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The new leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will aim to 'keep entrenching in local dynamics'

FRANCE 24's Wassim Nasr reports on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's choice of a new leader.
FRANCE 24's Wassim Nasr reports on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's choice of a new leader. © FRANCE 24 screengrab
Text by: Wassim NASR
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Video by: Wassim NASR
5 min

Five months after the killing of Abdelmalek Droukdel by French forces in northern Mali, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has announced that Abu Ubaïda Yussef al-Aanabi, the head of the group’s “Council of Dignitaries”, is its new leader. Aanabi responded to questions from FRANCE 24 in 2019; now, our reporter Wassim Nasr explained the implications of his new role.

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Aanabi became a jihadist in 1992 and has lead AQIM's Shura Council since 2010, said Nasr, FRANCE 24's expert on jihadist movements. 

Aanabi has been on the US international terrorism list since 2015 and on an Interpol terrorism list since 2016. He served as an aide to Droukdel and has a degree in economics.

>> Exclusive: FRANCE 24 questions AQIM jihadist leader

The appointment "will keep entrenching al Qaeda in local dynamics" in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali", said Nasr.

Click on the player above to watch the full report.

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