© Provided by Business Insider Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi in an undated Rewards For Justice wanted poster Associated Press
- The head of the Islamic State’s deadly group in the Sahara was killed by French troops.
- Multiple reports said Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui led the killings of four US servicemen in 2017.
- al-Sahrawi formed the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara in 2015.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The head of the Islamic State’s group in the Sahara was killed by French troops, according to multiple reports on Thursday.
Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi had led the killings of four US soldiers in Niger in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The US soldiers were ambushed by Islamic State fighters on October 4, 2017 while attempting to return to their base, the Journal reported in 2018.
The troops waited nearly an hour to request help because they thought there were fewer militants during the attack.
Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) was formed by al-Sahrawi in 2015, the BBC said, and is blamed for most of the deadly attacks in the West African region, including violence against a group of six French aid workers and their Nigerien guides and drivers in 2020.
The killing of al-Sahrawi was “another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.
French forces have been fighting insurgencies in the region for years, the BBC said. There are several missions ongoing, including a counterterrorism mission and United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The eight-year campaign in the region by France is shrinking, the Journal said, with a reduced troop presence from 5,100 soldiers to between 2,500 and 3,000.
The ambush – which left four Americans and five Nigerian fighters dead in the Nigerien village of Tongo Tongo – was the deadliest attack on American troops in Africa since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, the Journal said.