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Mokhtar Belmokhtar Khalid Abu Al Abbès Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat Africa North Algerian At Large 20071112 Link
    Alias of Mokhtar Belmokhtar
  Mokhtar Belmokhtar Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat North Africa Algerian At Large 20030516  
  Belaouar Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat Africa: North Algerian At Large 20050613 Link
    Alias of Mokhtar Belmokhtar
  Mokhtar Belmokhtar Salafist Group for Call and Combat North Africa 20030605  
  Mokhtar Belmokhtar Salafist Group for Preaching and Fighting Africa: North 20040620 Link

Africa North
U.N. Staffer Killed in Mali Attack on Peacekeeping Convoy
[AnNahar] A U.N. employee was killed Tuesday in an attack on a peacekeeping convoy in northern Mali, Secretary General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon said.

The attackers used explosives on the road from Goundam to Timbuktu where the vehicles from the U.N. MINUSMA force were traveling, he said.

Ban condemned the attack in which a civilian staff member was killed and said such actions "will not alter the determination of the United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
to support the Malian people and the grinding of the peace processor."

The attack came just days after Islamist gunnies stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, killing at least 20 people and taking hostages before Malian, French and U.S. troops moved in to end the siege.

Northern Mali fell under the control of Tuareg rebels and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in mid-2012 before they were beaten back by a French-led operation in early 2013.

In June, the two main armed factions signed a peace deal to end the conflict in the north, but some splinter groups are opposing the agreement.

Two separate jihadist groups have grabbed credit for the assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday: the Al-Murabitoun group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate led by notorious one-eyed Algerian murderous Moslem Mokhtar Belmokhtar, and the Macina Liberation Front (LWF) from central Mali.

The United Nations has deployed some 10,200 peacekeepers in Mali to help restore order after the Islamist takeover in the north but the mission has come under repeated attacks.

Africa North
Mali gunmen were hunting for Air France staff at Radisson
The terrorists behind Friday's assault on a hotel in Mali were actively hunting for an Air France crew who were staying there, security guards who witnessed the attack have claimed.

Kasim Haidara, who was on duty when the gunmen stormed the Radisson hotel in Bamako, told The Telegraph that they confronted a colleague and demanded to know which floor the Air France crew were staying on. The fellow guard deliberately directed them to the wrong floor, Mr Haidara said, for which he was later shot dead by the terrorists.

Mr Haidara's account would suggest that the group, who killed 19 people, was prioritising French citizens because of the country's two-year long military campaign against Islamists in northern Mali. It might also explain the Air France's decision to suspend its twice daily flights from Paris to Bamako shortly afterwards.

Speaking of the "shocking, frightening" attack, Mr Haidara, 28, said that his colleague, Moussa Tiema-Konate, had been on the fifth floor of the hotel at the time.

"When they got up there, the terrorists asked him: 'where are the staff of Air France?' He told them that they were on the seventh floor instead, and when they realised later that he had given them wrong information, they came back down and killed him."

Air France has not commented on whether its staff were deliberately targeted or not, although did not confirm that 12 crew - including two pilots - were safely evacuated.

Mr Haidara's claims emerged as a chef who worked in the hotel's kitchens said that one of the terrorists had calmly cooked himself a meal during the siege, which lasted nine hours. Ali Yazbeck, 30, who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, told the New York Times that the gunman came into the kitchen, grilled some meat taken from a fridge, and then ate it before resuming combat.

Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the Al-Murabitoun group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed Algerian militant behind the 2013 Amenas gas refinery attack in Algeria that killed 40 hostages, including six Britons.

Reports that the Mali attackers spoke in English with a Nigerian accent have raised speculation that the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram could also have been involved. However, security officials say they would have expected the group to have made a claim of responsibility by now.

Malian security forces say they are still hunting for "more than three" people who may have been involved in the attack, in which two of the gunmen were killed.

Africa North
Mali Hunting at Least three Suspects over Hotel Attack
[AnNahar] Investigators in Mali were on Saturday hunting at least three people suspected of links to the jihadist siege at a luxury hotel in the capital that left at least 19 people dead.

