Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Junior Varsity" UPDATE: Jihadism Sweeping the World, Led by the Islamic State


MADRID – Global jihadism, led by the Islamic State, is expanding its range in many regions of the planet, especially in Africa, where the situation has rapidly deteriorated in recent months, in addition to other areas including the Middle East, Southeast Asia and even Europe.

The IS proclaimed a “Caliphate” in June 2014 in large parts of Syria and Iraq under its control, and has since encouraged many terrorists to join the ranks of the organization led by “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In Africa, the fundamentalist group Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing the Nigerian population for the past decade, has crossed the borders to launch an offensive against villages belonging to several neighboring countries in Central Africa.

Boko Haram, led by Abu Bakar Sekau, has decided to attack villages in Cameroon, Niger and Chad, creating a security crisis.

These countries, plus Benin and Nigeria, have agreed to form a joint military force made up of 8,700 troops, with the help of the African Union, the United Nations and France, to deal with the jihadists.

Meanwhile, militias aligned with the IS in Tunisia and Libya are gaining strength amid the political instability plaguing the Maghreb and threatening Egypt.

The beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Tripoli on Sunday was seen as a declaration of war by Egypt, who responded by bombing several positions held by Islamist militias in Libya.

The possibility of an international military intervention in Libya will be discussed on Wednesday afternoon in the UN Security Council, which has convened an emergency meeting at the request of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Libya is the second front in Egypt’s battle against extremist Islamism, since the country is also combating the Islamic State’s branch in the Egyptian Sinai region, Wilayat Sinai.

In the Middle East, the IS continues massacring a large number of Syrians and Iraqis, with the somewhat-distant international community bombing jihadist positions.

However, the brunt of the fighting is done by the fledgling Iraqi security forces and Kurdish “Peshmerga” self-defense militias, which are hampered by their outdated weaponry and scarce resources.

Europe has also felt the effects of violence perpetrated by radical Islamists, as exemplified by the recent terror attacks committed by “lone wolves” in Paris and Copenhagen.

In Southeast Asia, the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, present in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and traditionally considered Al-Qaeda’s regional branch in the area, has recently sworn loyalty to al-Baghdadi.

The group’s spiritual leader, Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, recently announced the violent organization’s alliance with the IS from a Jakarta prison, where he is serving a sentence for financing a jihadist training camp in Sumatra, according to the daily newspaper Jakarta Globe.


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