The leader of the jihadist group ISIS in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, has been “neutralized” by French forces. French President Emmanuel Macron announced it on Wednesday night on his Twitter account.
“This is another great success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Emmanuel Macron tweeted, adding that France was thinking “of the heartbroken families” and the wounded.
“With our African, European and American partners, we will continue this fight.”
Al-Sahrawi He was known for his militancy in eThe independence movement of the Polisario Front, located in Tindouf (Algeria). His military training was acquired in the Saharawi ranks and his violent radicalization began from the opposition to the Polisario leaders.
In 2011, al Sahrawi joined the MUJAO (Movement for Unity in West Africa) organization, which split from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) due to internal fissures among Algerians, Sahrawis and Mauritanians.
Kidnapping and drugs
The origin of the fractures is located in the economic distribution of kidnappings Westerners and drug trafficking operations. In fact, the appearance of MUJAO occurs with the kidnapping of three european hostages in the refugee camps of Tindouf (Algeria).
Over time, Al Saharawi separated from one of its main allies, Mokhtar Belmohtar, also known for a history of kidnappings in the Sahelian region, and decided in 2015 to establish its own structure aligning itself with the so-called ISIS, paying homage to Al-Baghdadi ( leader of ISIS) and competing with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the organization that until now had seized the entire field of political violence.
Won a remarkable credibility Among his followers, he forged his leadership at the head of ISIS in the Sahel and knew how to recruit fighters, especially from the Peul ethnic group, subjected to slavery of the Arab and Tuareg communities.
His organization was noted for its particularly deadly attacks in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, countries that are recurrent targets of attacks by armed jihadist groups.
In late 2019, he launched a series of attacks against military bases in Mali and Niger. And on August 9, 2020, in Niger, he personally ordered the murder of six French aid workers and your Nigerian guide and driver.
Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi is believed fell last month between the Malian city of Ménaka and the Nigerian border during a targeted military operation, explains RFI Bamako correspondent Serge Daniel.
A French security source said that after locating him, French forces on the ground carried out a military operation in late August. However, according to another well-informed source, it took time to perform the necessary checks and in confirming your identity.
The assassination of Al-Saharawi does not defeat terrorismNor does it weaken it, especially in this region where armed organizations operate increasingly autonomous and they merge with the groups of the criminal economy or delinquency.