By Christopher W. Holton
The Islamic State continues to expand its murderous influence around the world, particularly in Africa.
Previously, Boko Haram of Nigeria pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Now, a faction of Al Shabaab in Somalia has also pledged allegiance to the caliphate.
Western news media seems to be treating this as if it is a positive sign of division in the ranks of Jihadis.
We have a different view.
As of our last count, 36 Jihadist groups from the Philippines to west Africa have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Meanwhile, we have seen multiple Islamic State-inspired attacks in the West, including here in the United States. This is something that never occurred much before the Islamic State arrived on the scene. Al Qaeda, for example, never inspired such widespread support and acts of individual Jihad.
Having part of Al Shabaab, which has members in the US and has carried out deadly attacks targeting Westerners outside of Somalia, pledge allegiance to the Islamic State escalates the potential for acts of violent Jihad in Africa and America.