The Islamic State’s Central African representative, locally known as the Allied Democratic Forces, recently re-pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State’s new overall leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.
Following a delay of over two weeks, the Islamic State has officially taken credit for the Christmas day suicide bombing in eastern Congo. The bombing is just the fourth such operation conducted by the Islamic State’s local wing.
The Islamic State has claimed a series of bombings, including suicide bombings, inside Uganda over the past month. This represents a significant shift in the overall threat from the Islamic State’s wing based in the DRC.
While most of the Islamic State’s operations have been based inside Beni territory of Congo’s North Kivu Province, it has steadily expanded into neighboring Ituri Province since June.
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.
The Islamic State has claimed at least nine attacks in the DRC since April.
The photos show more evidence of ties between militants in the DRC and the Islamic State.
Today’s claim marks the first time the Islamic State has claimed any activity in Central Africa.