As the Islamic State is squeezed out of its self-proclaimed caliphate in the Middle East, its offshoot in West Africa, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), appears to be growing even stronger.
In the last five months, the insurgent group has gained a grim kind of momentum, establishing itself in new towns in northeastern Nigeria and beyond. Along the way, its fighters have slain hundreds of people.
In November 2018, the group showed that it could outmaneuver the Nigerian military when it overran a base in Metele, Borno state, killing about 100 soldiers. On March 22, ISWAP demonstrated its ability to strike beyond Nigeria’s borders, killing 23 soldiers during a raid in Chad.