Terrorist attacks are on the rise in the Sahel region of Africa, particularly in Burkina Faso and Mali. Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) has claimed responsibility for many strikes against the countries’ security forces. This would suggest that the ISGS has found a foothold in both states and is growing stronger by the week. The ISGS was first thought to be a relatively new splinter group originating from Al-Mourabitoun, based out of Mali, but new findings reveal that we can trace the group back to 2017, when the Islamic State first established a presence in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is set to become a stomping ground for the Islamic State and its old rival al-Qaeda as it faces a renewed surge of attacks. Various armed groups have taken advantage of the turmoil and the situation on the Mali-Burkina Faso border. Toward the end of last year, ISGS and various criminal groups have turned the once-beautiful territory into a place of fear and horror.

Back in 2015, Burkina Faso was constantly apprehensive of the violence in Mali pouring across its borders. In 2017 the country faced a surge in terrorist attacks on Burkina Faso soil, predominantly because of their homegrown terrorist group Ansar ul Islam. But not all armed attacks were the work of terrorists. Burkina Faso continues to face security issues including organized crime, rural banditry, and coordinated cross-border attacks.