A top Al Qaeda leader in North Africa has been killed, according to reports over the weekend.
The Washington Examiner reports:
France announced it killed Abdelmalek Droukdel, al Qaeda’s top leader in the region of North Africa, in a major victory against the terrorist organization.
Droukdel was killed in Mali along with other members of his inner circle on Wednesday. He had led al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its operations in the region and was previously part of AQIM’s precursor organization, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.
While the strike was carried out by the French, the US was able to assist in the operation:
Droukdel’s death was confirmed to the Washington Examiner by Col. Christopher Karns of U.S. Africa Command, who said the U.S. confirmation was independent of French reporting. Karns also said that the United States was able to help French forces with intelligence and surveillance support.
Droukdel was an evil man, and like so many Al Qaeda leaders, he left a trail of destruction behind him:
Droukdel, believed to be about 50 years old, was a veteran jihadist who left his native Algeria in the 1990s to fight in the Afghan Civil War and was also a follower of Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Zarqawi, who was killed by U.S. forces in 2006, is notorious for being the first “emir” of al Qaeda in Iraq, a Sunni terrorist group that was a precursor to ISIS.
AQIM carried out a number of devastating terrorist attacks under the guidance of Droukdel, who is known to be an explosives expert. In 2016, AQIM bombed a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso that killed some 30 people and injured scores more. Hundreds more have been killed by the group in attacks over the years.
At long last, justice has been served on Mr. Droukdel.