Terrorist organization appoints new leader

A member of AQIM in 2010, from a photo given by the terrorist organization (illustration). – SIPA

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is reorganizing itself. The terrorist organization has appointed one of its executives at its head to succeed the Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel, killed in June by the French armed forces in northern Mali. The information was given on Saturday by the American agency SITE, which specializes in monitoring jihadist groups.

On the American list of “international terrorists”

In a video received by SITE, AQIM announces the appointment of its new leader, the Algerian Abou Oubaïda Youssef al-Annabi, the current head of its “council of notables”, which acts as the steering committee of the jihadist group. According to the American think-tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP), this former member of the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), registered on the American blacklist of “international terrorists” since September 2015, is also the head of the media branch of AQIM and appears regularly in the group’s videos.

In this message published on Saturday, AQIM also looks back on the recent execution of a Swiss missionary held hostage in the Sahel, attributing the cause of her death to an attempt by the “French crusaders” to free her. Béatrice Stöckli, a missionary from Basel who worked in Timbuktu, Mali, was kidnapped in 2016.

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