As JNIM rallies its members and supporters against France and Mali, it depicts the fight with the two countries as part of al Qaeda’s wider global jihad.
The State Department announced today that it has designated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), al Qaeda’s branch in Mali and West Africa, as a terrorist organization. JNIM and its leader, Iyad Ghali, are openly loyal to al Qaeda and the Taliban’s emir.
Rising communal violence in both northern and central Mali further weakens the already fragile state, which in turn, further helps jihadists exploit these problems for their own gain.
The jihadist group claims the bombing, and last week’s bombing at the G5 Sahel base in central Mali, were messages to warn France and its allies about the “costs” of being in Mali.
Only days after a suicide assault on an African military base in central Mali, another suicide car bombing hit French Barkhane troops in the northern city of Gao.
While no group has claimed responsibility yet, it was most likely conducted by al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims.
Burkina Faso’s wanted list gives more information into the inner-workings and operations of Ansaroul Islam, a relatively under-researched and little understood al Qaeda-linked jihadist group.
Intercommunal eye for an eye killings have been increasing in the past week with dozens of Tuaregs and Fulani being killed on both sides of the Mali-Niger border. The massacres come in the backdrop of ongoing counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.