Results tagged “Mauritania”
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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.
Dembra Ould Semane, the brother of Salafist prisoners Mohamed and El Khadim Ould Semane, was arrested on terrorism charges. Security forces have stepped up monitoring of Salafists who might be joining al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated groups. The popularity of Islamist parties and AQIM is rising in the country, where 59 percent of the population is under 25 and unemployment is rife.
On Jan. 28 authorities in Brakna arrested three Salafists in Chegar alleged to be members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Tens of thousands of refugees from the fighting in Mali have fled to camps in Mauritania.