The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism says the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS), a terrorist group, is expanding its affiliates and network beyond Syria and Iraq to Africa.

The Under-Secretary-General of the UN office of counter-terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov told the Security Council on Wednesday that the epicentre of ISIL terrorist group – officially known as Da’esh – activities now appeared to be in the African continent.

ISIS

The under-secretary-general said that the terrorist activities were gaining ground in the Central and West Africa, which he said continues at an “unsettling” scale and pace.

According to him, the terrorist activities intensifying in Central and West Africa – especially Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger and attacks increasingly reported in the border area between Mozambique and Tanzania.

Pointing to potential spill-over effects that could reach even beyond the continent, he urged countries to use every tool at their disposal to sustain important gains made against the group.

He added that a subsequent targeted attack reportedly resulted in the death of the ISIL/Da’esh leader, Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Salbi, widely known as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.

While that victory marks perhaps the most significant recent blow to the group’s leadership in years, the UN counter-terrorism warned that ISIL/Da’esh is known for its ability to re-group and even intensify its activities.

“We have learned over the past two decades that counter-terrorism is a long-term game and that there are no quick fixes,” he stressed.

Citing the need for both military counter-terrorism operations and more comprehensive measures with a focus on prevention, he urged states to use all tools at their disposal, adding, “As we begin a new decade of counter-terrorism, it is time to ask ourselves difficult questions and search for honest answers.”

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