ISIS In Tanzanian Caves; Terror Threat Multiplication

Event Summary

Amid reports of significant infrastructure concessions, SOCMINT, HUMINT, and OSINT reports of Tanzania increased presence of Islamic States (ISIS terrorists) indicates the country may soon suffer security risks.

A visibly poor video shot in Tanzanian caves show's armed youths brandishing Kalashinkovs and the Islamic States flag backed by picture/image evidence validated the presence of Daesh in Tanzania. Nonetheless, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen (HSM) also has active cells in the East African country.

The ISIS video is evidence that jihadist have set up shop in Tanzania, a rather docile member of the East African community.What are the ramifications of this emergence of the Daesh in Tanzania?


For the past 3 years, reports of jihadists making inroads in Tanzania have been either ignored or the threat neutralized, as analysts would assume (based on subsequent events including arrests of suspected cells). There are no available records of counter terrorism operations in Tanzania. The security forces are not aptly trained and equipped to counter the threat posed by violent extremists.

2016 will be a momentous year for Dar, to be certain. ISIS is looking forward to the long awaited 1st terror attack in East Africa's key towns (Both Tanzania and Kenya face the risk). The uncertainty about the long term implications of an implosion of violent extremism in Tanzania clearly is worrying.

The video of Jihadist training and heavily armed inside Tanzania marks, with the clarity that hindsight brings, the new inflection point, that begs the following questions;

  1.  Is Tanzania capable of countering violent extremism?

  2. Is the country's intelligence aware of the risks/threats posed by these jihadist?

  3. What are the short term and long term implications of militants insurgency?

What may begin as a small ISIS movement in Tanzania is likely to morph into a national security threat whose catastrophic ramifications will certainly stop Tanzania at it's tracks. The video is a recruitment and 'presence validation" for both the hundreds of online Tanzanian youths who've shown sympathy and the government of Tanzania.

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While East Africa is not a security union, the eye's of the world will fall on Tanzania, not for the threat posed by ISIS jihadist who published a video validating their presence in the country, but for those who failed to stop them from setting up camp in the caves and what the same security officers will do to preempt the threat these terrorists pose.

It's also highly likely, in the wake of these events, that Tanzania security intelligence services will have to call for more cooperation with Kenya and Uganda to prevent an ISIS implosion in future.

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