Sudan: 70 Sudanese joined ISIS, Interior Minister

A total of 70 Sudanese nationals have joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Libya since the emergence of the terrorist organization, the Sudanese Interior Minister announced.

According to press reports, many of those Sudanese foreign fighters are medical students who voluntarily flew to Syria through Turkey to work in hospitals under ISIS control.

In March this year, nine British students from Sudanese origin had reportedly joined ISIS in Syria. They were followed in June by 18 other students including a senior diplomat’s daughter. Another group of 4 female students were also feared to have run away to join ISIS in Syria.

While most of the Sudanese recruits are largely medical students, some are reportedly fighting at war fronts.

Last July, Abdul-Ilah, the son of the late leader of Jamaat Ansar al Sunnah, Abu Zaid Mohamed Hamzah, was killed in armed clashes in the ISIS stronghold of Sirte in Libya.

In June, one of ISIS Sudanese fighters nicknamed Abu al-Fida al-Sudani was confirmed killed in ISIS stronghold at al-Riqa.

The Sudanese Interior Minister played down the issue of Sudanese nationals joining ISIS saying that their number is very tiny compared to foreign fighters from other countries.

He pointed out that Khartoum has been working with Ankara to prevent further cases and that exit and entry visas to Libya, Turkey and Syria have been tightened.

The official acknowledged the spread of religious extremism in the country as security services over the past two months arrested a number of clerics suspected to be ISIS-sympathizers.

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