Despite a French-led counterterrorism mission throughout the Sahara and Sahel, Al Qaeda has been able to retain the ability to launch attacks in Mali and increasingly in neighboring countries.
The Al Qaeda groups continue to strike at popular hotels throughout West Africa.
Abu Yahya al Hammam joins other Al Qaeda figures in Mali and the Sahara to have threatened France and its interests this year, including Iyad Ag Ghaly and a fighter from Al Murabitoon.
One month after the jihadist group conducted a terrorist attack in Mali’s capital killing over 20 people, the French military launched a four hour raid against Al Murabitoon reportedly killing several of its fighters in northern Mali.
The photo shows two young jihadists before undertaking the attack that left more than 20 people dead in Mali’s capital late last month.
Al Murabitoon, an al Qaeda group that operates in West Africa, claimed it executed the hotel siege in Mali in conjunction with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The attackers were heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” and separated Muslims from non-Muslims. The hostage crisis is the second to occur in Mali this year, but the first to occur in its capital. Jihadists have increasingly been able to penetrate southern Mali after a French-led counterterrorism mission in the north.
The video confirms that the jihadist group holds the hostage and that he was still alive as of two weeks ago.