Two days ago on April 24th, a branch of al-Qaeda, Jama’a Nusrat ul’Islam wa al-Muslimin’ which operates in west and north Africa, published a report through their media wing Az-Zallaqa which detailed their militant activities in Mali. The part of this report that is most interesting is their claim that they captured a member of the Russian “mercenary” organization Wagner Group. For those interested, below is the full English report published by Az-Zallaqa.
Wagner Group has been reportedly active in some capacity in Mali since September 2021 when an agreement was reached that would allow the group to operate in the country. Despite the E.U. objecting to the deal, Mali received a shipment of four soviet designed Mi-17 helicopters along with arms and munitions in late September. Note, the country of Mali has been in the throes of civil war since 2012. As I have pointed out in a previous article explaining Wagner’s presence in Ukraine, Wagner Group is touted by the Kremlin as an actual private military company. This is not the case at all. Wagner Group is not even a legally registered company in Russia. In reality, it is a way for Putin’s regime to train and deploy mercenaries to achieve objectives that benefit Russia. Wagner Group allows the Kremlin to distance themselves from any shady actions they commit since they aren’t regular military.
I first heard about this story from @meridian.news on Instagram. So, big shoutout to them.