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African extremists: Islamic State offers grim inspiration

A screen-grab from a video released by Boko Haram shows alleged members of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group at an undisclosed location on August 24, 2014Amid fears Islamic State fighters are inspiring jihadists outside the Middle East, analysts warn it has emboldened extremists in Africa operating in voids left by weak governments and rampant corruption. The United States has described the IS group in Iraq and Syria as the strongest-ever Islamist threat with its “apocalyptic end of days” ideology. Their advance has sparked concern in Africa, with leaders from across the continent meeting Tuesday in Kenya to discuss the threat, the first such conference organised by the African Union. Islamist groups who belong to the Al-Qaeda franchise have already firmly implanted themselves across swathes of territory: from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, extremists in the Sahel to Shebab fighters in the Horn of Africa.

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