Despite being a pale shadow of its former self, the Islamic State group (IS) appears far from having been completely vanquished, or having been limited to a virtual dimension only.
Twenty-five years after the conclusion of the brutal Mozambican Civil War (1975-92), the insurgent group known as Ahlus Sunna wal Jamaa (local script; acronym: ASWJ) is causing havoc in one of FRELIMO’s strongholds—the province of Cabo Delgado.
While most of West African countries are lifting lockdown measures, we wonder how jihadists in the Sahel stood the test of COVID-19 thus far. Recently, a think tank and media narrative arguing that the pandemic outbreak is benefitting jihadist groups started to increasingly gain ground.
The mid-May 2020 release of the Italian aid worker Silvia Romano, kidnapped and held hostage for nearly two years by the terrorist organization al-Shabaab, aroused great interest and strong emotion in Italy. The reactions occurred, in part, because of the way her release unfolded. We know, for example, that Romano was in Somalia at the time, about 30 kilometres from the capital, Mogadishu. She was freed after an undisclosed ransom was paid, reportedly amounting to millions of euros.
In times of uncertainty, the Islamic State (IS) has consistently sought to offer local populations stability and present itself as a cohesive and just community for the ideologically likeminded around the world.
As the novel coronavirus was spreading like a bushfire throughout China, Iran and Europe, the pandemic couldn’t go unnoticed by the media apparatus of jihadi groups like the Islamic State (IS). A first reaction by the group was to define it as divine punishment for crimes against Muslims. China was hit first, in IS’ view as punishment for its ongoing crimes against its Uyghur population. When Iran followed, the reaction was that it was the nation’s devious interpretation of Islam that led to this onslaught.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching political consequences throughout the West and beyond.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly established itself as a game changer in our age. The current pandemic is affecting the world of extremism and terrorism, too: by imposing constraints and limitations, but also by offering new opportunities for propaganda and violence. Against this backdrop, how are jihadist groups responding?
The current COVID-19 pandemic has influenced all types of socio-political movements, including what is commonly referred to as the far-left. This brief analysis will focus on how this crisis has impacted and helped to shape the contemporary leftist milieu, focusing particular attention towards information hubs and activities historically-linked to anarchist and insurrectionary anarchist tendencies.
The far right, both in Europe and the United States, has a long history of politicizing public health, casting immigrants as vectors for disease and infection, as pollutants of the body politic: poisoners of the physical and moral health of race and nation.
While many that research jihadism have focused on how the Islamic State (IS) has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, IS no longer actually controls territory in Iraq or Syria. Therefore, at best all they can do is provide guidance.
Defined by multiple dynamics of instability, the Lake Chad Basin represents a complex regional system. Over the last ten years, violent extremism has spread across the region as a result of Salafi-jihadi armed groups – Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad (JAS), commonly known as Boko Haram, and Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) – which gave impulse to regional security cooperation processes.