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Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa

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Voice of America

Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa

By Jeff Seldin

WASHINGTON - Western powers are promising recent successes by the Islamic State across Africa will not go unanswered, backing plans for a task force to focus on the terror group’s spread from Iraq and Syria to the African continent.

The announcement Monday following a meeting in Rome by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS comes a day before the seventh anniversary of the terror group’s proclamation of its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and two years since the caliphate’s territorial defeat in Syria.

But despite constant pressure from the U.S. military and other coalition members, Western counterterrorism officials warn that IS, or Daesh as the group is also known, has found ways not just to survive but to spread, increasingly focusing the group’s propaganda on the exploits of its African affiliates.

“We are fearing the expansion and spread of Daesh in Africa," Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told reporters Monday, citing what he described as a “cry for help” from communities in countries such as Niger and Mali.

"We know that many villages have fallen in the hands of terrorists,” Di Maio said through an interpreter, adding the threat is pressing ever closer.

“We're now seeing that a number of terrorist cells are proliferating in regions such as the Sahel, where obviously the main migration routes are present, the routes of those who come to Europe,” he said.

Full story https://www.voanews.com/europe/global-coalition-fears-islamic-state-expansion-africa