In exchange for the release of dozens of imprisoned members from Mali’s prisons, Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) has freed four hostages, three of them foreign. JNIM has since celebrated the prisoner swap, including a personal appearance by its overall emir, Iyad Ag Ghaly, in northern Mali.
In a new audio message, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s emir, Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, tries to capitalize on popular discontent in France. He fuses populist economic arguments with his jihadist ideology to critique France’s intervention in Africa.
The video of Sophie Petronin is similar to January’s proof-of-life video for another JNIM hostage, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez.
The video serves as both a warning to foreigners and foreign governments in Mali, as well as a proof of life video for each of the six foreign hostages currently held by JNIM in Mali.