Mozambican jihadists are far from the military, new intelligence report says


JOHANNESBURG – Radical and anti-Western religious leaders across East Africa continue to recruit extremist recruits backed by the ISIS international terrorist network to threaten peace in the region, according to new information about the jihadist insurgency in Mozambique. It denies the profits made by the maintenance forces.

Hardened terrorists from all over Africa still enjoy almost unfettered access to the resource-rich southern African country, with its porous borders and largely unmonitored coastlines.

This claimed that thousands of troops from the region and Rwanda had scored a remarkable victory over the rebels, killing and capturing many, but driving them into previously peaceful regions and creating new warlords. Established a base.

Some soldiers from the South African Development Community, SADC, Blok and Rwanda have been in northern Mozambique since July last year, calling themselves Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama’ah (ASWJ), or “true followers”. is against Prophet Muhammad” and “those who will be saved on the Day of Judgment”.

Epoch Times photo
A South African Defense Force military convoy on patrol in Pemba on August 5, 2021. The South African Development Community bloc has rallied behind neighboring Mozambique and is sending troops to fight jihadists wreaking havoc in the gas-rich north. (Alfredo Zuniga/AFP via Getty Images)

In October 2017, violence intensified when ASWJ fighters attacked villages and towns in Cabo Delgado. Men were beheaded and women raped.

The ASWJ declared the government of Maputo an “enemy” and called for Sharia law to be enforced in northern Mozambique. Professor Yusuf Adam, a local historian, told Epoch His Times that it has overwhelmingly more in common with Muslim-dominated southern Tanzania. Christians of southern Mozambique.

Mozambicans, especially those in the north, are some of the poorest in the world, according to the latest UN Human Development Index. 181 out of 189 for development.

Tensions have risen in Cabo Delgado since 2010, when a large natural gas field was discovered off the region’s coast.

Some of the world’s largest energy companies, including France’s TotalEnergies and US’s ExxonMobil, have signed multi-billion dollar contracts in Maputo for oil and gas exploration and production.

The Mozambican government promised that the project would bring development to northern Mozambique and a “better life for all,” but it would do nothing but sow dissatisfaction and provide “fertile soil” for riots. No, Adam said.

The potential for violence increased significantly in early 2017, when state police arrested more than 3,000 people in Cabo Delgado during a crackdown on illegal mining.

Locals have continued this activity almost unhindered since the 1990s. But when they began digging for gem-quality rubies, authorities stepped in and signed mining contracts with international conglomerates.

Enter the ISIS-supported ASWJ.

At least 4,000 people have been killed and 800,000 displaced in the conflict so far, according to the Human Rights Observatory.

Epoch Times photo
Mozambican soldiers stand as the country’s President Filipe Nyusi and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, reviewing their forces on Sept. 24, 2021 in Pemba, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique, where Rwandan and Mozambican soldiers are deployed. (Simon Wohlfahrt/AFP via Getty Images)

Mozambique’s Institute for Legal Training and South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies (ISS) are currently providing information on the ground, including intelligence officers, police, army commanders, former and current ASWJ combatants, local residents and community leaders. Using our network of providers, Most Comprehensive Study I was still caught up in the riots.

Borges Nhamirre, a Maputo-based security analyst, one of the authors of their report, told the Epoch Times that Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed promoted extremist ideology and the ASWJ. “recruit and radicalize men in northern Mozambique.

Mohammed was shot dead by Kenyan security forces in 2012 after being accused by the CIA and others of helping organize al-Qaeda attacks in East Africa, including the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

But Namile said, “The logo’s message lives on, including encouraging jihad.”

“Rogo visited towns in northern Mozambique, including Mosimboa de Praia in Cabo Delgado, in the late 1990s and 2000s. said it was a good thing.

Nhamirre said clerics who preach extremist ideology continue to gain access to northern Mozambique.

“They come from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. They come and go freely.

Martin Ewi, Africa director of the European Union-funded ENACT program to combat transnational organized crime, told The Epoch Times that the conflict had reached “another phase”. That is why militants are targeting the neighboring province of Nampula, he said.

Nhamirre added: We need to see if the government can stop the attack.

“However, we must also consider that this could be a strategic move by the group to disperse forces on the ground so they can continue their operations north of Cabo Delgado. The risk is always there that the expansion may continue.”

Adam, who teaches at Maputo’s Eduardo Mondlane University and recently spent months promoting his latest research in northern Mozambique, said the region was “nowhere near peaceful.”

“There is room for normalization, but there is insecurity and it is very difficult to create peace in this situation. What is happening in Nampula now is large numbers of people fleeing areas where war broke out.”

He added that it would be a “big mistake” to conclude that the jihadists were all but defeated simply because recent attacks were “smaller and simpler.”

“Even some analysts and military officials said, ‘The militants attacked with 400, 300 fighters before. , this means nothing about the current strength or weakness of the ASWJ.It is the nature of guerrilla warfare to sometimes attack in large groups and sometimes in much smaller groups.”

Namile says jihadists from East and Central Africa continue to join the fighting in Mozambique.

“There are Tanzanian, Ugandan, Kenyan and Congolese fighters in prison who say they are fighting for the Islamic State. They recruit and train young Mozambicans. I am helping to take them to IS bases in Congo and Tanzania.”

Ewi said the key figures currently causing violence in northern Mozambique are “field commanders” Ibn Omar, also known as Bonomad Machude Omar and Abu Suleyfa Muhammad.

In early August, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken identified Ibn as a “specially designated global terrorist.”

Brinken described him as “heading the ISIS-Mozambique military and foreign affairs arm” and serving as “the senior commander and chief coordinator of all attacks carried out by the group in northern Mozambique.”

Ewi said there was evidence that Ibn and Abu Yasir Hassan, whom Blinken had named as leaders of IS-Mozambique, led the attack on the town of Palma in March 2021.

The incident prompted Total to suspend offshore gas projects and spur the entry of the region and the Rwandan military.

Nhamirre said Ibn was “a key operator of cross-border movement for ISIS”.

“These terrorists clearly have regional, perhaps international, support. It is believed that support for IS and other groups is increasing.”

In an August statement, Blinken said it would “disrupt ISIS-Mozambique’s financing methods, limit its ability to conduct further attacks against civilians, and assist our partners in their efforts to disrupt terrorist financing.” Showed Washington’s commitment.

He said the US would “degrade the capabilities” of terrorist organizations in West, East and South Africa.

However, several South African intelligence analysts told the Epoch Times ASWJ that so far they have not followed any “formal” methods of raising funds, and that the money is being raised through “local donations” and, to a limited extent, drugs and drug smuggling. He said he was raising money. We sell in South Africa.

A joint report from the ISS-Judicial Training Institute found that “raids on local sources of funding such as illegal economics, donations and banks are the primary source of (ASWJ) funding.”
Rebels say they stole at least $1 million from banks and businesses in the Parma attack alone.

Adam said he had heard of “contact” between Mozambican government representatives and ASWJ leaders in recent months, but Maputo neither confirmed nor denied this to the Epoch Times.

Adam says: Two years after the abduction of two Brazilian nuns, the road was open for peace talks…”

ASWJ fighters seized a Catholic nun during a siege at Mosimboa de Praia port in August 2020 and released her unharmed a month later.

Details of how their freedom was secured remain unclear, and the Catholic Church has refused to confirm or deny payment of the ransom.

Darren Taylor