al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

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3 Green Berets Killed in Africa Ambush

2 others killed in Niger attack

(Newser) - US officials say three US Army special operations commandos were killed Wednesday and two others were wounded when they came under fire in southwest Niger. The officials say the two wounded were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are in stable condition, the AP reports. The officials say the commandos,... More »

His Plan: Ride Across Africa. He Was Captured in Timbuktu

The story of Johan Gustafsson's nearly 6 years with al-Qaeda

(Newser) - Johan Gustafsson spent more than five years learning Arabic, French, and local African languages. The alternative might have been going mad. Gustafsson was abducted from his hotel terrace in Timbuktu, Mali, on Nov. 25, 2011, reports the Local . The then-36-year-old had been in the city just 24 hours, as part... More »

Tourist Kidnapped by al-Qaeda Freed 6 Years Later

Swede Johan Gustafsson had been held in Mali

(Newser) - A Swedish man kidnapped by Islamic militants in northern Mali nearly six years ago has been released from captivity, the Swedish government confirmed Monday. There was no immediate word on the fate of a second hostage, from South Africa, who was also seized in Timbuktu. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom... More »

At Least 23 Dead in Burkina Faso Hotel Attack

Officials say attackers dead, hostages freed

(Newser) - Burkina Faso and French forces killed a fourth extremist Saturday after freeing 126 people and killing three other attackers to end the seizure of a luxury hotel by al-Qaeda-linked militants, officials said. In addition to the extremists, at least 23 people were killed in the attack at the Splendid Hotel... More »

Dutch Hostage Free After Years in Mali

Sjaak Rijke was rescued by French special forces

(Newser) - A Dutchman who was held in captivity by Islamic militants for more than three years has left Mali and is headed back home, officials say. Sjaak Rijke, who was abducted from a hotel in Timbuktu, northern Mali, in November 2011, flew into Mali's capital Bamako yesterday after being rescued... More »

North Africa Militants Eye New Western Targets: Report

New concerns about al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

(Newser) - Washington is growing increasingly concerned about groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, once considered less of a threat than other branches. Following the attack on an Algerian gas plant that killed dozens, north African militant groups are on the hunt for new Western targets, US officials tell the Washington ... More »

France: Mali Fighting Over, Time for Talks

Mali interim prez refuses to talk to Islamic militants, only secular groups

(Newser) - With French forces retaking the last city held by rebels , Paris is now looking for the Mali government and "legitimate representatives" from rebel groups to talk, reports al-Jazeera . "We have arrived at a moment of change," says France's defense minister, declaring that "the French intervention... More »

As African Coalition Enters Mali, Rebels Splinter

Branch of al-Qaeda-linked group calls for peace talks

(Newser) - Less than two weeks after France started airstrikes in rebel-held Mali , and a day after thousands of African coalition troops began to enter the country, one rebel faction has broken away from Islamic militants and called for peace talks, reports the AP . One wing of al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine, calling itself... More »

Algeria Raid Kills 37 Hostages

Islamist attackers came from many countries, authorities say, including 2 Canadians

(Newser) - The hostages weren't the only Westerners involved in the Sahara gas plant crisis, according to Algerian authorities. Security sources say two Canadian Islamists were among the attackers found dead after the crisis came to a bloody end, Reuters reports. Authorities say the militants, who claimed the attack on behalf... More »

US to Step Up Aid to Mali Campaign

French-led mission will get US drones, airlifts, but no troops

(Newser) - The US is planning to step up its support for France's campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, reports the Los Angeles Times . The US military, which is already providing the French with intelligence help, plans to help move hundreds more French troops to the African country and officials say... More »

French Strikes Kill 100 in Mali

Militants, soldiers killed in strategic town of Konna

(Newser) - French airstrikes in Mali have killed more than 100 people in the key town of Konna, including Islamist militants and government soldiers, Reuters reports. "We have driven them out, we are effectively in Konna," said a Malian official after 30 vehicles carrying rebels were reportedly bombed. "We... More »

In Northern Mali, al-Qaeda Building Its Own Country

Extremist groups took over the area after coup

(Newser) - Since the military coup in Mali earlier this year, al-Qaeda's influence in the African nation has increased—to the point that northern Mali, the largest territory held by the terror group, is now basically al-Qaeda's own country. The AP takes an extensive look, describing the elaborate series of... More »

Suspected Leader of Libya Attack Still at Large

Libyan security officials say Ahmed Abu Khattalah was at the scene: WSJ

(Newser) - Libyan security officials say Ahmed Abu Khattalah, founder of Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia , was at the US consulate in Libya during the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens—the most direct link between the militia and the attack so far, though officials have been focusing on Ansar al-Sharia for a... More »

US Gives Up on Taliban Peace Deal

And sees fresh danger from al-Qaeda in North Africa

(Newser) - The US has essentially given up hope of negotiating a peace settlement with the Taliban, once a key piece of its strategy for ending the Afghan war, generals and civilian officials tell the New York Times . Their new, more modest goal is to lay the groundwork for the Afghans to... More »

Chris Stevens Thought He Was on al-Qaeda Hit List

Sources say al-Qaeda is linked to Libya attack

(Newser) - As investigators look into the likelihood that al-Qaeda was behind the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last week, CNN reports that Chris Stevens, the US ambassador killed in the attack, believed he was on an al-Qaeda hit list. A source says Stevens had become increasingly worried about security... More »

Terror's New Home: Africa

Islamist network stretches across continent, taking refuge in Sahara

(Newser) - On Christmas day, a car full of explosives plowed into a Catholic Church in Nigeria, killing dozens of people . A radical Muslim group named Boko Haram proudly claimed credit, saying it was trying to kill Christians. As recently as 2009, Boko Haram was a local Nigerian group, bloodily crafting a... More »

15 Killed in Morocco Tourist Cafe Attack

Marrakesh bomb country's worst attack since 2003

(Newser) - A bomb ripped through a tourist cafe in the center of Marrakesh, killing at least 15 people in Morocco's worst terrorist attack since 2003. The victims were foreign nationals, including six French citizens and a Canadian couple with roots in Morocco's tiny Jewish community. The attack was carried... More »

Al-Qaeda Grabbing Weapons in Libya: Report

RPGs, Kalashnikovs and missiles finding their way into terrorist hands

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda has emerged as a kid in a candy store in Libya, exploiting the conflict to get its hands on such high-powered weapons as anti-tank RPGs, Kalashnikov heavy machine guns, and even surface-to-air missiles, an Algerian security official tells Reuters . According to the official, a convoy of eight Toyota pick-up... More »

18 Stories