Islamic State releases photos from DRC

Photo released by the Islamic State under the moniker “Wilayat Wasat Ifriqiyah,” or Central Africa Province.

Following recent attack claims from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Islamic State has followed up by publishing several photos from the DRC’s North Kivu region yesterday.

Claiming another assault on Congolese troops near ‘Kalyanjoki,’ the jihadist group released three photos showing the “spoils” captured from the attack. Several Kalashnikovs and at least one RPG is shown to have been captured, while another photo shows personal belongings of the Congolese troops.

The photos, which were released by the Islamic State’s central media office, were labeled under the moniker “Wilayat Wasat Ifriqiyah,” or “Central African Province,” a title used in the previous attacks claimed in the DRC.

Last month, the Islamic State claimed two other assaults in the DRC’s North Kivu region. However, yesterday’s photos provide more evidence for a clear link between the Islamic State and militants in the DRC.

These militants belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that has fought both the DRC and Ugandan governments for over two decades. However, researchers from the Congo Research Group have found that the ADF has made several overtures to the Islamic State in recent years.

This includes rebranding itself as “Madinat al Tawhid wal Muwahedeen,” or the City of Monotheism and Monotheists (MTM), and producing new imagery more aligned to jihadist organizations. Islamic State material has also been found within the ADF/MTM ranks, including a book published by the Islamic State’s Maktabah al Himma, an important wing of the Islamic State that once produced theological and ideological treatises.

The US government has also designated two individuals that moved money for the Islamic State to fighters in the DRC.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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