The return of the Taliban in Afghanistan has taken the world by surprise. In Africa, it compounds the worry and fear in countries struggling to crush Islamist insurgencies. For over a decade now, there’s been a surge in the activities of extremist groups in East and West Africa, the Sahel and parts of southern Africa. Many are Islamist militant groups with some form of affiliation to al-Qaeda, an organization the United Nations (UN) has said shares links with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Somalia-based media affiliated with the homegrown al-Shabab group hailed the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan in what could be seen as a show of support, says London-based political analyst Ahmed Rajab. “We are not so sure of the link between the Taliban and al-Shabab, whether these links are opportunistic on the part of al-Shabab or whether they are indeed organic links between the two movements,” Rajab told DW.