The government has declared a state of emergency after the bloody nine-hour hostage-taking at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday, exactly a week after the Gay Paree massacre.

A security cordon remained in place around the Radisson and security was also boosted around public buildings and banks and other hotels.

The Al-Murabitoun group, an al-Qaeda affiliate led by notorious one-eyed Algerian krazed killer Mokhtar Belmokhtar, nicknamed the "Uncatchable" or "Mr Marlboro", claimed the attack.

Gunmen went on the rampage through the hotel from the early morning, shooting in the corridors and taking 170 guests and staff hostage, many of them foreigners.

The assault, which ended when Malian and international troops stormed the hotel, left 19 people dead as well as two attackers, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said.

The victims included several Russians, three Chinese, two Belgians, an American and a Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...

A Malian military source had said earlier there were at least 27 dead, while at least "three Lions of Islam had been killed or blown themselves up."

Authorities are now "actively pursuing" at least three people over the attack in the former French colony, one security source told AFP.

In an audio recording broadcast by Al-Jazeera
... an Arab news network headquartered in Qatar, notorious for carrying al-Qaeda press releases. The name means the Peninsula, as in the Arabian Peninsula. In recent years it has settled in to become slightly less biased than MSNBC, in about the same category as BBC or CBS...
television, Belmokhtar's group grabbed credit, saying it had worked with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Belmokhtar, one of the world's most desperados, was indeed "likely" the brains behind the assault.

The jihadist is also accused of spearheading an attack on an Algerian gas plant in 2013 in which around 40 hostages were killed, most of them Westerners.

La Belle France has more than 1,000 troops in its former colony, a key battleground of the Barkhane counter-terror mission spanning five countries in Africa's restive Sahel region
... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas...

Africa North
Islamists Kill Policeman in Mali
[AnNahar] Islamists from a group linked to a deadly hotel siege have attacked a police post in central Mali, killing an officer, military and local government sources said Sunday.

"On Saturday, armed Islamists fired on three gendarmes in Bankass, at a security post," said a Malian army source in the regional capital Mopti, around 100 kilometers (60 miles) away, adding that one of the officers died.

Mahamane Cisse, a councilor in the Mopti region, said the "terrorists" were fighters for radical Islamic preacher Amadou Koufa's Macina Liberation Front.

Little is known about the krazed killer group, but it was linked to a hostage drama at a hotel in nearby town of Sevare in August in which 13 people died, including five U.N. workers.

Cisse said the fighters in Saturday's attack moved on after killing the police officer to a nearby local government building.

"There, they set fire to two vehicles and the residence of the sub-prefect, who fortunately was not there," he added.

"It was the men of Amadou Koufa of the Macina Liberation Front that did it."

Koufa is close to Souleyman Mohammed Kennen, who grabbed credit for the Byblos hotel siege in a brief phone conversation soon after with AFP.

"The hand of Allah has guided the mujahedeen of Sevare against the enemies of Islam," Kennen said, adding that Koufa had given his "blessing" to the attack.

In 2012, Kennen was part of the Malian wing of fighters led by notorious Algerian jihadist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founding member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who now heads his own group.

Northern Mali was then under the control of jihadist movements linked to al-Qaeda and ethnic Tuareg rebel forces. The main towns in the desert territory were recaptured from the Lions of Islam with the help of French and African troops in 2013.

Security forces in Mali have jugged
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
at least 10 suspects over the Byblos hotel siege, which began on August 7 and lasted almost 24 hours.

Four foreign employees of the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in Mali were killed, along with a Malian civilian driver, four "terrorists" and four soldiers, according to the government.

Army reinforcements arrived in the Bankass area on Sunday "to protect people and look for terrorists," the military source said.

Africa North
Mali Hotel Attack Claimed by Fighters Linked to Belmokhtar
[AnNahar] A deadly hostage drama at a Mali hotel in which 13 people died -- including five U.N. workers -- was claimed Tuesday by fighters linked to the notorious one-eyed Algerian jihadi leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

A radical associated with murderous Moslem Malian Islamic leader Amadou Koufa said he gave his "blessing" for the attack on the Byblos Hotel in the central town of Sevare.

