In 2017, LWJ reported unprecedented levels of airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen. Thus far in 2018, the United States has sustained its high strike tempo in Somalia and improved transparency on its air campaign in Yemen. Strikes in Pakistan have leveled off, however press restrictions make tracking operations there difficult. In Libya, the U.S. has targeted jihadists sparingly.
Yesterday’s ambush was the highest death toll in a terrorist attack in the country since the Islamic State’s foray into Ben Gardane in March 2016.
The State Department has designated Ansaroul Islam, a Burkinabe jihadist group affiliated with al Qaeda’s network in Mali, as a terrorist organization. FDD’s Long War Journal has tracked the rise of the group since its founding in late 2016.
At least 276 attacks in Mali and its neighboring countries were linked al Qaeda in 2017. This includes a significant shift of violence to central Mali, as well as northern Burkina Faso.
Yesterday’s claim was just the second released by the group this year. However, al Qaeda Tunisian branch has continued to harass both the local security forces and the local population.
Al Qaeda’s general leadership and regional branches have released statements denouncing the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Suspected jihadists laid siege to a popular restaurant with Westerners in the capital of Burkina Faso. Two UN bases were also attacked by jihadists in Mali.
The video serves as both a warning to foreigners and foreign governments in Mali, as well as a proof of life video for each of the six foreign hostages currently held by JNIM in Mali.