General News of Thursday, 9 May 2019
Churches in Ghana are the potential target of a terrorist group, Salafi-Jihadist based in Burkina Faso, the Africa Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) has warned.
In a security alert obtained by myjoyonline.com, the Centre said the group has been moving in and out of Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso over the past four months.
Their most immediate target would be churches in the Northern region while the terrorists are likely to operate from mining zones.
Mining areas, the alert explained, are considered a safe haven for these ideologically-driven criminals.
Already, the Salafi-Jihadist militants on February 15, 2019, killed four Burkinabe customs officers at a checkpoint at Nohao near the Ghana border and burnt three vehicles. They also killed a Spanish priest.
Jihadists also launched an attack on a church in Burkina Faso on April 29, 2019 after gunmen opened fire inside the protest church killing six – the pastor, two of his sons and three other worshippers.
The attack was the second in April 2019 alone following the killing of four in an April 5 attack on a Catholic church.
Burkina Faso has been battling with jihadist groups since 2015 with a marked escalation in terror attacks which has spread to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.
The Salafi-Jihadists who believe in sovereignty on a territory perceived as occupied or dominated by non-Muslims and also correcting what they believe is deviant Muslim behavior or deviant Muslim sects.
Armed with a religious-political ideology, the Salafi-jihadi movement believe they must impose a form of Islam, Salafism or what adherents believe to be true Sunni Islam, upon the Muslim world, and eventually the entire world, through jihad.
The group are said to have made inroads into West Africa and have links to ISIS and al-Qaeda.
According to ACSIS, the militants often begin to develop a foothold through preaching and philanthropic gestures including building mosques.
The National Security ministry, according to ACSIS, has been monitoring threats posed by these jihadists.