A new video purportedly released by the Islamic State shows the Mali Al-Mourabitoun Brigade, under the leadership of Abul-Walid as-Sahrawi, pledging “bayat” to ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“Al-Mourabitoun” means “The Sentinels” in Arabic. According to the BBC, it was formed by a merger of two other terrorist groups, Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s Masked Men Brigade and the Mali-based Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. Previously the Al-Mourabitoun Brigade had been connected to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but this has now ended.
The Maghreb is normally defined as much of the land of western North Africa or Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. The term maghrib is Arabic for “sunset,” which is synonymous for “west,” and is where the region gets its name.
Al-Mourabitoun has committed multiple terrorist attacks in the region in the past, including the Mali Radisson Hotel attack in November 2015.
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