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ISIS infiltration in Ghana imminent – Security analyst

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Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Center, Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, has called for the immediate end to vigilantism and all forms of youth-related upheavals.

The Security analyst was a guest speaker on curbing youth vigilantism – a panacea for sustainable development – at an event organized by NORSAAC to mark 15 years of its existence at the Dr. Andani Adnan Academic Chamber, University for Development Studies in Tamale, Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Dr. Aning has been tough and plain about security matters of the state, particularly recent proliferation of civic activism in the country, offering provocative analysis on security debates but nothing comes close this latest incendiary predictions on the nation’s future.

He warned Ghana was at a tipping point of instability and forecast an infiltration of Islamic State terrorist network by 2020 due to the deliberate exploitation and manipulation of youthful exuberance by authority figures to achieve a political end, and the inability of security agencies to act due to political interferences.

“What we are seeing is organized criminality, hooliganism, it threatens the stability of this country, and by 2020 either Islamic State would’ve infiltrated it or the al-Qaeda would’ve infiltrated it, because there is an army of the poor established by Islamic State, pay them thousand two hundred to two thousand dollars every month with a view to inciting youth from this part of the world to join them,” he hinted.

Vigilante groups affiliated to the ruling NPP since the party took power, have gone on rampage, attacking regional government departments and hounding out officers from their offices with impunity.

Expatiating on the claim of terror groups’ infiltration, the expert said the Islamic State had marked Ghana a prime target and has been desperately seeking channels to establish bases and assume operation.

Security agencies have not been able to independently act and in most cases, it took the President or Interior Minister to issue orders to the police to act, a trend the security expert called a serious national security threat.

The worrying aspect according to the analyst is that these youth unleashing the terror on state agencies and officers do not know the “complicity and dangers of their behavior” leaving them extremely vulnerable for manipulations and inducement.

He alluded to a report by Libyan authorities months ago about some Ghanaian youth joining the terror group and added he believed the number given as 50 may have increased and suspects ISIS have already formed bases in the country and may just be waiting for an opportunity to strike.

He said as several coalition forces intensified aggression against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, dozens of its fighters have fled into parts of North Africa and recent activities of organized criminality in Ghana could provide a lifeline for their operation.

“Organized criminality and hooliganism are easy to infiltrate, divert it rationale and allow that group unknowingly to behave in ways that were not its original intention,” Dr. Aning explained

He argued that what was happening in the country wasn’t acts of vigilantism but organized criminality and hooliganism purely carried out by disgruntled supporters of political parties.

According to him, the level of frustration among the youth in the country where over two million unregistered arms are in the hands of civilians was enough opportunity for extremist militant groups to manipulate the youth to join.