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.
Johan Gustafsson was reportedly released by al Qaeda militants in Mali and has arrived back in Sweden. Another person abducted alongside him, South African Stephen Malcolm, remains in captivity.
Yesterdays assault near Bamako is yet another instance of the jihadist group targeting popular resorts in West Africa.
The raid, which occurred last year, was a joint operation that included several al Qaeda groups in Mali. The video is likely meant to show that the raid was a precursor to the merger that would from the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM).