As of Sept. 2023, the future of Mali looks bleaker than ever. If you’re a jihadist, however, then the future is very bright.
Jeff Woodke, who spent over six years captive in the Sahel, and Olivier Dubois, who spent almost two years as a hostage, were finally freed from the clutches of al-Qaeda’s men in the Sahel. The United States has denied paying a ransom.
Several communities in Mali’s northern Menaka Region have turned to al Qaeda’s men in the face of extreme pressure and violence from the Islamic State’s local wing.
German national Jorg Lange was finally freed after being held captive by Islamic State militants in the Sahel since 2018.
The two claims of responsibility now confirms that both al Qaeda and the Islamic State are active inside the small West African country.
At least three Italians, one Polish citizen, and one American have been kidnapped in the Sahel over the last two months. At least five other Westerners remain in captivity in the region – all of which are held by jihadist groups.
Around 400 civilians, mainly from a small ethnic group in northern Mali’s rural border areas near Niger, have been killed by the Islamic State since March 8.
As violence continues to spread across the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso, the violence is now seeping into the states of Ivory Coast, Togo, and Benin.
Coming roughly a month after France reported it had killed Abu Walid al Sahrawi, the Islamic State’s leader in the Sahel, the Islamic State itself has finally subtly confirmed the reports. The jihadist group has not publicly named a successor.
France says Abu Walid al Sahrawi, the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, was killed in a drone strike in August. Al Sahrawi became a key figure in the global rivalry between the Islamic State and al Qaeda. His men were responsible for the Oct. 2017 ambush near Tongo Tongo, Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers.
The photo offers a rare look into jihadist governance in the Sahel, in which jihadists loyal to both al Qaeda and the Islamic State wield both direct and indirect control over many rural areas.
Almost 300 people have been killed in a series of mass killings in Niger and on a military position inside Mali. The Islamic State has officially claimed just one of the attacks, but it is believed to have carried out all of the massacres.
In an interview with the Islamic State’s Al-Naba newsletter, Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, attempts to paint al Qaeda’s efforts in the region as rife with internal squabbles and disunity.
In this week’s edition of the Islamic State’s weekly Al-Naba newsletter, the jihadist group claims a series of wide-ranging operations across the Sahel. This includes last month’s massacre of French aid workers in Niger, as well as a spate of battles with al Qaeda’s men.
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.
The two jihadist groups continue their rampage in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Two recently released booklets by the al Qaeda group are likely meant to assuage tensions both within and outside its organization.
Over the last month, the jihadist group has killed at least 174 Nigerien soldiers in three separate attacks.
The large video details several major Islamic State operations inside the Sahel over the last few years.
The Islamic State continues to make inroads in the Sahel, conducting several high-profile raids in the border region between Mali and Niger.
The photos detail the In-Delimane assault earlier this month which left over 50 Malian soldiers dead.
Friday’s assault marks the Islamic State’s deadliest attack in Mali to date.
Both groups have claimed deadly assaults in Burkina Faso, playing into the already perilous security situation in the country.
The Islamic State’s men in the Sahel claims another large-scale attack on Nigerien troops near the borders with Mali.
The Islamic State’s men in the Sahel have claimed a recent IED on US troops in Niger, as well as downing a French helicopter and assassinating a Tuareg militia member in Mali.
The jihadist group also claimed an assault on a high-security prison near the capital of Niamey.
The Islamic State has released its first official attack claim from northern Mali.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s official media arms, released its first combat video from Mali earlier today. The brief video claimed to show an ambush on French forces somewhere near Mali’s border region with Niger. While no specific date was given, the video likely portrays last month’s Islamic State […]
The Islamic State issued several claims of responsibility for attacks by the group known as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of civilians who have been murdered by both jihadists and government forces in Burkina Faso. This helps exacerbate the conditions that allow jihadists to operate in the region.