somalia’s al-Shabaab to become its East African outpost. In the West, Nigeria’s Boko Haram (or at least part of it) has already rebranded itself as ISWAP – Islamic State’s West African Province.
This webinar discusses key trends in violent extremism in the region before assessing the extent to which ISIS is currently asserting influence among local jihadists and its implications on the ground.
Virginia Comolli is the Research Fellow for Security and Development at the IISS. She is the author of Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency (London: Hurst Publishers, 2015) and a member of the European Expert Network on Terrorism Issues (EENeT).