While JNIM has not claimed the assault, its Katibat Macina is widely suspected of perpetrating the attack. This comes after sustained operations against it in the area last month.
With at least 257 al Qaeda-linked attacks in Mali and its neighboring countries, this represents a significant uptick in the al Qaeda-led insurgency in northern Mali in recent years.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and associated groups have unleashed a string of attacks in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa this year.
AQIM says the attack is meant to show that it can target Algeria in “whatever area we want, and to let you know that your fortifications that you have made will not prevent the strikes of the mujahideen from reaching you.”
Al Qaeda continues to prioritize targeting hotels, which are considered soft targets, across the African continent. AQIM has launched assaults on several hotels in West Africa in recent months, while Shabaab regularly targets hotels in Somalia.
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The Treasury Department designated four Hezbollah operatives based in West Africa. The operatives are said to have helped Hezbollah in its recruitment and fundraising efforts, among other activities.