Tag Archives: Al Qaeda

Five Mali soldiers killed in jihad

Five soldiers killed in an ambush, the  Malian army representatives said.  According to the statement  the soldiers were travelling between the towns of Hombori and Boni, about 100 km north of the Burkina Faso border, when they fell into an ambush. Their vehicle was also destroyed. Reinforcements have been immediately dispatched. (Image above: Hombori sunset).

It came days after gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in neighboring Burkina Faso.

Terrorist attacks targeting local security forces in the Sahel region have increased lately.

Since 2012, Islamists linked to al Qaeda have taken control of northern Mali, exploiting the downfall of Libyan state, and following Tuareg separatist uprising. The fragility of the Sahel region, is cause for international concern.
Despite French intervention and the deployment of joint forces from five Sahel countries, terrorist groups still control a large part of this region and are increasingly influential in Burkina Faso and Niger.

26 dead in Al-Shabaab Asasey hotel attack

A suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into the Asasey hotel in the port of Kismayo, Somalia, followed by the gunmen, who stormed popular among travelers location. Radical Islam militants of al-Shabab have claimed the attack, the most devastating act of jihad in Kismayo since fighters were forced out in 2012. (Image above: illustration).

Famous TV presenter Hodan Naleyah (43), and her husband Farid were among the victims. A local politician, three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and one Briton among the killed, the authorities confirmed.

Al-Shabab, affiliated to al Qaeda terrorist group, often uses car bombs to infiltrate heavily fortified targets like the hotel in Kismayo, which has enjoyed relative calm since 2012.

Mali governor sacked over security failure

Mali’s council of ministers has sacked  Sidy Alassane Toure. the governor of Mopti region, after armed group killed dozens of people in the latest eruption of ethnic violence, it informed in a statement on Sobane Da village massacre. (Image: illustration Mopti view).

Unindentified attackers believed to belong to the Fulani ethnic group raided a  Dogon village near town Bankass, killing 35 people, according to the government, although a local authority maintains the real figure is 95 deaths. Neither has produced evidence for these tolls.

The government also declared three days of national mourning in the official annoucement.

Drawing lessons from this tragedy, the council of ministers dismissed the Mopti region’s governor,” the council announced via an issued statement.  Sidy Alassane Toure was the latest government official to lose his job as a result of authorities’ failure to contain spiraling ethnic violence around Mopti.

Malians have grown increasingly critical of failures of Keita‘s government to protect them from both ethnic violence and armed radical groups affiliated to al-Qaeda and the ISIS terrorists.

Al-Shabaab expands into Kenya

Somali radical Islam insurgents are making their own explosives, according to a confidential U.N. report explaining their frequent and deadly attacks.

The Somali al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group al-Shabab extends attacks beyond borders, by recruiting new members outside Somali clans, luring them with promises of money and gifts.

In the beginning of this year an assault on an office and hotel complex in Nairobi (Kenya), was the first to be led by non-ethnic Somalis since al-Shabab began major cross-border operations in 2010.

Ali Salim Gichunge, nicknamed Farouk (26) leading Nairobi attacks was a Kenyan who attended a Catholic school and whose mainly Christian ethnic group Meru has no ties to Somalia.

Farouk is by no means exception among a growing number of Kenyans with no ethnic links to Somalia recruited by the militants in recent years, according to relatives, security officials and analysts.

Widespread poverty and unemployment create a nourishing ground for al-Shabaab recruiters offering cash or even just promises of work, researchers who interviewed defectors from the group report. The relatives of the young men said, even small gifts would work for engaging them.

“In the past, the security forces concentrated their efforts in parts of the country that are Muslim majority, Muslim-dominated,” said Murithi Mutiga, a project director for the International Crisis Group think-tank, he added that, “now it’s much harder because al-Shabab has shown its adaptability by recruiting from outside the traditional areas.”

As well al-Shabab has expanded its operations from Somalia into East Africa, where it has hit high-profile targets, such as the offices of Western multinational companies.

Terrorist attack in Mali left 16 dead

Gunmen attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base overnight, killing at least 16 military and destroying five vehicles in central Mopti region, said two local officials in the area where the attack occurred. Army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone  confirmed the attack took place but declined further details.

The base is in the village of Dioura, the mayor of the nearest town Kareri, Youssouf Coulibaly, confirmed, that the Central Mali has in the past few years been overrun by Islamic radicals with links to Al Qaeda.

I’m currently inside the base and there were many deaths here. We’ve counted 16 so far,” Mr. Coulibaly said. (Below interactive map of fatalities and violent episodes in Mali since August 2014).

Al-Qaeda in Mali claims rocket attack

Nusrat al-Islam militants claim the mortar (or rocket) attack carried out on July 29th 2018 against a military camp in Aguelhok, Kidal region. The group also says that it will not end its attacks against  France until French soldiers have left their country.

Nusrat al-Islam is It is the official branch of  Al-Qaeda in Mali after its leaders swore allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the incumbent leader of the  terrorist group.

Some of the experts monitoring terrorism offered the translation of the text in Arabic:

Sophie Petronin abductors in Mali unclear about intentions

Sebastian Petronin (38)  discovered a video of his mother, in a headscarf and looking frail and tearful, the latest proof the 75-year-old Sophie Petronin is alive nearly two years after she was kidnapped by jihadists and held in the desert of Mali. The Islamist group releases a video showing the hostages Gloria Cecilia Narvaez and Sophie Petronin. The hostages address respectively Pope Francis and the French government asking to be rescued.

Fearing for her deteriorating health, Petronin hopes her abductors will allow him to visit her just once, even if there is scant chance he will be able to take her back. Now from Niamey, Niger he tries to obtain information to move as close as possible to his mother., reportedly kept in remote places in desert. In the video, Sophie Petronin tells that his captors are accepting a meeting with her son.

“We are really concerned”, – Petronin said. “She is a fighter but I feel like she has suffered blows to her morale that affected her, and I think she is very tired”, he added sharing his thoughts. He prefers to ensure his complete security with his contacts before eventually going on the spot, if possible.

“Nobody knows what these people want in exchange for the release of my mother, so of course, I go in order to release her but I already know that I will not leave with her”, Pétronin admits.

Sebastian Petronin

Sophie Pétronin is a humanitarian worker of a double French/Swiss nationality. She is the founder of the NGO “Aid Association in Gao”, which is focused on child welfare in northern Mali. At present she is the only abducted French national in captivity. 

On December 24, 2016, Sophie Petronin was abducted in Gao. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutors in Paris and entrusted to the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI5).

It July 2017 first pieces of information broke out, when a jihadist group in Sahel broadcasted a video with Petronin and five other people kidnapped between 2011 and 2017 in Mali and also Burkina Faso. Their detention is claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked group.

 

 

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