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.
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.
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.
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.
Amadou Kouffa, the leader of JNIM’s Katibat Macina, has been designated as a global terrorist by the US State Department.
The jihadist conglomerate, as suspected, claimed Sunday’s deadly siege on a military base in central Mali.
While no group has yet to officially claim the assault, al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims is widely suspected.
Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims directly refutes France’s claiming of killing one of its co-founders and senior leaders, Amadou Kouffa.
Several attacks in both Mali and Burkina Faso were claimed by al Qaeda’s jihadist conglomerate JNIM.
The State Department has designated Ansaroul Islam, a Burkinabe jihadist group affiliated with al Qaeda’s network in Mali, as a terrorist organization. FDD’s Long War Journal has tracked the rise of the group since its founding in late 2016.
Earlier this month, four al Qaeda groups in West Africa merged to form the “Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims.” Its constituent organizations launched more than 250 attacks across the region in 2016, a significant increase in the jihadists’ operational tempo from the previous year.
No one has claimed the assault, but Ansar Dine was behind a jailbreak last month.
The video shows the aftermath of an ambush on Malian troops in central Mali last month. The jihadist group’s two battalions that operate in central and southern Mali continue to threaten the region.
Despite not previously reporting taking hostages during last month’s attack in Nampala, Ansar Dine is now claiming to have captured five Malian soldiers during the large-scale assault.
The assault is one of the largest on a Malian military base in recent years, and has left twice as many Malian soldiers dead as last year’s attack on the same base.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and associated groups have unleashed a string of attacks in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa this year.
The first video promises to be the first of many of Ansar Dine’s southern branch. Ansar Dine’s Katibat Macina, which is more commonly known as the Macina Liberation Front, is integrated within al Qaeda’s larger strategy for Mali and West Africa.