Koufa has ties to Belmokhtar -- known as "The Uncatchable" -- the former head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) who now leads his own bully boy Al-Murabitoun group.

"The hand of Allah has guided the mujahedeen of Sevare against the enemies of Islam," Souleyman Mohammed Kennen told an AFP news hound in Bamako during a brief telephone interview.

The stand-off with the hostage-takers, which began early Friday, ended nearly 24 hours later when Malian troops stormed the hotel.

Souleyman claimed the group was also behind the killing of three Malian soldiers on Monday when their vehicle hit an improvised bomb close to Diabozo, near Sevare. Four other troops were maimed, the government said.

Jihadist attacks long concentrated in the north of Mali -- where turbans linked to AQIM still exercise much control -- began spreading to the center of the country earlier this year, even as far south as the borders with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso
...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and will leave office feet first, one way or the other...
in June.

The U.S. said it targeted Belmokhtar in an air strike in the Libyan desert the same month, but AQIM denied reports its former leader had been killed.

Investigators said Monday they found phone numbers and addresses on the bodies of the "terrorists" killed in the Sevare hotel which suggested they were affiliated with the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), a new Islamic bully boy group drawn from the Fulani people of central Mali.

"At this stage there is no formal proof that it was the Macina Liberation Front, but strong suspicions point to this group that has been seeking notoriety at all costs," she said.

But a regional security source told AFP there is "much coming and going between all these groups. In claiming responsibility for the Sevare attack, Souleyman is also speaking for the other jihadi groups," he said.

The FLM, which emerged earlier this year, has claimed a number of attacks, some targeting security forces in central Mali. It is considered linked to Ansar Dine -- Arabic for "defenders of the faith" -- one of the groups that took control of Mali's vast arid north in April 2012. Washington added Ansar Dine to its terror blacklist in 2013, accusing it of close ties to Al-Qaeda and of torturing and killing opponents in the north.

Africa North
NY Times: Top Tunisian 'Jihadist' Killed by US Strike in Libya
[ALMANAR.LB] A top Tunisian terrorist and associate of late Al-Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden
... who is now beyond all cares and woe...
was killed by a US Arclight airstrike in Libya last month, the New York Times
...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize...

Seifallah Ben Hassine, Tunisia's most wanted Jihadist, who criminal masterminded a campaign of liquidations and terrorist attacks, including one against the United States Embassy in Tunis, was killed mid-June in an Arclight airstrike that targeted a top Al Qaeda-linked terrorist, the paper said.

Ben Hassine, also known as Abu Ayadh, is believed to have coordinated a string of liquidations, including the killing of famed Afghan anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Masood in 2001.

He was one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants and the leader of the outlawed group Ansar al-Sharia
...a Salafist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends. There are groups of the same name in Libyaand Yemen, with the Libyan versions currently most active. Tunisia's Shabaab al-Tawhid started out an Ansar al-Sharia and changed its name in early 2014. It still uses the old name now and then, probably because the stationery's not all used up and the web site hasn't expired yet...
h in Tunisia. He had been based in Libya since 2013, according to reports, and ran training camps and a network of bad boy cells across the region.

Tunisian officials also accused Ben Hassine of directing the killings of two secular Tunisian politicians in 2013, the paper reported.

"His death, if confirmed, would be an important victory for Tunisia in its struggle to contain a persistent insurgency in its western border region and a growing threat to its urban centers," New York Times said.

Moreover, Tunisian station Radio Mosaique first reported Ben Hassine's death, which the US paper said it had confirmed with an official in Washington.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential military assessment, said Ben Hassine died in a strike that targeted Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a top Al Qaeda-linked bad boy believed to have criminal masterminded a deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant in 2013.

Libya's government reported at the time that Belmokhtar was killed in the attack but Al Qaeda's North Africa branch denied it.

