MEES Special Report: Jihadist Instability In North Africa And Beyond

This week’s Brussels attacks give a reminder that the IS threat goes well beyond its Syria heartland. In Libya, Europe has an IS mini-state on its doorstep, whilst the attack on Algeria’s In Salah gas plant shows even the region’s strongest state is vulnerable. Progress in Syria absent an overall strategy risks hastening the metastasis rather than the eradication of the group’s jihadistic nihilism.

This week’s attacks on Brussels have once more underlined the urgency of tackling the global threat of so-called Islamic State (IS). But 22 March twin strikes on the Belgian capital, which killed more than 30 people and wounded at least 300 others, were far from the only terrorist strikes in recent days.

On 19 March, a suicide bomber with connections to IS killed at least four people and injured 36 on Istanbul’s busiest shopping street, just six days after a car bomb attack by Kurdish militants in the Turkish capital Ankara killed at least 37 and injured more than 100. The same day as the Ankara bombing, 18 were killed and 33 injured by an attack on a hotel in Ivory Coast popular with expatriates by armed gunmen linked to Al-Qa’ida. (CONTINUED - 3331 WORDS)