On Tuesday, the General Intelligence Service (GIS) announced that five of its members were killed and another was wounded in a raid against an ISIS cell based in three sites in Khartoum’s capital.
“Based on intelligence about a terrorist cell affiliated with ISIS, a security operation was carried out to arrest its members based in the neighborhoods of Jabra and Al-Azhari” located south of Khartoum, said GIS in a statement on Tuesday.
During this operation, 11 foreign terrorists of various nationalities were apprehended. In Jabra, ISIS fighters opened fire on security personnel, killing five of them, including two officers and three non-commissioned officers, and injuring one. The killers allegedly escaped, according to Sudanese authorities. Three of the fugitives were reportedly apprehended in the north of Khartoum, according to unconfirmed sources. According to police sources, the terrorist group ambushed GIS members. There were no ISIS terrorists killed, according to the official statement.
Al-Hadi Mohamed al-Amin, a terrorism analyst, said the cell was planning assaults in Khartoum on New Year’s Day, when scores of foreigners celebrate in public areas. Al-Amin predicted the presence of other cells in Sudan’s capital, but did not rule out the prospect of additional terrorist strikes, noting that Sudan’s political climate is favorable to the growth of violence. The fact that all of the cell members are foreigners, according to the expert, indicates that it is simple for them to enter the country, and that some of them have acquired Sudanese citizenship. “The logistics such as weapons or other things, in addition to the housing, were mostly provided with the help of Sudanese accomplices” he stressed.
ISIS posed a threat to Sudan in 2019, according to the US Department of State. “Despite the absence of high-profile terrorist attacks, ISIS facilitation networks appear to be active within Sudan,” it said in its 2019 country report on terrorism. Sudanese officials had “acknowledged that there were ‘extremists’ linked to ISIS in the country” the report added.