The US offered to grant a $5 million envelope on the head of Abu Walid, former Polisario soldier, who leads the Islamic State in the Great Sahara terror group in Sahel.
One of the active terror groups in the region is the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (ISGS) run by former Polisario soldier, Abu Walid al-Sahrawi.
Al Sahrawi is wanted by the US security services, who put a $5 million bounty on his head.
Europa Press reported that ISGS is the “main jihadist threat in the Sahel, where in recent months it has carried out a series of terror attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.”
Linked to ISIS, the group has become a “real headache” for security forces since 2015 when it first emerged.
Al Sahrawi was born in Morocco’s southern region of Laayoune in Western Sahara. His family moved to the Tindouf camps in Algeria, where he joined the breakaway group the Polisario Front.
The terror suspect joined the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUYAO) in 2012.
He became the spokesperson of the terror group until August 2013 when the cell merged with another one started by Algerian fighter Mojtar Belmojtar.
The alliance soon broke down, however, with Belmojtar maintaining his allegiance to Al Qaeda, and is announced before joining the ISGS.
Active in the Menaka zone in western Niger and eastern Burkina Faso, the ISGS has claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks, including the October 2017 ambush in Tonga Tonga in the Nigerian region of Tillaberi.
Four US soldiers and five members of the Nigerian special forces died during the attack.The group has been taking advantage of the instability in Sahel in order to carry out its terror operations in the region.
Morocco’s security services have long warned the international community over the situation in the Sahel. Head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), Abdelhak El Khiame, expressed his deep concerns over the security threat in the region, where terror groups continue to jeopardize its stability.
He described the Sahel as “a fertile ground for terrorism.”
El Khiame also recalled Morocco’s “efficient” counterterrorism policy, but regretted the lack of cooperation between neighboring countries to defeat terror groups operating in the Sahel.