Daily US Times: Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS), was killed in a French drone strike, France’s President announced on Thursday.
Al Sahroui succumbed to his wounds, suffered in a drone strike on a motorbike carrying two people during an air and ground operation by French forces in Mali, the country’s minister for the armed forces Florence Parly said at a press conference.
Parly said that the operation took place between August 17 and 22, 2021.
Earlier on Thursday, she tweeted that military and intelligence agents had contributed to a “long-term hunt” for the ISIS leader, which she described as a “decisive blow” for the militant group.
President Emmanuel Macron said: “This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel.”
Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) was established in 2015 after al Sahraoui broke from the al Qaeda-associated al-Murabitun group — another splinter group based in Africa.
Al Sahraoui claimed responsibility for the ambush of US forces in Niger in 2017 that killed four American soldiers.
In 2018, the US State Department designated ISIS-GS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and announced in 2019 a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of al Sahraoui.
According to a statement from a French presidential spokesperson, al Sahraoui was responsible for “cowardly and particularly deadly” attacks targeting civilians and security forces in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.
In August 2020, the ISIS leader “personally ordered” the killing of six French humanitarian workers and their driver and guide, the statement added.