So in light of "Al-Shabaab's" (ISCAP-Mozambique) attack on Kitaya - just across the the Rovuma river in southern Tanzania - here's a quick thread on jihadist militancy in Tanzania, its ties to the Islamic State, and its role in Mozambique's growing insurgency
Salafism has had a longstanding presence in Tanzania, really gaining prominence in the 1980s as students returned from studying in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on scholarships from BAKWATA, the government-affiliated Muslim council.
Rejecting BAKWATA's corruption and perceived ineffectiveness - or simply not getting the jobs they expected - many turned to Ansar al-Sunnah, a loosely inter-connected network of private charities and pressure groups that sought to "purify" Tanzanian Islam
Some Ansar al-Sunnah groups became quite extreme, like Sheikh Barahiyan's Ansar Muslim Youth Council in Tanga, which advocated the complete rejection of the secular government's legitimacy; individuals associated with AMYC even recruited for Somalia's Al-Shabaab
Tanga became such a hotspot that a gunfight erupted with an alleged jihadist group in the Amboni caves in February 2015; in May 2016 a group in Tanga calling itself "Ahl al-Khaf" (People of the Cave) pledged allegiance to Islamic State, releasing photos:
Around the same time, a group calling itself Jabhat East Africa declared its split from Al Shabaab in Somalia, decrying the crackdown on pro-IS members, which disproportionately fell on non-Somalis - especially East Africans; that said, little emerged beyond media releases
An insurgency also emerged in Rufiji district, reaching its height in summer 2017: more than 30 police officers, ruling CCM party officials & community leaders were murdered, before a ruthless crackdown ended the killings - and sent some militants fleeing into northern Mozambique
Mozambique's own insurgency - which became ISCAP - would begin only months later, and Tanzanian members have always held critical leadership roles and comprised a large proportion of the group's fighters
Indeed, Kitaya is not the first time that Mozambique's jihadist insurgency has launched raids across the Rovuma river: on November 12, 2019, militants killed six farmers near Ngongo, before fleeing back across the river…
This is all to say that Mozambique's insurgents launching attacks into Tanzania is not new, that many members and leaders are themselves Tanzanian, and that many have likely had their eyes on their home country for quite a while: the difference now is that they can pull it off

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ryan O'Farrell

Ryan O'Farrell Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ryanmofarrell

9 May 19
Rapid collapse of rebel lines from Qalaat al-Madiq to Kafr Naboudah is pretty surprising, as is silence from Turkey, whose troops have been directly attacked by regime forces on multiple occasions. Regime forces are within 1.5km of the Turkish observation point on Jabal Shashabo.
Area was primarily held by Ahrar al-Sham and small FSA groups, but HTS defeated them in January and imposed a supervisory role for itself. HTS appears to now simply be abandoning it, with those other "green" rebels in tow.
Turkey's investment into Idlib's power grid might be an indication of which areas they aim to hold: @casgec of HTS's Salvation Government received a $1mil contract in February to repair Idlib's grid and connect it to Turkey; map shows which lines have been repaired since then.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!