Mali: 4 islamic extremist groups to merge in Mali, new group called Support of Islam and Muslims pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda
Three prominent Islamic extremist groups in Mali have announced they have merged into one and pledged allegiance to al-Qaida’s leader, according to an organisation that monitors jihadist websites.
Leaders from Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb made the declaration in a video distributed on Friday, according to SITE Intelligence Group.
The merged group is now called “Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen,” which translates to “Support of Islam and Muslims,” the monitoring group said.
The merger brings the threat of increased insecurity not only in Mali but also in neighboring West African countries which until recently had been relatively free of deadly attacks by extremist groups. The new group also is a threat to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, the deadliest active UN mission in the world.