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Early warning intel ignored, could have stopped Palma attack - Terror analyst

29 March 2021 12:05 PM
Tags:
Isis
Mozambique
Cabo Delgado attacks
Cabo Delgado

Jasmine Opperman says Monday saw frequent clashes between security forces and insurgents with house-to-house combat.

Kieno Kammies speaks to terror analyst Jasmine Opperman about the latest situation in Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique where Islamic fundamentalists killed dozens of people in the town of Palma at the weekend.

One South African is known to have died during the attack.

RELATED: 'Swift action needed from AU and SADC to bring peace and security to Mozambique'

Opperman says as of Monday morning the situation is not under control.

This morning there is still no control. There are frequent clashes between security forces and insurgents. We are seeing a situation of house-to-house combat as insurgents had moved into houses prior to the attack.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

She says it will take some time before the government can accurately say that it has resumed control over the situation, she says.

The attack should never have happened as early warning intelligence was provided three days in advance and it was ignored.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

She says this is a further escalation of, on the one hand, the sophistication of the insurgency, and on the other hand, a Mozambiquan government security force not being able to deal with it.

A two-month US training will not make any difference.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

She says in addition, hotel and private security companies also played a role as it unfolded with Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) doing a great deal of the work helping people escape and saving the lives of people in the hotel.

I am not justifying mercenary activities but credit is due and in the last few days where they (DAG) moved in and the Ukrainians run.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

She says DAG would never have been able to stop the attack.

What is known about the insurgents?

We know there have been about 19 cells active that have been coordinating and have been talking and have been executing attacks during the rainy season primarily in Ancuabe.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

We know they have gained access to more sophisticated weapons, and are getting training in guerilla warfare tactics. We have seen this at Palma.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

The Islamic State has an opportunistic interest here. But for the United States to say this is an Islamic-State-led insurgency I think was completely irresponsible.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

It believes this gives status to the insurgents which they do not deserve and she foresees the Islamic State (ISIS) now riding on this propaganda wave to hijack the insurgency and lay claim to leading it.

But is this being lead by the Ismalic State? I still need to see the facts.

Jasmine Opperman, Terror Analyst

She believes that going in there with special forces without a proper plan and coordinated strategy and a plan on how to stabilise the region afterward where human dignity will be respected, would be a mistake.

Helmoed Heitman Military and Defence Analyst also weighs in on the issue with Kieno.

Listen to the interviews below:




29 March 2021 12:05 PM
Tags:
Isis
Mozambique
Cabo Delgado attacks
Cabo Delgado

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