The new leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will strive to “continue to anchor itself in local dynamics”

Five months after French forces killed Abdelmalek Droukdel in northern Mali, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has announced that Abu Ubaïda Yussef al-Aanabi, head of the group’s Dignitaries Council, is its new leader. Aanabi answered questions from Jowhar2019; now our reporter Wassim Nasr explained the consequences of his new role.

Aanabi became a jihadist in 1992 and has led AQIM’s Shura Council since 2010, says Nasr, FRANCE 24’s expert on jihadist movements.

Aanabi has been on the US international terrorism list since 2015 and on an Interpol terrorism list since 2016. He worked as an assistant to Droukdel and has a degree in economics.

>> Exclusive: Jowharquestions AQIM jihadist leader

The appointment “will anchor Al Qaeda in local dynamism” in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, Nasr said.

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