A notorious ISIS leader with a $5million dollar price tag on his head for killing American special forces soldiers has been assassinated by the French military in West Africa, it was announced today.
Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, who was in his late 40s, was ‘neutralised’ four years after ordering a notorious ambush in Niger which led to the deaths of Army Sgt David Johnson, 25; Staff Sgt Bryan Black, 35; Staff Sgt Jeremiah Johnson, 39; and Staff Sgt Dustin Wright, 29.
Four Nigerien troops were also killed in the attack, and two American soldiers and eight Nigerien soldiers were severely wounded.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, French President Emmanuel confirmed that Al-Sahraoui, who also used the nom de guerre Lehbib Ould, was finally dead.
Mr Macron wrote in a Tweet: ‘Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, leader of the terrorist group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara was neutralised by French forces.
‘This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,’ said Mr Macron, referring to a vast area of mainly desert land in Africa where groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda operate.
There was no initial information as to what was used to kill Al-Sahraoui, or where or when the attack happened, but an Élysée Palace spokesman said the ISIS leader ‘was definitely dead’.
In August, Mr Macron said he would be pulling many of his troops out of the Sahel – which covers numerous African countries including Niger and Mali – following anti-terrorist operations codenamed Serval and Barkhane that were leading to mounting French losses.
But the President said special forces supported by airpower including armed drones would continue the hunt for lead terrorists.
Mr Macon wrote in his Al-Sahraoui tweet today: ‘The nation is thinking this evening of all its heroes who died for France in the Sahel, in the Serval and Barkhane operations, of the bereaved families, of all of its wounded.