The Islamic State’s Splintering North African Network

Libyan forces affiliated with government in Tripoli during combat against Islamic State militants, Sirte, Libya, Sept. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Manu Brabo).
Libyan forces affiliated with government in Tripoli during combat against Islamic State militants, Sirte, Libya, Sept. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Manu Brabo).
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With the self-proclaimed Islamic State besieged in Mosul and on the defensive in parts of Syria, the future of the group’s network beyond its core territory has been thrown into question. At its peak in 2014 and early 2015, the Islamic State established affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa that it labeled “provinces,” or wilayat, rapidly increasing its operational reach and influence. But with its senior leadership now facing considerable pressure in both Iraq and Syria, it is unclear whether the Islamic State will be able to maintain communications and organizational ties with these affiliates abroad. Moreover, as […]

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