The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced this morning that the terrorist group Islamic State leader in the Greater Sahara, Adnan Abu Walid al Saharaui, was “neutralized” by French military forces.
“This is another great success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” wrote the French president on the social network Twitter.
Lehbib Ould Ali Ould Said Ould Yumani or Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi (Abu Walid), a Sahrawi Islamic militant, is the leader of the recognized foreign terrorist organization (FTO) Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISBS). The IGBS emerged when Abu Walid and his followers split from the splinter Al-Qaeda group, Al-Mourabitoun.
Abu Walid first took an oath of allegiance to his ISIS group in May 2015, and ISIS confirmed his pledge in October 2016. The ISBS group is located primarily in Mali along the Niger-Mali border. The group had claimed responsibility for several attacks led by Abu Walid, including an attack on October 4 2017, on a joint US-Niger patrol in the Tongo Tongo region of Niger, near the border with Mali, which killed four American soldiers and four Nigerian soldiers.
On May 16, 2018, by special order number 13224, the US Department of State declared Abu Walid a particularly dangerous international terrorist. The IGBS qualified as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) according to section 219 of the Immigration and Citizenship Act.