As of Sept. 2023, the future of Mali looks bleaker than ever. If you’re a jihadist, however, then the future is very bright.
The U.S. government designated Abdiweli Mohamed Yusuf, the financial emir of the Islamic State’s Somali Province. This move, however, has much wider implications than just the Islamic State’s Somali operations.
In the face of delayed or stalled offensive action taken against it, Shabaab seeks to rally its forces.
The massive raid comes as Shabaab is facing its biggest challenge to its rule and territory in over a decade.
Abu Yasir al-Jaza’iri, an Algerian ideologue in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, offers the group’s harshest rebuke of the Islamic State to date.
Jeff Woodke, who spent over six years captive in the Sahel, and Olivier Dubois, who spent almost two years as a hostage, were finally freed from the clutches of al-Qaeda’s men in the Sahel. The United States has denied paying a ransom.
Musa Baluku, the leader of the Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (known locally as the Allied Democratic Forces), has joins other infamous Sunni jihadists actively sought after by the United States government.
Several communities in Mali’s northern Menaka Region have turned to al Qaeda’s men in the face of extreme pressure and violence from the Islamic State’s local wing.
Over the last two weeks, al Qaeda’s West African branch has made a more concerted effort to advance closer to the Malian capital of Bamako.
German national Jorg Lange was finally freed after being held captive by Islamic State militants in the Sahel since 2018.
This is the third such JNIM claim of responsibility for an attack inside northern Togo.
Another hotel siege perpetrated by Shabaab in Mogadishu was ended by Somali security forces almost twenty four hours after it began. The al Qaeda branch continues to lash out against civilians in response to military operations against it.
Shabaab killed at least 100 people at the same place where it killed upwards of 500 civilians almost exactly five years ago.
Abu Hudhayfah al Sudani, a veteran member of al Qaeda, calls on youth in his native Sudan to unite and form a cohesive jihadist front to combat the Sudanese government. He provides the prospective jihadis a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Shabaab unsurprisingly framed the terrorist attack as retaliation for the current military operations against it across the country.
Nine individuals were designated by the U.S. Treasury Department while an additional five were also blacklisted by the U.S. State Department.
Exact numbers are still unknown, but Shabaab is feared to have killed at least a dozen people in retaliatory suicide bombings as it faces severe military challenges across central Somalia.
Shabaab faces one of the largest counter-offensives against it in recent years. However, to be successful, Somalia must also work to effectively hold liberated areas and not just conduct clearing operations.
The two claims of responsibility now confirms that both al Qaeda and the Islamic State are active inside the small West African country.
The Sanaag Region, a territory contested by both Somalia and Somaliland, witnessed its first suicide bombing yesterday. No group has officially taken credit, though Shabaab is widely suspected given its history in the area.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
Almost 30 people have been killed in a series of jihadist attacks – many of which happened near simultaneously – across northern Togo over the last few days.
Hundreds of prisoners, including an unclear number of jihadists, remain free following a massive jailbreak just outside the Nigerian capital of Abuja earlier this week. The Islamic State has said its men were behind the raid.
At least three Italians, one Polish citizen, and one American have been kidnapped in the Sahel over the last two months. At least five other Westerners remain in captivity in the region – all of which are held by jihadist groups.
While Togo suffered its first ever jihadist attack in Nov. 2021, yesterday’s large assault represents the first loss of life from such violence in the small West African state. At least 8 Togolese troops were killed and 13 others wounded in an attack on a base and subsequent IED blast.
Shabaab again highlights operations from its urban assassination unit in Mogadishu. In doing so, it places these killings in the context of the wider global jihad.
Around 400 civilians, mainly from a small ethnic group in northern Mali’s rural border areas near Niger, have been killed by the Islamic State since March 8.
France says its forces killed Yahia Djouadi, a senior veteran of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, inside northern Mali. The raid comes after France and its European allies are set to withdraw from Mali.
Shabaab launched near simultaneous assaults across 5 areas of Mogadishu and its suburbs, showing the group’s continued strength as Somalia preps for its upcoming presidential election.