Entertainment Release of Sophie Pétronin: four questions on the jihadists released and their group

21:25  10 october  2020
21:25  10 october  2020 Source:   leparisien.fr

Mali: more than 100 jihadists freed for a possible exchange

 Mali: more than 100 jihadists freed for a possible exchange Video: "Syrian jihadist fighters" present in Karabakh, indicates Macron (Le Figaro) Your browser does not support this video © - Capture d ' June 13, 2018 screen of French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, central Mali More than a hundred convicted or suspected jihadists were released in Mali over the weekend in the framework of negotiations for the release of a Malian persnnalité and a French woman supposed to be in the hands of the jihadists, we learned on Monday

image captionFrench charity worker Sophie Pétronin and Four people abducted and detained in Mali, including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie Pétronin and ex-Malian opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé, have been released . Others expressed their jubilation by driving through the streets of the capital sounding their car Authorities had been working on the hostages' release for months.

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Sophie Pétronin a été détenue pendant quatre ans par le Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans. © AFP / GONZALO FUENTES Sophie Pétronin was detained for four years by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims.

After the release of Sophie Pétronin after four years of captivity, many questions arise about the negotiations that led to this happy ending. Because in order to achieve its goal and obtain the release of politician Soumaïla Cissé - Bamako's number one objective - the Malian authorities have agreed to release many prisoners.

This choice is not without causing embarrassment on the French side and even frustration among soldiers seeing jihadists they have captured risk returning to the field while Barkhane has already lost 45 soldiers since 2014.

Mali frees over 100 jihadists seeking hostage swap

  Mali frees over 100 jihadists seeking hostage swap Insurgency-hit Mali freed over 100 alleged or convicted jihadists over the weekend in a bid to secure the release of a top politician and French charity worker, an official in charge of the negotiations told AFP on Monday. The rare mass release of prisoners, confirmed by a member of the security services, comes as an eight-year Islamist insurgency, that has claimed thousands of lives, continues to threaten the fragile West African country. © STRINGER Swathes of the sprawling country remain outside government control Soumaila Cisse, a 70-year-old former opposition leader and three-time presidential candidate, was abducted on March 25 while campaigning in his

French hostage Sophie Petronin was released by jihadists this month under a prisoner swap. France and Mali differed on Monday over whether to talk to jihadists to help end the Sahel state's eight-year-old insurgency, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian ruling the option out.

About 30 " jihadist prisoners were released " late Monday and early Tuesday "and were flown north," a Mali security source said. "It's to do with the release of the hostage Soumaila Cisse and the Frenchwoman, Sophie Petronin ," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

How many jihadists were released by Bamako?

After their release over the weekend and at the start of the week, these prisoners were transported to the region of Tessalit, in the north of the country, and that of Niono in central Mali. Difficult to have an exact figure as to the number of released prisoners. Monday, AFP, citing "sources close to the negotiations", evoked the release of "more than a hundred jihadists condemned or suspected", but they would be about 200 to have been finally released.

In a statement circulating on the Telegram messaging app, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims, which detained Sophie Pétronin, advanced the release of 206 "lions of Islam who fought the Crusader invaders and apostate agents ”, indicates Liberation . Are these 200 or so released prisoners really all jihadists? “The majority are not jihadists. There were people who gravitated around, explained on France 24 the journalist Wassim Nasr, specialist in jihadist networks. […] There was everything. There were of course jihadists among them. »

Mali: after the liberation of jihadists, cautious hope for the hostages Pétronin and Cissé

 Mali: after the liberation of jihadists, cautious hope for the hostages Pétronin and Cissé © - Screenshot of June 13, 2018 of the French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, in the center of Mali A significant development seemed to be taking shape in Mali on Tuesday in the efforts to free the last French hostage in the world, Sophie Pétronin, and that of one of the highest Malian political figures, Soumaïla Cissé.

At least 100 jihadists have been released as part of the deal to liberate French hostage Sophie Pétronin . FRANCE 24 international affairs editor Robert Parsons, says the outcome could be a big setback in the French army’s struggle against jihadists in the Sahel.

