Al-Qaeda in North Africa Announces A New Leader

Al-Qaeda in North Africa, otherwise known as AQIM, has announced Abu Obaida Yusuf Al-Annabi as its new leader five months after the death of Abdel Wadud Droukdel, its former leader. 

Abu Obaida, an Algerian who had appeared numerous times in the AQIM propaganda videos, has been in the United States international terrorist blacklist since 2015. 

AQIM displayed the body of its former leader for the first time in a video after five months on Saturday. 

AQIM emerged from a group started in the late 1990s by Algerian fighters who, in 2007, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

The terrorists group has claimed responsibility over the 2016 attack on an upmarket hotel and restaurant that killed no less than 30 people in Burkina Faso, mainly Westerners. 

AQIM had also, numerously attacked troops and civilians in different locations of the Sahel region.

France has more than 5,000 troops deployed in its “anti-jihadist” Barkhane force in the Sahel.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had also trained Ansaru elements in Nigeria.

Ansaru leaders joined Boko Haram and transferred their specialized skills in kidnappings, suicide bombings, and media to the terror group. 

Ansaru, also known as “Alqaeda beyond the Sahel,” had officially abandoned Boko Haram after disagreement with Abubakar Shekau in 2012.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu Dahiru is an assistant editor and head of extremism and radicalization desks at HumAngle. He is a fact-checker and has a passion for analyzing jihadism in Africa and telling the stories of those affected by conflict and insecurity. Tweets: @Aliyussufiy

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