Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s al-Mulathameen Brigade is behind terror attacks in Niger, Algeria, and Mali. Its “aliases,” the al-Murabitoon Brigade and al Mua’qi’oon Biddam, have also been added to the US’s lists of terror groups.
Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on al Qaeda’s network in Africa and the threat it poses to the US
Mohamed Lahbous, a member of the al Qaeda-linked Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for his involvement in kidnapping, weapons smuggling, and armed attacks in Algeria.
The $7 million reward for Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s emir, puts him in the top echelon of wanted terrorist leaders. Rewards of $5 million are also offered for Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Yahya Abu Hammam.
The al Qaeda-linked Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa said the suicide attacks were intended to punish Niger for “cooperation with France in the war against Sharia” in Mali.
Hamad el Khairy, the head of the MUJAO’s sharia committee, said reports of Belmokhtar’s death are “merely unfounded lies” and have “no basis of truth.”
Ansar Dine received significant “military support” from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In November 2012, Ansar Dine established “an alliance” with AQIM and MUJAO.
Iyad ag Ghali, the leader of Ansar Dine, threw in his lot with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for the Oneness and Jihad in West Africa to take over northern Mali.