Results tagged “Mauritania”
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Ansar Dine spokesman Senda Ould Boumama, a Mauritanian, surrendered to Mauritanian forces near Bassiknou and has been transferred to Nouackchott for questioning. He had asked for extradition to his native country last month, saying he was the target of an assassination attempt.
Abdallahi Ould Mohamed Ghailani, a guard at the Salah Eddine prison, was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for spying for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; he facilitated communications between Salafist prisoners and terrorists outside. Four university students were sentenced to five years in prison and fined for trying to send jihadists to Mali. Prosecutors asked that Canadian suspect Aaron Yoon, who tried to train with al Qaeda in Mali and to recruit other jihadists, receive a 10-year sentence.
The UN reported appalling conditions at the Mbera camp for Malian refugees in the southeast corner of Mauritania, which currently shelters some 70,000 people. Canadian citizen Aaron Yoon, who was arrested in late 2011 while preparing to travel to Mali to join Islamist fighters, is serving a two-year sentence in Mauritania that was imposed in July. He told the court he had been recruited by an Islamist named Mohammed El-Hafed.
The foreign minister announced the arrest of five armed jihadists who were attempting to enter Mauritania from northern Mali. He also said that other members of "armed Islamist groups active in northern Mali" had also been arrested "while posing as refugees." Mauritania has declared most of the regions along its shared border with Mali to be closed military zones to prevent infiltration by "terrorist elements."
A court charged two Mauritanians with joining al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to fight in Mali. One of the suspects, Brahim Ould Hmeida, is a brother of Abdallahi Ould Hmeida, a hostage-taker in the Id Amenas attack in Algeria. The other suspect, Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikhani, had been arrested for terrorism in 2006 but was acquitted.
An imprisoned Mauritanian Salafist, Abu Ayyub al-Mahdi (a.k.a. Ahmed Salim bin al-Hassan), announced the creation of Ansar al Sharia in Mauritania with the goal of implementing sharia and countering an alleged war on Islam. Malian refugees in the M'Bara camp support the proposed deployment of UN peacekeepers to the areas they have fled; concerns remain that terrorists will conduct suicide operations in Mali.