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Jan 10, 2013 Comments Off on Al Qaeda forming organized “brigades” in West Africa spratico

The Long War Journal-The al Qaeda-linked Movement for Tawhid [Unity] and Jihad in West Africa recently announced the formation of a new “brigade” with four “battalions” in order to conduct operations in northern Mali. The terror group named three of the four new battalions after top leaders in al Qaeda. The announcement takes place as Islamist groups consolidate their grip on northern Mali.

The Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO as it is commonly called, announced the formation of the brigade and four new battalions in a statement that was released on jihadist forums on Jan. 4. The statement, which was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, was signed by the “Emir of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Islamic Emirate of Gao Abu al Walid al Sahrawi.”

Al Sahrawi said the new brigade is called Ansar al Sunnah and that it has four battalions: the “Abdullah Azzam” (named after the Osama bin Laden mentor and al Qaeda co-founder who was killed in a bombing in 1989); the “Al Zarqawi” (named after al Qaeda in Iraq emir Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was killed in an airstrike in 2006); the “Abu al Laith al Libi” (named after the al Qaeda ideologue and senior leader who was killed in a drone strike in 2008); and the “Martyrdom-Seekers.”

Al Sahrawi said that the Ansar al Sunnah Brigade “is comprised primarily from the sons of the region, especially the Songhai tribes.”

Al Sahrawi also vowed to target neighboring countries who attempt to intervene in northern Mali to break the Islamists’ grip on the region.

“Tawhid and Jihad Group in West Africa promises to wage attacks across a wide geographical range, targeting the countries of the apostate regimes that participate in preparing for the invasion of northern Mali …,” he said.
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