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US Indicts Mauritanian Man Responsible For 2015 Mali Attacks

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Fawaz Ould Ahmed Ould Ahemeid, a Mauritanian man, has been extradited to the United States and received an indictment for being involved in various deadly attacks in Mali, said the US Justice Department. He received the death penalty from a Malian court in 2020 for being involved in various deadly attacks in the West African country that killed many including an American in 2015. 

The mastermind behind many Malian attacks

Ahmed, who has various names like “Ibrahim Idress”, “Ibrahim Dix,” or Ibrahim 10, is accused of executing the attack on the La Terrase bar and restaurant in Bamako in March 2015, killing five people. The accusations against him also include being the mastermind behind the attacks on the Hotel Byblos in Sevare in August 2015 and on Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in November 2015, leaving 13 people dead in the former and 20 people in the latter attack. 

The Justice Department also said that Ahmed is charged with the unlawful use of firearms in connection with a crime of violence causing the death of US citizen Anita Ashok Datar and he was also involved in the conspiracy to provide support to US-designated terrorist organizations al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun and unlawful use of explosives. 

Apart from the 44-year-old Fawaz Ould Ahmed, the Malian court rewarded death sentence to two other jihadis involved in the same attacks. 

While he was tried, Ould Ahmed confessed that the La Terrasse attacks were in revenge for the objectionable cartoons, which angered Islamic extremists, of Prophet Muhammed by France’s magazine Charlie Hebdo. 

Fawaz Ould Ahmed, the defendant was transferred to US custody in Mali and arrived in New York, on December 9.  United States Magistrate Judge James R. Cho ordered him detained pending trial.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced Ahmed’s arrest and charges.

“We have made clear that the United States is steadfast in our commitment to bring to justice those who commit barbaric acts of terrorism targeting innocent victims including, as in this case, an American aid worker who was killed more than 4,000 miles from her home in Maryland,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “As a result of our work with our law enforcement partners here and abroad, the defendant now faces justice in a U.S. courtroom for the carnage that was carried out allegedly at his direction.”  

Ould Ahmed, who was born in Nouakchott in the late 1970s, became radicalized during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

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