Leader Of Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM Calls On Muslims In Sahel To Join The Ranks Of Jihad, Praises Mujahideen In Gaza, Mocks Wagner Group As Weaker Than Weak France

December 12, 2023

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On December 12, 2023, Al-Zallaqa, the media arm of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM) published a video message from the group leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, also known as Abu Al-Faḍl.[1]

Titled: "And Allah Will Surely Support Those Who Support Him," the video featured the group leader reading a message from a laptop. In his speech, he called on Muslims in Sahel to join the ranks of jihad against the governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, as well as the Russian-funded Wagner Group.

In a final note, he praised Hamas's attacks on Israel, and prayed for Allah to ease the suffering of Gazans, condemning Israel's military operation.

"New Stage Of Jihad In Sahel"

In his message, he addressed the Islamic nation, informing them that "jihad" in the Sahel region had reached a new stage, and accusing the governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger of handing over their affairs to the Russian-funded Wagner Group, which he described as an "infidel enemy which has no ethical and moral values."

The advancement of the Malian Army, together with the Wagner Group, to northern Mali is one characteristic of this new stage of jihad in the Sahel, he said, noting that their move is aimed at restoring the Malian government's sovereignty and control over the northern part of the country.

Pointing out that this "two-year" development marks the bloodiest for the residents of the area, he accused the Malian Army and the Wagner Group of killing and displacing hundreds of Muslims in the northern region. Similarly, he accused the Burkina government of committing massacres against Muslims.

He emphasized, however, that such military campaigns by the two countries have faced major setbacks, thanks to GSIM fighters who managed to send shockwaves of "horror and humiliation" to their enemies. He claimed that the GSIM fighters inflicted heavy losses among their enemies, both in souls and equipment.

Boasting about GSIM fighters, Ghaly praised their performance, noting that their faith in Allah has empowered them to overcome obstacles, despite being outnumbered and despite the fact that the enemy's army is larger.

Three Messages To GISM Mujahedeen

He continued, adding that he had three message to convey:

First, he congratulated the mujahideen in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso for their victories over the infidels. He eulogized the martyrs, and prayed for those who are still alive to be rewarded by Allah for their steadfastness. He also prayed for the group's prisoners to be freed, and for the wounded to fully recover. Ghaly instructed them to continue to show commitment to jihad.

He further noted that many mujahedeen have joined GSIM's "Martyrdom and Inghmasi [suicide and commando style] Units," asking Muslims to follow their lead and join the group's ranks.

Citing Quranic verses which encourage jihad and martyrdom for the sake of Allah, Ghaly told fighters to be tough on their enemies, soft with Muslims, and reminded them to never give up on praying as they perform jihad.

Message To Muslims In Sahel

He asked Muslims in Sahel to make donations to GSIM, reminding them that their towns and houses were invaded and robbed by GSIM's enemies, and that they cannot stay on the sideline anymore: "Support the mujahideen with yourselves and money," he said.

Message To Sahel Governments

Addressing the governments in the Sahel, particularly the government of Mali, Ghaly said:

"Your predecessor governments called ten years ago for the help of the state of disbelief, France, and mobilized the armies of 60 other states under several coalitions to confront the Islamic tide in the region. But, thanks to Allah, their coalition and plans were foiled miserably. The goal of their aggression was reversed, for jihad has expanded and grew stronger."

Mocking these governments, he stated that their newly formed alliance with the Russians [i.e., Wagner Group] following the French withdrawal from the region, is “weaker than the weak France.”

Ghaly addressed the Malian PM Choguel Maiga, saying that his secular government does not adopt Islamic laws as a system of governance, therefore GSIM will never abandon its Islamic cause. He rejected Maige's proposal of decentralized governance in northern Mali.

Further, he praised scholars, clerics, and preachers who rejected the constitutional referendum which, he said, promoted secularism for Mali.

Message To Gaza

Praising the "mujahideen" in Gaza, Ghaly extended his support to Gazans. He said they are suffering greatly under Israel's military operation. He condemned governments in Arab and Muslims countries for not taking action against Israel at a time when western countries extended full support to Israel "against the jihadi factions [i.e., Palestinian factions] and the people of Gaza."

He further celebrated the Hamas's October 7 attack against "the brothers of monkeys and pigs," saying the attack exposing the falseness of the myth that Israel had an army and a technology that could not be defeated. He concluded by citing a Quranic verse that reads: "Allah brought them down from their forts and cast terror into their hearts, so that a group of them you killed, and a group of them you made captives."

Closing, he remined Muslims that jihad is the answer to their sufferings and liberating scared sites. He prayed for the victory of all mujahideen, including those in Yemen and Somalia, as well as the people of Gaza.



[1] Telegram , December 12, 2023.

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