Reuters news agency reports today that Mali’s jihadist groups will merge under Islamist leader Iyad Ag-Ghali. The jihadist group Ansar Dine, which is lead by Ag-Ghali, has been responsible for attacks against Malian, French and U.N. peacekeeping forces in the Republic of Mali. Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Al-Mourabitoun, a jihadist group led by Algerian smuggler Mokhtar Belmokhtar will merge with Ag-Ghali’s Ansar Dine. In a previous attack in January, Belmokhtar’s group claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a military camp in northern Mali that killed 60 and wounded over 100 people. In 2013, French forces intervened and drove back Islamic terrorist groups in Mali. However, even with the presence of United Nations peacekeepers, frequent attacks are still conducted by the Islamic terrorist groups in northern Mali and neighboring countries. A central Malian group called the Massina Brigades, an offshoot of al Qaeda’s north African wing called the Sahara Emirat, mostly made up of Fulani herders, said they would also join the merged entity.
Reuters’ report found here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mali-security-idUSKBN1692MY?il=0