Jihad Intel: Vital Intelligence on Designated Islamic Terrorist Organizations

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Database: Identifiers of Designated Islamic Terrorist Organizations

Ansar al-Dine

Designated as terrorist by: United Nations, United States

Base of operations: Mali

Background: Institute for the Study of Violent Groups
Background: U.S. Department of State

Ansar al-Dine ("Defenders of the Faith") is a terrorist outfit promoting the implementation of Shari'a (Islamic law) in its base country of Mali. It was founded by Iyad Ag Ghaly, a well-known Tuareg leader, after his failed attempt to take control of a more secular Tuareg organization in 2011. Closely connected to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar al-Dine played a major role in the northern Mali conflict of 2012–13, where the group captured significant territory from former allies. In those areas, Ansar al-Dine established strict Shari'a rule that featured bans on smoking, alcohol consumption, and various forms of entertainment; the destruction of certain mausoleums and mosques; and brutal punishments such as amputations. During this period, it seized a number of French and Algerian hostages. Ansar al-Dine's influence was reduced following an intervention by the French military in 2013.

Ansar al-Dine Emblem
Ansar al-Dine: Rimaah Media
Black Flag of Jihad (Sacred Seal Version)

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