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Terrorism

ISIS a growing threat outside of Iraq and Syria, particularly in Africa: US official

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The latest attack by ISIS in Mozambique is proof that the terrorist group remains a “growing threat” outside of Iraq and Syria, a US official said Monday.

“I think as you all know since the defeat of ISIS’ fraudulent territorial caliphate in 2019, ISIS has intensified its focus on the activities of its branches and networks,” Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS John Godfrey said.

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Terrorists left beheaded bodies in Mozambique’s Palma on Monday after heavy fighting with local security forces. France’s Total oil and gas company has invested billions in the area’s liquified natural gas (LNG) deposits.

“Ensuring the enduring global defeat of ISIS will entail effectively countering ISIS branches and networks outside of Iraq and Syria,” Godfrey said in a call with reporters.

He was speaking ahead of Tuesday’s high-level ministerial meeting on the global coalition to defeat ISIS.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will co-host the conference, Godfrey announced.

Although the meeting will focus mainly on the coalition’s efforts to counter ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the US official said, “we’ll be spending some time discussing the growing threat of ISIS outside of Iraq and Syria, particularly in Africa.”

“To be clear, ISIS remains capable of carrying out smaller scale deadly operations in both rural and urban areas remains intent on doing so to demonstrate that it constitutes a continuing threat,” Godrey said.