US announces bounty on Al Qaeda chief in North Africa

Abu Ubaydah Yusef Al Anabi became the leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb last year

An image grab taken from a video reportedly showing a picture of Abu Ubaydah Yusef Al Anabi, the leader of Al Qaeda in North Africa. AFP
An image grab taken from a video reportedly showing a picture of Abu Ubaydah Yusef Al Anabi, the leader of Al Qaeda in North Africa. AFP

The US on Wednesday placed a bounty of up to $7 million on the leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the organisation’s North Africa branch.

The State Department’s Rewards for Justice programme announced that it would offer the money “for information leading to the location or identification of Abu Ubaydah Yusef Al Anabi.

Mr Al Anabi, an Algerian citizen, previously led Aqim's media and propaganda operations but became the leader of the group last year after French troops killed his predecessor, Abdelmalek Droukdel, in Mali.

The US imposed sanctions on Mr Al Anabi in 2015, as did the UN in 2016.

While most of the group’s fighters are engaged in ground combat in Mali, he and many of the organisation’s leaders are thought to be based in Algeria.

Washington first designated Aqim's predecessor organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a terrorist entity in 2001.

The group rebranded and pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda’s global network in 2006.

Updated: June 3, 2021 02:26 PM

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