ISIS-Mozambique, also called Ansar al-Sunna and locally known as al-Shabaab (unrelated to the Somali terrorist group), is a violent insurgent group that seeks the overthrow of the Mozambique Government and the expulsion of foreign influences. ISIS-Mozambique’s ideology is rooted in the 1990s Ansar al-Sunna Islamic movement, which demanded governance by sharia and rejected secular education. The insurgency began in 2017 when small but heavily equipped bands of fighters began attacking local security forces in the impoverished northern province of Cabo Delgado. ISIS publicly recognized the insurgents as a branch in 2019.
Primarily in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique; also conducts cross-border attacks in southern Tanzania
Up to 1,200 fighters
TACTICS AND TARGETS
ISIS-Mozambique has a history of indiscriminate killings, ambushes, and assaults against civilians, local government security forces, and foreigner workers; and uses small arms, machineguns, IEDs, mortars, and RPGs in its attacks. Between October 2017 and March 2021, ISIS-Mozambique attacks killed more than 1,300 civilians. Its associated violence caused the deaths of an additional 2,500 civilians, security force members, and suspected militants and displaced nearly 700,000 people in northern Mozambique.
FOREIGN TERRORIST GROUP DESIGNATION
The US State Department designated ISIS-Mozambique as a foreign terrorist organization in March 2021 and designated its leader, Abu Yasir Hassan, as a specially designated global terrorist at the same time. In August 2021 senior military commander Bonomade Machude Omar was also designated as a specially designated global terrorist.