The Islamic holy month – a period which has historically seen a rise in jihadist attacks - started between 13 - 14 April. Indeed, the so-called Islamic State’s Central African franchise (ISACP) has already threatened further mass casualty attacks over the month of Ramadan, likely in an attempt to boost the propaganda impact of its 27 March capture of the petrochemical hub of Palma in northern Mozambique.
• Further violence in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province is therefore all but certain and while ISCAP is unlikely to be able to launch another attack on the scale of that at Palma for some time yet it may look to launch strikes on the fringes or even outside of its normal area of operations.
• These could seek to target Western linked aid organisations or media groups in order to maximise propaganda value.
• Furthermore, the fact that IS’s central leadership in Syria/Iraq claimed responsibility for the Palma attack highlights the growing cooperation between it and its regional proxies.
• The speed with which the claims were made (and accompanying pictures posted) also suggests close prior cooperation over both the planning for the Palma attack and also over subsequent propaganda.