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.
Al Qaeda’s JNIM remains a potent threat to both Malian and UN forces inside Mali. In addition, Ansaroul Islam, a Burkinabe jihadist group linked to JNIM, continues to terrorize Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel region.
The attacks represent a significant increase in jihadist attacks in northern Burkina Faso. In addition, the use of improvised explosive devices, previously unknown to the country, is on the rise.
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 al Qaeda group continues to target French forces in northern Mali, as well as conduct attacks on Malian and UN troops elsewhere in the country.
Al Qaeda’s newly formed entity, the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims, have perpetrated a multitude of attacks in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa this year. This represents a major security threat for the region.
The Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), al Qaeda’s new group in West Africa, claimed an ambush on French troops in central Mali near the borders with Burkina Faso. Additionally, it also claimed launching Grad rockets into a French base in northern Mali.