The merger of Mali’s main jihadist groups earlier this month was endorsed on Friday by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose leader rallied other jihadist organizations to follow suit and “achieve unity”.

The SITE Intelligence Group quoted AQIM’s Abu Musab Abdul Wadud congratulating the groups for joining forces under the command of veteran Islamist Iyad Ag-Ghali.

Ag-Ghali’s Ansar Dine, the Massina Brigades, AQIM’s al-Mourabitoun and an offshoot of al Qaeda’s north African wing announced on March 2 that they had joined to form a new group called Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen.

The various groups have claimed responsibility for repeated attacks on Malian, French and U.N. peacekeeping forces in recent years but are seen as fragmented and often in competition with one another.


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Featured image courtesy of The Telegraph