Al-Qaida-linked N. Africa group unites with Mali extremists

AP News
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Posted: Dec 04, 2015 2:05 PM

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — An organization that tracks jihadi sites says a leader for al-Qaida's North Africa group has confirmed the extremist group has joined with the Mali-based Al-Mourabitoun, describing the attack on a luxury hotel in Bamako as their declaration of unity.

SITE Intelligence Group said Friday that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb leader Abu Musab Abdul Wadud confirmed the unification in an audio speech distributed Thursday.

Al-Mourabitoun was the first Islamic extremist group to claim responsibility for the Nov. 20 Radisson Blu attack that killed 20 people. It had said it worked with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Other extremist groups also declared responsibility.

Malian authorities said they arrested two men over the violence.

Al-Mourabitoun was formed by militant Moktar Belmoktar, who was a former leader in AQIM.