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The U.S. government offered on Wednesday a reward of 7 million dollars for information leading to the location or identification of the leader of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group, Abu Ubaida Yusef al Annabi.
This was announced by the State Department in a statement, where it recalled that the organization is “responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Americans” and that it was included in its list of terrorist groups in 2002, when it had the name of Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, until it changed it to the current one in 2006.
Last November, AQIM announced the designation of Al Annabi, a jihadist of Algerian origin, as its new leader following the death of its historic leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, in a French Army operation months earlier in Tessalit, in northern Mali.
Washington noted that Al Annabi has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri on behalf of AQIM and is expected to play a role in managing the terrorist organization’s global network.
According to the U.S. Al Annabi had previously headed AQIM’s council of notables and had been a member of its Shura (advisory) council. He also served in the past as head of the group’s information office.
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Born in the Algerian city of Annaba, near the Tunisian border, Al Annabi, whose real name is Yazid Mibrak, has a degree in economics and, according to Algerian intelligence services, joined the armed jihadist groups in 1992, at the beginning of the civil war that tainted Algeria during the black decade (1992-2002).