Nahla Abdel Monem
The Islamic State branch in Libya has recently posted a video, in which it renewed allegiance to the presumed caliph of their terrorist organization, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
As they renewed the allegiance, the members of the Libya ISIS branch were keen to show the equipment they possessed. These weapons contained four-wheel drive vehicles, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and other modern equipment.
These scenes were worrying to observers and politicians around the world.
In March this year, US President Donald Trump boasted that his troops had succeeded in obliterating ISIS by 100%.
Nevertheless, ISIS branches everywhere in the world are renewing allegiance to the organization.
On June 18, 2019, Boko Haram, which is active in Nigeria and neighboring states, also renewed allegiance to Baghdadi. On June 2, ISIS terrorists staged two attacks in on a counterterrorism unit and a police patrol vehicle in Tunisia. Two people were killed and several others were injured in the two attacks.
ISIS is gaining presence in Asia too. On June 22, a group calling itself the “Eastern Asia Province” renewed allegiance to Baghdadi. It aired scenes from attacks on the Philippine army.
On June 26, a group affiliated to ISIS vowed to launch war against Russia. It called itself “Caucasus Province”. Another group that operates in India, Pakistan and the Kashmir region also renewed allegiance to Baghdadi on June 29, 2019.
These shows of allegiance raise questions on the reasons behind the resurgence of this terrorist organization and also the rise in its violence. The general belief is that the new provinces that renewed allegiance to ISIS are not new. They most likely appeared when ISIS controlled most of Iraq and Syria.
Some people attribute the emergence of these so many ISIS provinces to a speech by Baghdadi late in April this year.
In one of its studies, RAND Corporation refers to the effect this speech has had on the morale of ISIS fighters everywhere in the world. Baghdadi’s reappearance had dispelled rumors about his death, RAND said.
It added that the speech was major propaganda for ISIS, one that helped the terrorist organization draw in a huge number of new recruits.
Baghdadi’s allusion to Africa in his speech had emboldened the affiliates and admirers of his organization in the continent to intensify their operations, RAND added.