Months after killing four US Special Forces soldiers, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has been designated as a terrorist group by the US government. Its leader, Abu Walid al Sahrawi, was also designated today.
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.
The group said that four suicide bombers, rather than the previously reported two or three, were used in the April 14 suicide assault on the Timbuktu airport. Additionally, JNIM also denied claims of the use of female suicide bombers.
JNIM claims the brazen assault was in retaliation for the death of several of its commanders and fighters in recent French raids.
Today’s claims of responsibility are the first for the group in Burkina Faso since 2016.
French special forces took part in a large-scale joint operation with Malian and Nigerien troops, alongside Tuareg militias, against militants of the so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara on April 1.
Sunday’s clashes between the Tuarag alliance and Islamic State-loyal militants in northern Mali is the first since early last month.
JNIM’s new video shows its fighters across Mali and even in Burkina Faso. The video also shows the group’s rising media capabilities.