n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The al-Murabitoun Islamist militant merger formalises a complicated working relationship - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 10
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Two militant Islamist groups announced that they had merged to form a new unified group on 22 August 2013. Mokhtar Belmokhtar's al-Mulathameen Brigade (The Masked Ones Brigade) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) joined to form al-Murabitoun (loosely translated as 'the guardians'). This combined group has declared its broad strategic goal to be the spreading of radical Salafist Islamic law across north-western Africa. More specifically, the group has declared in statements made to the press in August 2013 that it is dedicated to taking revenge on France for its military intervention in Mali in 2013, and it has called on other radical Islamist militants to do the same.

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