In sub-Saharan Africa, trouble keeps expanding in the form of new branches of extremist terror and criminal organizations. The question today is: Who is the Islamic State in the greater Sahara?

The easy answer to that question is they are an Islamic State affiliation, which means they fall in line with Al Baghdadi’s group in Syria and Iraq. IS has been making moves in Africa for a while now with little success. Al-Shabaab denied them access to their network in Somalia. That does not mean there are not little offshoots in northern Somalia, but they are barely any threat to Somalia and its neighbors. In Libya they had better opportunities, but even now the ground is shrinking around them.

Mali, Niger and Libya are no stranger to terror groups of the likes of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al-Mourabitoun, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, Ansar Dine, Movement for Oneness and Jihad in west Africa, Ansaru, Ansaroul Islam and Macina Liberation Front.

They have had success with Boko Haram in Nigeria. Having the group swear-in sometime last year gave them a good footprint in northern Africa. The thorn in IS’s heel is Al-Qaeda (AQ). AQ has been established there for a long time and runs the criminal activity in the area. That means anything from drug running, arms dealing, kidnapping and of course human trafficking.