West Africa Militants Al-Mourabitoune Align With Islamic State

Al-Mourabitoune, an Islamist militant group in West Africa, pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which is fighting in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

The militants said they will follow Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Akhbar newspaper reported, citing an audio recording from the group.

Militants in West Africa, including Boko Haram, have started aligning with Islamic State in the past few months as the group tries to expand. Al-Mourabitoune focused attacks in North and West Africa, including killing more than a dozen hostages in 2013 at an Algerian gas plant.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed former Algerian soldier, leads al-Mourabitoune. The group says it was responsible for an attack on a night club in Mali’s capital, Bamako, this year that killed five people.

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