Islamic State sets sights on territory in Somalia

Key Points

isisAl-Shabaab’s official alliance with Al-Qaeda, in place since February 2012, is under threat from the Islamic State, which began openly courting Al-Shabaab followers in 2015.

The Islamic State will use its superior propaganda and financial networks to encourage further high-profile defections from Al-Shabaab, and will openly engage Al-Shabaab for control of Puntland’s Bari region.

The potential victory of one faction over another, or more likely a stalemate, has implications for Somali and regional security, as well as target selection and terrorist attack capabilities within Somalia and neighbouring countries.

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabaab) officially aligned with Al-Qaeda in February 2012.

Source: Janes

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