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.
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.
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.
Hosts Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio are joined by Caleb Weiss, a longtime contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.
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.
On June 15, the Islamic State’s West Africa province released a video featuring a masked jihadist known as Abu Salmah al-Mangawi. Along with foot soldiers in Burkina Faso and Mali, al-Mangawi renewed his pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.