France says its forces killed Yahia Djouadi, a senior veteran of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, inside northern Mali. The raid comes after France and its European allies are set to withdraw from Mali.
In a recent statement released online, Jamaat Ansar al Muslimeen, better known as Ansaru, confirmed it maintains its allegiance to al Qaeda after reportedly re-pledging allegiance to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in 2020.
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.
Local Malian sources report that the emir of Katibat Gourma, a sub-unit of Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), was killed in a French operation in northern Mali yesterday. France has confirmed it targeted Katibat Gourma, but the death of its emir is not yet confirmed.
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.
Northern Ivory Coast has seen a substantial increase in suspected jihadist attacks since March of this year. Much of the violence is emanating from southwestern Burkina Faso, where al Qaeda’s Katibat Macina is expanding.
Baye Ag Bakabo is linked to several of AQIM’s kidnappings in Mali, including the operation that left two RFI journalists dead in 2013.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has sent a message of support to its fellow al Qaeda branch for recently killing five French soldiers.