The French military reported on Thursday, November 15, that a senior leader of the Group for the Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) may have been killed during a recent operation in Gourma (Tombouctou region). According to French officials, seven suspected jihadists were killed after they engaged French soldiers who were operating in the area. Authorities believe that it is “very probable” that Almansour Ag Alkassim was among those killed during the clashes. French soldiers reportedly recovered heavy and small arms as well as equipment used to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the operation.
Almansour Ag Alkassim is believed to be a senior JNIM leader as well as the coordinator between Al-Qa’ida affiliated jihadist groups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.
The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.