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GFATF LLL Abu Huzeifa

Abu Huzeifa

Terror organization: ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS)

Status: ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) commander

Role: On October 4, 2017, near the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger, ISIS-GS-linked militants attacked members of a U.S. Special Forces team tasked with training, advising, and assisting Nigerien forces in fighting terrorism. The attack resulted in the deaths of four U.S. and four Nigerien soldiers. Two additional Americans and eight Nigeriens were wounded in the encounter. On January 12, 2018, ISIS-GS leader Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi claimed responsibility for the attack.

Location: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger.

Known also as: Higgo; Abou Houzeifa;


A coordinated operation involving troops from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger has resulted in the death of Abu Huzeifa, a senior commander of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization in the Sahel region.

Prior to his demise, Huzeifa had a bounty of $5 million placed on his head, reflecting his significance within the ranks of ISIS. He was implicated in numerous high-profile attacks, including a 2017 raid that claimed the lives of four US soldiers and several troops from Niger.

The operation that led to Huzeifa’s death occurred on Sunday in the Northern town of Indelimane, situated in the Menaka region. Mali state TV hailed the operation as a triumph over a “bane of evil,” emphasizing its significance in the ongoing fight against terrorism in the region.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have all borne the brunt of relentless attacks by jihadist militants, prompting a concerted effort to combat the threat. In recent times, these countries have forged closer ties with Russia while distancing themselves from Western allies, such as the United States.

Embracing Russian military assistance, the countries have expelled troops from other nations, signaling a shift in their strategic partnerships.

Huzeifa, also known as Higgo, hailed from Morocco and served as a commander in ISIS’s self-styled Sahel Province. The United States government had identified him as a key figure wanted in connection with the 2017 attack on a US Special Forces team in Niger, resulting in the deaths of four American and four Nigerien soldiers.

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