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.
Two new videos from Ansaru, or al Qaeda’s franchise in Nigeria, demonstrate the group’s continued ideological affinity and connections to the global jihadist network.
Hosts Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio are joined by Caleb Weiss, a longtime contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.
Yesterday’s statement is just the group’s second attack claim since its revival late last year. While Ansaru stated its men were behind an attack on Nigerian security forces, all recent raids in Kaduna State have been on civilians. It is thus likely that Ansaru is attempting to indicate its role in the growing ethnic violence in the state.
The attack, the group’s first since 2013, announces its operational return to Nigeria.
The photo marks the first sign of life for the group since 2017 and the first official publication since 2015.
Islamic State West Africa reportedly seized the town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria earlier this week. The Nigerian military downplayed the jihadis’ advances, but it appears that ISWA seized the town, at least temporarily. And ISWA documented its spoils in a series of images released today.
The Islamic State West Africa is progressing in its violent campaign against the Nigerian state in the northeast, as it continues to claim victories against the military.