New Qaeda franchise escalates Mali insurgency

A new Qaeda-affiliated faction, the Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (Group for Support of Islam and Muslims, JNIM), is said to be behind a string of recent deadly attacks in Mali's conflcited desert north. The group claimed responsibility for a May 7 suicide assault on a military base at Almoustarat, outside the northern city of Gao, that left seven Malian soliders dead. The jihadists breached the base perimeter, and were able to capture at least three vehicles and large amounts of weapons before French troops arrived. JNIM also claimed a May 3 raid on a camp of the MINUSMA peacekeeping force outside Timbuktu that killed a Liberian solider. Under the nominal command of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), JNIM is apparently attemtping to reunite the fragmented jihadist insurgency in northern Mali. It has apparently absorbed the Murabitoun group, until now the most active jihadist faction in Mali. (Journal du Mali, May 9; Long War Journal, May 8; UN News Centre, May 4)


  1. Gunmen attack resort in Mali

    Jihadis from an unnamed faction attacked a hotel resort June 18 in Mali's capital Bamako, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends. More than 30 people managed to escape, though at least two people were killed, authorities said. (AP)

  2. Jihadist attacks on the rise in Mali

    A rocket and car bomb attack targeted a French military camp and MINUSMA peacekeeping positions in Timbuktu April 14. One UN peacekeeper and 15 jihadists were killed, with seven French soldiers wounded. The latest UN report on the situation in Mali (PDF) says "asymmetric" attacks in the country more than doubled in 2017. (France24)

  3. Mali: Tuaregs killed in ‘jihadist revenge’ attacks

    More than 40 members of the Tuareg community have been killed in two separate attacks by suspected jihadists in north-eastern Mali, April 26 and 27. They are believed to have been carried out in revenge after Tuareg attacks on jihadist bases in recent weeks. the attacks took place in villages outside the town of Anderamboukane near the Niger border, which are held by the Tuareg armed organiztion, Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA). (BBC News, France24)