French President Emmanuel Macron said early Thursday that French troops had “neutralized” Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, leader of the jihadist group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
“Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, leader of the Islamic State terrorist group in the Greater Sahara, has been neutralized by French forces. This is another great success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel, ”Macron wrote on Twitter.
Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, chef of the terrorist group État islamique au Grand Sahara a été neutralisé par les force françaises. Il s’agit d’un nouveau succes majeur dans fights that nous menons against the terrorist groups in the Sahel.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 15, 2021
For the former colonial power France, Adnan Abou Walid Sahraoui was the most wanted jihadist in the Sahel.
He led a branch of the Islamic State group, which is very active in the border region linking Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
A former member of the Polisario Front, a movement from Western Sahara, Sahraoui rose to prominence when northern Mali fell to rebels in 2012.
At the time he was a member of the jihadist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which was one of the militias that took control in the north.
But Sahraoui declared his allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2015.
His military has been very active and has been blamed for a series of attacks in 2019 and this year.
For the first time for the Sahel, it has also started fighting groups linked to Al Qaeda, with several cases of interjhadist war occurring this year.
( Jowhar with AFP)