Rabat - Following defeat in their former stronghold in Syria and Iraq, ISIS fighters are fleeing to Africa, in hopes of destabilizing Europe, according to the head of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley.
Rabat – Following defeat in their former stronghold in Syria and Iraq, ISIS fighters are fleeing to Africa, in hopes of destabilizing Europe, according to the head of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley.
According to Beasley, ISIS wants to use the African continent as a basic operation to create havoc and instability in Europe. The UN official explained to the Guardian that many extremists who fled Syria have found refuge in the Sahel Corridor, one of Africa’s most unstable regions.
In the Sahel, Beasley elaborated, the extremists from Syria are conspiring with local groups like Boko Haram, Al Shabab, and AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) to use food scarcity as a recruitment tool to both fill their ranks and trigger another wave of migration to Europe.
“You are going to face a similar pattern of what took place years ago, except you are going to have more ISIS and extremist groups infiltrating migration,” Mr. Beasley told the British outlet earlier this week.
He suggested that Europe “take immediate actions” to help the regional Sahara leaders in the international coalition work to defeat the extremist groups. If these extremist groups succeed in the Sahel Corridor, he warned, the crisis threatening Europe will be much worse than the waves of migration created by the Syrian crisis.
“If you think that you had a migration problem resulting from the destabilization of a nation of 20 million people like Syria,” the UN official said, as he addressed himself to European leaders, “wait until the greater Sahel is region of 500 million people is further destabilized.” He added that Europe and the international community “need to wake up” in time to prevent escalations in the Sahel Corridor.
The Sahel belt, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania, is Africa’s most infamous driver of transnational insecurity and terrorism-linked strikes; it is also the point of gravity of groups such as AQIM, Ansar Dine, and Boko Haram. The region is also known to be extremely vulnerable to drought, floods, food scarcity and extreme poverty.
Beasley fears that the Sahel Corridor may be transformed into a far more significant breeding ground for global terrorism, and that its many aggrieved youth can be easily lured by extremists to join their grand plan of instilling chaos and instability in Europe.
“Greater Sahel is percolating,” he said, further arguing: “what we are picking up is that they [ISIS fighters] are partnering with extremist groups like Boko Haram and Al Qaeda to divvy up territory and resources and continue to infiltrate and destabilize in the hope of creating migration into Europe where they can infiltrate and cause chaos.”