UN releases a damning report revealing how terrorist activities are funded across Africa

The UN report revealed various sources of funding for Boko Haram and other terrorist organisations operating in Africa.

In a special report released on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the UN revealed various sources of funding for Boko Haram and other terrorist organisations operating in Africa.

The report was submitted to the UN Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated terrorist entities.

The report was signed by Edmund Fitton-Brown, Coordinator, Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, and Kairat Umarov, Chair, Security Council Committee. Fitton-Brown said the report was “comprehensive and independent”.

Here are some of the revelations from the report:


The report stated that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) still has the capacity to launch significant attacks within Libya and across the border, reverting to asymmetric tactics and improvised explosive devices.

It stated that the group maintain networks of mutual financial support and arms supply.


According to the report, the mountainous areas in the west of Tunisia continue to harbour elements of ISIL and Al-Qaeda affected by the fluid situation in Libya.


United Nations Member-States assessed that returning foreign terrorist fighters, particularly those of North African origin, continue to pose a threat to the region.

“Member states reported that terrorist groups in North Africa derived substantial income from kidnapping for ransom, local extortion and the ‘taxing’ of smuggling routes. During the reporting period, however, there was no evidence that they were directly involved in trafficking in drugs or persons,” the report revealed.

In the Sahel

The report stated that Jama‘at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) successfully combined regional terrorist groups in an Al-Qaida-affiliated coalition, which increased attacks and propaganda against French, United States of America and other international interests during the reporting period.

Mali and Niger

The report noted that the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) is active mostly at the border between Mali and the Niger.

It stated that its goal is to destabilise the Sahel and any normalisation of life there, to maintain freedom of movement in the north and access to smuggling routes.

Burkina Faso

The United Nation said Member-States assessed that terrorists are taking advantage of territorial control and ethnic conflicts to radicalise populations.

It also revealed that the number of doctrinally based non-governmental organisations sending funds to local terrorist groups is growing, and Member-States are concerned that radicalisation is increasing the threat level in the Sahel.


The report revealed that the cash economy is predominant in the region without controls. It further stated that terrorist groups are funded by extortion, charitable donations, smuggling, remittances and kidnapping.

The report cited the 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on March 21, 2018, in exchange for a large ransom payment.


Al-Qaida affiliate Al-Shabaab remains the dominant terrorist group in the region, according to the report.

Member-States noted that although ISIL in Somalia is fragile and operationally weak, it still presents a threat because Somalia remains a focus for probable future ISIL operations

The report also revealed that Al-Shabaab continues to fund its operations from forced zakat “taxation”, levies at checkpoints and roadblocks, covert businesses and donations from supporters and sympathizers in Somalia, Europe and the Middle East.

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