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Al-Qaeda appoints new North Africa leader

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/23/20, 02:55 am

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) named Abu Ubaida Yusuf al-Annabi its new leader in a Saturday video, five months after the death of his predecessor. French forces killed Abdelmalek Droukdel in June during an operation in Mali. AQIM has staged attacks and abducted foreigners for ransom across North and West Africa.

Who is the new leader? Al-Annabi, also known as Yazid Mubarak, is an Algerian national. The U.S. State Department designated him as a terrorist in 2015 and identified him as the group’s media chief and leader of its Council of Notables. In the 20-minute video published by SITE Intelligence Group, AQIM also confirmed the death of Beatrice Stockly –– a Swiss missionary abducted from Mali’s northern city of Timbuktu in January 2016. The insurgents said she died during a failed attempt by “French crusaders” to rescue her.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the worrying rise of the Islamic State’s reach across Africa.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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