Northern Ivory Coast has seen a substantial increase in suspected jihadist attacks since March of this year. Much of the violence is emanating from southwestern Burkina Faso, where al Qaeda’s Katibat Macina is expanding.
Baye Ag Bakabo is linked to several of AQIM’s kidnappings in Mali, including the operation that left two RFI journalists dead in 2013.
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, continues to conduct a high operational tempo inside northeastern Kenya.
The photo offers a rare look into jihadist governance in the Sahel, in which jihadists loyal to both al Qaeda and the Islamic State wield both direct and indirect control over many rural areas.
Shabaab has controlled the central Somali town of Bacaadweyne for over a month thanks to a forced political deal with the local clan.
Mozambique, however, claims the fighting is still ongoing for control over the city. If its capture is confirmed, this is the second major town to fall under the control of the Islamic State’s local wing.
Almost 300 people have been killed in a series of mass killings in Niger and on a military position inside Mali. The Islamic State has officially claimed just one of the attacks, but it is believed to have carried out all of the massacres.
Both wings collectively represent the Islamic State’s Central African Province, which the UN recently noted as one of the Islamic State’s most ‘dependable’ affiliates.