Mokhtar Belmokhtar said that Ayman al Zawahiri is his “emir” and jihadists must “confirm our confidence and our commitment to the method and guidance” to him.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s al-Mulathameen Brigade is behind terror attacks in Niger, Algeria, and Mali. Its “aliases,” the al-Murabitoon Brigade and al Mua’qi’oon Biddam, have also been added to the US’s lists of terror groups.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar united his group, the al-Mulathameen Brigade, with Ahmed el Tilemsi’s Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa to form the al-Murabitoon. The new group has praised the emirs of al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Mohamed Lahbous, a member of the al Qaeda-linked Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for his involvement in kidnapping, weapons smuggling, and armed attacks in Algeria.
The Justice Department charged Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of al Qaeda’s al Mua’qi’oon Biddam, or Those Who Sign in Blood Brigade, with eight terrorism-related charges.
The $7 million reward for Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s emir, puts him in the top echelon of wanted terrorist leaders. Rewards of $5 million are also offered for Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Yahya Abu Hammam.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar is alive, and announced that his al Mua’qi’oon Biddam, or Those Who Sign in Blood Brigade, carried out the suicide assaults in Niger in conjunction with MUJAO.
Hamad el Khairy, the head of the MUJAO’s sharia committee, said reports of Belmokhtar’s death are “merely unfounded lies” and have “no basis of truth.”