U.S. Targets and Kills Algerian AQ Terrorist in Libya

The U.S. conducted an airstrike inside Libya today, killing Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Algerian former al Qaida terrorist who left al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)to form the al Mulathameen Brigade, which joined with Al Murabitoon. Via the New York Times:

In a significant escalation of American counterterrorism operations, the United States carried out an airstrike against a midlevel operative of Al Qaeda in Libya early Sunday, American officials said.

It was the first time the American military has carried out any kind of airstrike in Libya since the NATO operation there in 2011 helped oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.


In May, it was rumored that Belmokhtar had aligned with ISIS, but he denied the report. It was the co-leader of Al Murabitoon, Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui, who supported ISIS and he wasn't speaking for the whole group. He was also reported to have been killed in Mali in 2013.

Al Murabitoon was established in August 2013, when Mokhtar Belmokhtar united his group, the al Mulathameen Brigade, with the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). Belmokhtar, who has been loyal to al Qaeda’s senior leadership, had earlier broken away from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to command his own operation. Belmokhtar had longstanding disagreements with AQIM’s emir, Abdulmalek Droukdel, and other leaders.

Reportedly, Belkmokhtar was under the protection of Ansar al Sharia in Libya.

The U.S.put a $5 million bounty on him.

The U.S. had a $5 million reward for his capture. He was also wanted by the Algeria, Australia, and even Japan (due to the killing of its citizens in the 2013 Algerian oil field hostage incident.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    Wonder if they paid tha 5 mil (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 14, 2015 at 06:10:01 PM EST
    and I wonder if you get 5 mil from the U.S. in that part of the world what you do then.  Leave that part of the world I would guess.