The group’s motivations for the attacks remain unknown. It has made no public statements, nor has it claimed credit for the attacks. But military and intelligence officials said it was most likely formed in reaction to the extreme poverty in Mozambique’s only predominantly Muslim region.
“We are at an inflection point in the broader campaign against terrorism,” said Laith Alkhouri, a senior director at Flashpoint, a business risk intelligence company in New York, assessing the global terrorist threat.
Over the past month alone, and armed with new authorities from Mr. Trump, American Special Operations forces continue to hunt Islamic State and Qaeda operatives. In June, Mr. Trump nominated a former member of the Navy SEALs, Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire, to be the next director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
On June 6, an American Reaper drone killed four Islamic State fighters near Bani Walid, Libya, about 110 miles southeast of Tripoli, Libya’s capital. A week later, another Reaper killed a Qaeda operative 50 miles southeast of Bani Walid. Ten days later, in central Yemen, American airstrikes attacked Qaeda fighters in the contested central Hadramout region.
The risks of these missions was laid bare on June 8, when an American Special Operations soldier was killed and four others were wounded in an attack in southwestern Somalia against Shabab fighters.
Even away from the battlefield, extremists on social media and the internet are proving to be potent. French authorities foiled a ricin plot by an Egyptian-born student in May after intercepting messages on the secure social media platform Telegram.
And in Cologne, Germany, authorities acting on information from American intelligence agencies last month arrested a Tunisian man who tried to buy 1,000 castor bean seeds and a coffee grinder online. The shell of the castor bean is highly poisonous and can be used to make ricin.