AFP PHOTO, liberons- sophie | Sophie Petronin was abducted in late 2016 by armed men in the northern Malian town of Gao. An agency that monitors jihadist websites says al Qaeda's Mali branch has released a video of two hostages, including French aid worker Sophie Pétronin , who was

#France #Mali very locally the most important is the release of detainees who are not involved in the jihadist movement, a maneuver which will be to the credit of #JNIM #AQMI @ France24_fr https: // t.co/3xwMuPr6p3

- Wassim Nasr (@SimNasr) October 9, 2020

Were there any figures of jihadism among them?

The vast majority of detainees released from Malian prisons would not be executives of the jihadist movement. It would rather be "very small fish that had not been judged", summarized a source at World . On his blog , Claude Moniquet, expert in counterterrorism, evokes "little hands". "Only between 10 and 20 released detainees can be considered 'dangerous' or, at least, 'interesting'," he said.

Among these “interesting” profiles would appear several figures of jihadism in Africa, including Fawaz Ould Ahmed, Mauritanian also known under the name of “Ibrahim 10”. Arrested four years ago, he is involved in several deadly attacks, including the one before targeting a restaurant in Bamako in 2015. Another name well known to the intelligence services: Abou Dardar, former leader of the Mujao (Movement for uniqueness and jihad in West Africa) who surrendered to French soldiers in 2014 before being handed over to Malian authorities.

French, Italian captives freed with top politician in Mali

  French, Italian captives freed with top politician in Mali Mali announced Thursday the release of an elderly French aid worker, two Italian captives and a top Malian politician, all believed to have been held by jihadists. French President Emmanuel Macron immediately voiced "immense relief" at the release of the worker, the last French hostage in the world, and expressed France's continued support for Mali in its fight against an Islamist insurgency. Mali's presidency said in a tweet on Thursday that Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin, 75, and Soumaila Cisse, 70, were on their way to the capital Bamako.

“ Sophie Pétronin is free. Held hostage for nearly four years in Mali, her release is a great relief,” he wrote. Hostage negotiations between the French and Malian government and the jihadists were jeopardized in August, when a military junta overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

released a video of two hostages, including French aid worker Sophie Pétronin , who was abducted in …More. France14 on Jun 14, 2018 An agency that monitors jihadist websites says al Qaeda's Mali branch has released a video of two hostages, including French aid worker Sophie Pétronin

On the other hand, contradictory information circulates around Mimi Ould Baba, logistician of the large-scale attacks that bloodied Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Grand-Bassam (Côte-d'Ivoire) in 2016 and arrested a year later. Released according to Le Monde, he would ultimately still be in prison according to the African press agency because of "pressure from the American government (which) ultimately prevented his release". Mimi Ould Baba was sentenced in absentia by the United States courts for having killed an American national in the attack on Ouagadougou.

Who is the group that took Sophie Petronin hostage?

Like Soumaïla Cissé, Sophie Pétronin was in the hands of Jamaat Nosrat al-Islam wal-Mouslimin, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM). Linked to Al-Qaeda, this alliance was born three years ago and brings together several jihadist movements present in the region: Al-Mourabitoune, the “Katibas of Macina”, a movement led by the Peul Amadou Koufa, and Ansar Dine, led by the Tuareg Iyad Ag Ghaly.

A strong rivalry opposes the jihadists of the GSIM and those of the Islamic State present in West Africa. The latter recently published a propaganda video of Daesh men slaughtering fighters presented as members of JNIM.

Behind which attacks are they behind?

In addition to the attacks claimed by each of its components before its official formation in March 2017, the shadow of the GSIM hangs over several large-scale attacks and bombings in West Africa. In September 2017, she led the attack on Boulikessi, in central Mali, which claimed the lives of several dozen Malian soldiers.

A few months earlier, the jihadists of the Group attacked a camp in Kangaba, during which a Portuguese soldier died. The GSIM is also associated with the two Ouagadougou attacks in August 2017 and March 2018. Simply suspected of being behind the first attack, which killed 19 people, the Group claimed responsibility for the double attack in the Burkinabè capital seven months later. and which left eight dead.

Hostages in Mali: a success of the jihadists with incalculable fallout .
© STRINGER The former hostage Sophie Pétronin, with her son Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin in Bamako, October 8, 2020 First of all, a certainty: it is the jihadist alliance in the Sahel linked to Al-Qaeda, which emerges victorious from the exchange in Mali of 200 detainees against four hostages.

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