DUBAI, Sept 16, 2012 (AFP) -
DUBAI, Sept 16, 2012 (AFP) –
Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch has confirmed the death in a road accident of an Algerian member who coordinated its operations in northern Mali, the SITE Intelligence Group said on Sunday.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb published online a eulogy for Nabil Makloufi, whose death in a road accident between the Malian cities of Gao and Timbuktu was reported on Monday.
The Algerian had been a longstanding member of AQIM, according to the eulogy seen by SITE, which was posted on Internet forums on Saturday.
“Our noble knight left the warmth of the family and the easy life for the ascetic life in the mountains and the hardship of a life of jihad and battle,” said the statement.
The September 8 death of Makloufi was confirmed to AFP on Monday by a member of the Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith) group in Timbuktu, who added that he was driving the vehicle himself when the accident took place.
The private news website Sahara Medias, which covers Islamist activities in northern Mali, also reported the death, saying the accident took place “about 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of the town of Gao”.
Nabil Makloufi is the real name of the man more widely known as Nabil Abou Alqama, a deputy chief of AQIM for the Sahara zone, Sahara Medias said.
According to security sources in the Sahel, he was in charge of weaponry, notably explosives.
He was also the AQIM chief in the north of Mali responsible for the release of abducted Westerners and liaising with the heads of the fighting units known as “katibas” that held European hostages.