In exchange for the release of dozens of imprisoned members from Mali’s prisons, Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) has freed four hostages, three of them foreign. JNIM has since celebrated the prisoner swap, including a personal appearance by its overall emir, Iyad Ag Ghaly, in northern Mali.
Hosts Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio are joined by Caleb Weiss, a longtime contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.
JNIM claims its first suicide bombing of the year on French troops in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali.
In the latest edition of its Al-Naba newsletter, the Islamic State claims that Al Qaeda started a war against the so-called caliphate’s men in West Africa. Independent reporting shows the two sides have clashed in recent weeks.
Al Qaeda’s branch in West Africa, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, has released a statement saying it is willing to meet with the Malian government — but only after French and allied forces withdraw from the area.