Islamic State Steps up Effort in North Africa, Al Qaeda’s Last Remaining Stronghold

AP Photo/Hani Mohammed
AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

JAFFA, Israel – Islamic State has stepped up recruitment efforts in North Africa, one of the only regions in the Arab world where the organization remains weak compared to Al Qaeda, an Arab intelligence source told Breitbart Jerusalem.

Al Qaeda in the Arab Maghreb, the local affiliate of the veteran terrorist network, has proven relatively resilient to the advent of IS, which prompted the latter to step up efforts to crush it.

“IS is in the process of setting up more cells in a bid to become the undisputed leader of global jihad and make Al Qaeda a thing of the past,” the source said.

The effort is being led by young French and Belgian men of North African descent, who return to their parents’ native land to recruit friends and family. One of them was a Belgian citizen recently arrested in Morocco on suspicion of taking part in planning last November’s attacks in Paris.

Only last week, the source added, IS released videos aimed at North African gunmen fighting in Syria, Iraq and Libya, urging them to stage a coup against the regimes in their respective countries.

The videos show Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian and Libyan men urging Islamist activists in these countries to “declare a war on their infidel governments.”

The masked men appearing in the video called on their audience to attack state institutions, mainly security headquarters, as well as Western institutions and people.


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