Hassine had been on a United Nations
...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks...
blacklist since 2002 over his links to al-Qaeda. He was imprisoned in Tunisia in 2003 but released under an amnesty after the ouster of ex-President-for-Life Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
...who departed by popular demand in January, 2011, precipitating the Arab Spring...
in 2011.

He fought alongside Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 2001 before travelling to Pakistain and then The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
where he was tossed in the clink
You have the right to remain silent...
and extradited, the newspaper reported.

Africa North
Mokhtar not listed among dead from U.S. airstrike in Libya
[CTVNEWS.CA] Al Qaeda and other militants in Libya on Tuesday released a list of names of those they say were killed in a U.S. airstrike over the weekend that does not include the raid's main target, al Qaeda-linked commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

The al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Shariah released a list of seven names of fighters and residents it said were killed in the "crusader American strike" in the eastern town of Ajdabiya.

A second statement from an umbrella group for militias called the Shura Council of Ajdabiya and its Surroundings also did not include Belmokhtar among the dead.

Africa North
Libyan Islamist says US strike missed al-Qaida-linked leader
[Ynet] The US military says it launched weekend Arclight airstrikes targeting and likely killing an al-Qaeda-linked bully boy leader in eastern Libya charged with leading the attack on a gas plant in Algeria in 2013 that killed at least 35 hostages, including three Americans.

An Islamist with ties to Libyan bully boys, however, said the Arclight airstrikes missed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, instead killing four members of a Libyan extremist group the US has linked to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

US officials said they are still assessing the results of the Saturday strike, but Pentagon front man Col. Steve Warren said the military believes the strike was successful and hit the target. Neither US officials nor the Libyan government provided proof of Belmokhtar's death, which likely requires a DNA test or an announcement by Belmokhtar's group that he was killed.
Rudaw adds:
But this isn't the first time authorities have claimed to have killed Belmokhtar, a hard boy believed to be in his 40s who reportedly lost his eye in combat and fought in Afghanistan. He was one of a number of Islamist fighters who have battled Algeria's government since the 1990s, later joining al-Qaeda.

Intelligence officials say Belmokhtar essentially built a bridge between AQIM and the underworld, creating a system where various blends of outlaws now support each other and enroll local youth. He's been linked to terror attacks and the lucrative kidnapping of foreigners in the region.

The US filed terrorism charges in 2013 against Belmokhtar in connection with the Algeria attack. Officials have said they believe he remained a threat to US and Western interests. Belmokhtar had just split off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to start his own franchise.

The Libyan government in a statement Sunday said that the strike targeting Belmokhtar came after consultation with the US so that America could take action against a terror leader there.

One government official in Libya said an Arclight airstrike in the northeastern coastal city of Ajdabiya hit a group of Islamic hard boyz also believed linked to al-Qaeda and that it killed five and maimed more. He said the group that was maimed later fought the Libyan military that guarded the hospital there, leading to an hourslong battle. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to news hounds. The official couldn't confirm that was the same strike that killed Belmokhtar.

The Islamist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals in restive Libya, told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named early Monday that Belmokhtar wasn't at the site of the US Arclight airstrike. He said the strike killed four Ansar Shariah members in Ajdabiya, some 850 kilometers east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
American officials have linked Ansar Shariah to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

Africa North
US Airstrike "likely" killed Mokhtar in Libya
The U.S military launched weekend airstrikes targeting and likely killing an al-Qaida-linked militant leader in eastern Libya who has been charged with leading the attack on a gas plant in Algeria in 2013 that killed at least 35 hostages, including three Americans.

The Libyan government said warplanes targeted and killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar and several others in eastern Libya. A U.S. official said two F-15 fighter jets launched multiple 500-pound bombs in the attack. The official was not authorized to discuss the details of the attack publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

U.S. officials said they are still assessing the results of the Saturday strike, but Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the military believes the strike was successful and hit the target. Neither U.S. officials nor the Libyan government provided proof of Belmokhtar's death, which likely requires a DNA test or an announcement by Belmokhtar's group that he was killed.

