Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has sent a message of support to its fellow al Qaeda branch for recently killing five French soldiers.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has named Abu Ubaidah Yusef al-Annabi as its new emir. His predecessor, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was killed in a French counterterrorism operation in Mali earlier this year.
France has claimed it killed Bah Ag Moussa, an important JNIM commander, in a recent military raid in northern Mali. JNIM has not yet commented on the news.
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 exchange for the release of dozens of imprisoned members from Mali’s prisons, Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) has freed four hostages, three of them foreign. JNIM has since celebrated the prisoner swap, including a personal appearance by its overall emir, Iyad Ag Ghaly, in northern Mali.
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.
JNIM claims its first suicide bombing of the year on French troops in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali.