Al Qaeda’s Uqba bin Nafi Battalion claimed its first attack since October 2018.
In a message released earlier this month, Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi, a US-designated terrorist, called for sharia governance in Algeria. Al-Anabi is a senior Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb religious figure and has led the group’s “Council of Notables.”
Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims directly refutes France’s claiming of killing one of its co-founders and senior leaders, Amadou Kouffa.
The claim has not been confirmed elsewhere, nor has JNIM commented on the event, but the French military has claimed a recent operation killed JNIM co-founder Yahya Abu al Hammam.
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), al Qaeda’s senior leaders are strengthening the al Qaeda “network’s global command structure.” Meanwhile, the Islamic State “still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.” Both groups maintain worldwide networks or affiliates, branches, and supporters.
In a new audio message, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s emir, Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, tries to capitalize on popular discontent in France. He fuses populist economic arguments with his jihadist ideology to critique France’s intervention in Africa.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has released a statement claiming that the victims of an American airstrike on Nov. 29 “were a group of Tuareg youth” and not members of the organization. US Africa Command previously said that 11 AQIM “terrorists” were killed and three vehicles destroyed in the “precision airstrike near Al Uwaynat, Libya.”
The IED claim is the group’s first since July and just the second attack claim of the year for the small Tunisian Al Qaeda wing.