Africa North
Guard Wounded in Attack on U.N. Personnel in Mali's Capital
Occasional news from the far reaches of Al Qaeda's influence...
[AnNahar] An unidentified gunman opened fire on a United Nations
...an organization conceived in the belief that we're just one big happy world, with the sort of results you'd expect from such nonsense...
residence in the Malian capital Bamako on Wednesday, wounding a civilian guard and damaging vehicles, the organization's MINUSMA peacekeeping mission said.

The assailant attempted to set fire to one of the force's vehicles parked in front of the residence housing troops in the city's southeastern Faso Kanu neighborhood around 2:30 am (0230 GMT), the force said in a statement.

Before escaping, he shot and maimed the guard and then opened fire on the building and parked U.N.-marked cars, the statement added.

"MINUSMA condemns in the strongest terms this attack against its staff and property, which constitutes a serious crime under international law," the mission said.

"It calls on the Malian authorities to make every effort to identify those responsible for this act and bring them to justice."

The statement said members of UNMAS, the mission's mine-clearing service, had been dispatched to defuse two unwent kaboom! grenades found at the scene.

No one grabbed credit for the attack, but it comes at a time of strained relations between the government and the peacekeeping mission, which complained at the weekend that its impartiality was being "regularly called into question".

Reacting to criticism of the mission by Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the force lamented that "neither its contribution nor its sacrifices are accorded their proper value".

Keita's broadside came at the end of a speech by the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
, read out in Bamako on Friday by the U.N.'s chief peacekeeper Herve Ladsous, lamenting serious violations of ceasefire agreements "on all sides".

"Have we ever violated the ceasefire? Never," Keita said.

"So then, Mr. Ladsous, it would be appropriate that the United Nations act justly and fairly in this regard," he said, calling for "a little respect for our people".

Yvan Guichaoua, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Britannia and an expert on the Sahel region
... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas...
, tweeted in reaction to the attack that Keita's "anti-MINUSMA words last week don't look so wise retrospectively".

He added that, while he didn't think Keita's outburst was responsible for the attack, "continually and publicly running down MINUSMA doesn't help in calming the political climate".

With more than 40 peacekeepers killed since its inception in 2013, MINUSMA is considered the most dangerous U.N. mission in the world.

The country's restive north has been plagued by violence by jihadist groups that seized control of the region from Tuareg rebels before being routed by a French-led international intervention that began in 2013.

A jacket wallah struck a U.N. barracks in the town of Ansongo in April, killing two civilians and wounding nine peacekeepers from Niger in an attack claimed by Algerian jihadist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar's militia.

Despite peaceful elections after the French operation, the country remains deeply divided and the north has seen an upsurge in attacks by pro-government militias and the Tuareg-led rebellion known as the CMA.

The government and several gangs signed a peace accord last week in a ceremony in Bamako attended by numerous heads of state but missing the crucial backing of the CMA.

The Algerian-led international mediation team in the grinding of the peace processor said in a statement on Wednesday it was launching a series of consultations in Algiers to establish conditions for the "completion of the signing process".

The team has appointed a group of experts to set out a timetable for the implementation of the agreement, it said.

Africa North
Belmokhtar's Jihadist Group in N. Africa Pledges Allegiance to IS
[AnNahar] The jihadist group of notorious one-eyed Algerian hard boy Mokhtar Belmokhtar has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
organization, according to an audio recording broadcast by private Mauritanian agency al-Akhbar.

Belmokhtar's al-Murabitoun group, which is active in north Africa, was linked to al-Qaeda, but the recording attributed to one of its leading members
...not Belmokhtar himself? Did something happen to him?
said it was now aligning itself with the IS organization.

Africa North
Al-Qaida-Linked Jihadists Claim U.N. Suicide Attack in Mali
[AnNahar] A jihadist group led by al-Qaeda-linked Mokhtar Belmokhtar has grabbed credit for a deadly suicide kaboom on the United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
in Mali, in a recording released Friday by Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar.

Two non-combatants were killed and nine peacekeepers from Niger maimed when a myrmidon set off explosives as he attempted to drive into a camp used by the U.N.'s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Ansongo, in the northern region of Gao, on Wednesday.

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