A video recently released by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), the group responsible for the ambush on October 4th, shows U.S.-made weapons. The video is titled Punishments of Traitors and features brutal executions, accompanied by nasheeds (Islamic ballads).

In the video, Abdelhakim al-Sahrawi, the Emir of Gourma for ISGS, can be seen slitting the throats of victims. At the end of the executions, a message appears that translates into, “Remaining despite the snitches of the Sahwat and their masters,” with the date 1440 AH of the Islamic calendar, which converts to 11/12 of September 2018.

The most interesting part of this video and the one depicting the raid on a Nigerien Gendarmerie in 2017, is the appearance of several U.S.-made weapons and equipment. At the end of the execution video, several fallen fighters are eulogized and one of them is holding an M4, which is extremely rare in this part of the world. However, there are weapons distributed by the Pentagon to host-nation Special Forces, and Niger is one of those countries.

Several weapons and equipment have been recovered in 2018

March 2018, MSA-GATIA militia recovered:

  1. Toyota Land Cruiser
  2. M240-SLR semi-auto belt-fed gun, matching serial number
  3. M14 rifle, matching serial number

December 2018, French Special Forces recovered:

  1. Glock 19, with matching serial number to the late Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, sidearm
  2. A laser sight, also with a matching serial number
  3. Night vision goggles, unconfirmed serial number

The screen grab below shows an ISGS fighter carrying what appears to be an M4, possibly taken from the Green Beret ambush. The video was taken on October 21 2017, in Ayorou, Tillabery region, 17 days after the Ambush in Tongo Tongo. In the video, the insurgents attack a Gendarmerie outpost, killing at least 11 Gendarmes and wounding another five.

Niger ambush: Latest ISGS propaganda video show possible weapons of slain Green Beret
Source: Grey Dynamics
Niger ambush: Latest ISGS propaganda video show possible weapons of slain Green Beret
Source: Grey Dynamics

When we zoom in on the above rifle, we can see what appears to be a SU-231/PEQ Eotech 553 sight. This sight is part of the SOPMOD M4 accessory package and further confirms the origin of this weapon. Furthermore, these types of groups like to document trophies taken from the battlefield in their videos.