Somaliland sun-The ISIS group’s pursuit of a global Islamic agenda is gaining ground Eastern Africa where the jihadists have ma aged to court many al-Shabaab members in Somalia with promises of lower taxes and fewer political diatribes
Over the past year, the jihadist group also known as ISIS and Daesh has launched a broad recruitment campaign across Somalia to pry foot soldiers and senior operatives from al-Shabaab, whose two-decade-old insurgency allied with al Qaeda is Stung by battlefield losses to larger al-Shabaab forces, Islamic State has offered promises of an easier life: lower taxes, more tolerance for substance abuse and fewer political diatribes.
According to the Wall Street Journal the tactical shift born in Somalia appears to be spreading across the Sahara and into Nigeria, where the group has tried to divide jihadist insurgency Boko Haram by sponsoring a faction opposed to longtime leader Abubakr Shekau that claims to be more pragmatic. It is a push that could mean Islamic State has gained more support on the continent than is obvious from its military victories, compounding the complexity of the jihadist challenge for African governments and their western allies.
The inroads have been small, but there is evidence the approach is winning ideological converts, luring a few hundred al-Shabaab defectors including influential imams and allowing Islamic State to establish bands of followers in the northeastern tip of the country.
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